•PDP chieftain’ll defeat APC leader in a free, fair contest, says Ola-Benson
A former governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Chief Lanre Razak, has responded to an article published in the last edition of Saturday Telegraph, in which the newspaper looked at the chances of some of those aspiring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, from the South West and South East of Nigeria, come 2023.
Describing as “political insult of the highest order”, the comparison of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu with the likes of a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George, the APC stalwart said though George and others have the constitutional right to contest for any political office in Nigeria, “it is however ridiculous and highly laughable to compare the chances of George and others with that of Tinubu.”
Tinubu, also a former state helmsman, in Lagos, is believed to be nursing a presidential ambition just as the PDP chieftain, who has declared his interest in the topmost political office in the land.
Fielding questions from newsmen in Lagos, Razak wondered how anybody could put both men in the same bracket in any political analysis, saying, “it is like comparing darkness with light or death with life”
Razaq said: “Tinubu has paid his dues politically in the country, having been a senator and democratically-elected governor of the most populous state in the country, for eight years through which he laid a very sound foundation for the growth and development of the state till date”.
Speaking further, the APC chieftain also recalled the role Tinubu played along with other pro-democracy fighters towards the forced exit of the military and restoration of democracy in the land, asking rhetorically, “where does Chief Bode George belong here, to compare him with Tinubu in the area of contest?
“Bode George should seek election into his Local Government as a councilor”, Razak said, wondering “how somebody who has never won a local government election would aspire to contest a presidential election against a tested and trusted hand like Tinubu to govern a whole country like Nigeria.”
Taking a cursory look at the political terrain, Razak explained that hardly would anyone in Nigeria today meet the credentials of the APC leader, while faulting those that think otherwise.
“You will hardly find the likes of Tinubu around. Those he worked hard to develop are now giving back to the country.
“Those who know what Tinubu means for Nigeria have continued to defend him, letting others understand that he is naturally gifted and he is impacting knowledge and ability on others,” Razak said.
He restated that ahead of the 2023 presidential election, Tinubu is the best material the Southwest can produce, if he declares to contest, noting that, what Nigeria needs is the best material for the job and the best material to succeed Buhari is Tinubu.
“He is my candidate and we are appealing to him to please come out and serve his country, and I am sure he will accept the offer.
However, a chieftain of the PDP in Ogun State, Chief Odunsi Ola-Benson, would have nothing of that as he faulted Razak’s assertion, saying that George stands tall among those mentioned in the newspaper analysis.
Speaking with our correspondent, the Ijebu-Igbo born politician said there is no way Tinubu will defeat George in a free and fair contest, recalling of the exploits of the former MILAD as a military tactician.
“Unfortunately, they are used to rigging election in this part of the world. If not for the votes that do not count, how would anyone tell me that Tinubu would defeat George in an election that is devoid of interference.
“I read the analysis and I was not even happy that George was given a little mention, when he should have take the whole of the page. But I know that newspapers rush for time and space, so it is expected”.
“But Let no one be in an illusion that Tinubu has an edge over George. If not that they have been rigging out PDP in Lagos, Tinubu would not have been anybody in the politics of Nigeria today”, he said.