Frontline presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, has publicly taken credit for the emergence of Dapo Abiodun as Ogun governor in 2019, saying more politicians across Nigeria owe him gratitude.
Tinubu’s comments came when he rallied party delegates in Ibadan on Thursday afternoon, during which he touched on different politicians he had helped navigate hard times.
Tinubu said while pointing at Mr Abiodun:
This one sitting behind me, Dapo, can he say he could have become a governor but for me?
The governor did not comment, but he was visibly humiliated. His spokesman did not immediately return a request seeking comments.
Tinubu has ramped up his campaign for the ruling All Progressives Congress’ presidential nomination on June 6. He is widely seen as a front runner, but there are widespread speculations he has no support from President Muhammadu Buhari.
After two failed attempts, Abiodun was elected governor in 2019 after facing a tough contest with then-incumbent Ibikunle Amosun.
Governor Abiodun was widely rumoured to have defeated Amosun’s candidate because he had the backing of Mr Tinubu at the time.
Meanwhile, supporters of Tinubu and Governor Abiodun have been divided by the comments of the former Lagos governor.
While supporters of the presidential aspirant commended him for speaking about his role in the emergence of Abiodun as the governor of Ogun State, those in the camp of the Ogun governor thought that despite Tinubu’s political weight, embarrassing a seating governor was too much to bear.
In the meantime, there are concerns in the Tinubu camp that the ambition of the national leader of the APC is under threat. This follows the recent stance of President Muhammadu Buhari who asked to be allowed to pick his successor.
Although some stakeholders have kicked against a consensus candidate ahead of the party’s convention on June 6, there are fears that the president’s position would not change.