Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has commended Aminu Tambuwal for his decision not to contest for president, describing him as a patriotic Nigerian who has made history.
In a statement on Tuesday, Tambuwal, speaker of the federal house of representatives, said that he was suspending his participation in the presidential contest for the unity and cohesion of his party.
Reacting on Wednesday, Tinubu remarked that APC had become stronger since Tambuwal joined the party, adding that the speaker was a good example to the leading lights of the opposition.
“Speaker of the house of representatives of Nigeria, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, your bold decision to suspend the pursuit of your presidential ambition is cast in the mold of defining sagacious political decisions that have set the tone for positive and progressive thinking so badly needed to lift our country up,” he said.
“This sacrifice you have made will not be in vain. It must be noted by all democrats across the country as an act of great patriotism. We all appreciate the position you have taken and the sacrifice you have made. There are lessons to be learnt from all that is unfolding towards building a better future.
“This is noted by the party and Nigerians. You have demonstrated the true spirit of democracy. You have indeed shown the way to all other party members on the kind of sacrifice expected of them. You are a good example to the young and old and the leading lights of our party.
“You secured the wish of a virile section of our party, especially your colleagues, honourable members who meant well in their desire to have you vie for the highest office of the land. And excited by your politics and candidature, most Nigerians looked in your direction hopeful in the prospects of your candidacy and a new Nigeria. But rather than pursue a selfish ambition, you humbly submitted yourself to the service of the common good. Whatever anyone may say, you have made history.
“Since you joined our party, the APC has become stronger. You have brought strength to our party through a political profile that is unrivalled. Having travelled through over 300 federal constituencies, the widespread support you enjoy across the country validates you as a leader for our generation and a political asset for our great party. Undoubtedly, you have what it takes to lead this country to a better future and we take note of your astuteness, brilliant political trajectory and preparedness for higher service.”
Tinubu further praised Tambuwal, saying his “sacrifice for the cohesion of the party and a greater Nigeria would go down in history as one of the greatest pragmatic and progressive political sacrifices ever made in the politics of the country.”
“You have demonstrated to all that after the political calculations are made and the dust of competition has settled, it must be this nation and its people who shall stand. Therein, we find the lessons of your decision to suspend your participation in the presidential contest for now,” he added.
“You have demonstrated that your political convenience will never triumph over patriotic conviction. You no doubt joined the APC not to advance any personal ambition. Your decision in this delicate moment gave no space for emotion to intrude into the path of objectivity and blind you and many of us from what is best. The APC is the best vehicle to enact the progressive and broad change this nation cries for. I salute you for eagerly lending yourself to this fine cause. You will never walk alone.
“Though many, including myself, may call what you have done a sacrifice, I wish to again call it otherwise. It is a patriotic contribution and duty. With a happy and uplifted heart and clear conscience, you have by this decision committed yourself to seeking the best for this nation before seeking what is good for yourself.
“This is the creed of statesmanship. May this be the creed of our party. May the light of a bright future always shine on you and on our beloved nation, the federal republic of Nigeria.”