By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
The national leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has described as unacceptable the outburst of a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu against President Muhammadu Buhari.
Noting that the apology later offered by Mr Tinubu was not enough, the party said it may punish the presidential aspirant for the outburst.
National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu disclosed this in an interview on Saturday in Abuja.
On Tinubu, Adamu said; “He went as far as saying how Gen. Muhammadu Buhari went to him, citing instances of even prostrating in tears begging him to endorse him and to support him for the presidency. He claimed Buhari went to him.
“His utterances are very, very insulting. It is very, very unbecoming for a person of that standing to do what he did to the sitting president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President produced by the votes of the APC. Though he is the president, he belongs to everybody.
“It is amazing how a fellow APC person would make that kind of comment in that kind of circumstances about the president. We take exception to this. It has shown that he does not show any appreciable level of respect for the office of Mr President.
“Therefore we want to make it public that we are saddened by what we saw in the video, in that reportage and we condemn it in the strongest of terms. We do hope that he would never say that kind of again, particularly of the APC extraction to make such kinds of comments.
“Yes, yesterday we saw some parts of a retraction but that effort is not adequate. It is not sincere. It is not in-depth enough. It doesn’t wipe off the impression that that event has left in our minds”.
On whether there would be punitive measures against Tinubu, Adamu said; “At the time this event took place, the screening committee had not presented its report to us at all and that means no one was trying to suggest that anybody was under any threat. So there was no justification for the time that this thing happened.
“This morning we saw some traces of withdrawal of those statements. You see, these are statements that buttress his intention of actual action. Yes, we can’t say we refuse not seeing it in the papers. It happened. He said he has the greatest respect for the president. You see, in Hausa there is a proverb that once you take hold of any amount of grass from a thatched house and you pulled it off from the roof, you can’t replace the same number of grass. What is out is out. What he did say was not an apology. It is just like trying to retract and you say I didn’t mean this. It is a problem of misinterpretation. It is not a regret.
“If there is a need to penalize any member of the party not just Bola Tinubu, anybody, we will bring him to the party’s book, anybody, as we watch events as they unfold”.
On the issue of statutory delegates, Adamu said the matter is still in court but that as of now, statutory delegates are excluded.
Speaking on reported disqualification of some aspirants, Adamu said; “I want to say very clearly that no aspirant has been disqualified. It is like sitting in an exam. Even if you pass, there is grading from first-class to ordinary pass. So, no aspirant was disqualified. Incidentally, the president has invited all of them to a dinner today (Saturday)”, he added.