The national leader of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, weekend said he has no apology for exercising his democratic rights as a citizen and party leader to endorse Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State as the party’s flag bearer for a second term in the 2014 gubernatorial election in the state.
Tinubu was reacting to the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Tony Okeke’s condemnation of his endorsement of Fayemi which was described as an imposition and infringement on the democratic rights of other candidates of the ACN to contest the forthcoming elections.
But the ACN national leader insisted that he was neither perturbed nor surprised at the level to which PDP could descend to attack perceived enemies or tormentors.
Speaking through his Special Adviser (Media), Sunday Dare, Tinubu said: “We wish to state that first, PDP needs to wash both hands before complaining the ACN has a speck of dirt on its thumb.
“With all the troubles facing the government and the ruling party, the acting national publicity secretary of that outfit took the time to lodge a complaint about ACN national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, exercising his right as a citizen and party leader to endorse Ekiti governor Dr. kayode Fayemi as the party’s governorship nominee so that he might seek a second term come the 2014 election in that state.
“The PDP voice box sounded off that it was wicked and undemocratic of Asiwaju Tinubu to state his opinion on a matter concerning the party to which Asiwaju belongs.
“We dare say if Mr. Okeke tendered such advice to his party leaders that the vociferous man would rapidly find himself among the growing number of jobless Nigerians walking the streets due to the errant policies of his party.”
“Since we have no desire to add to the ranks of Nigeria’s unemployed, we will help the man do his job better by teaching him a bit about democracy and party politics. Asiwaju Tinubu is not a brick or a piece of wood.
“He is a person, a Nigerian citizen to be exact. As such, he has the perfect right to express his opinion on political matters and to endorse whom he may endorse for the position of the ACN nominee for the Ekiti governorship.
“In due course, Asiwaju will surely endorse who he would prefer for other elective positions across the country in full exercise of his fundamental right.
“I predict Mr. Okeke will get acute indigestion from that act as well. For Mr. Okeke to complain is to suggest that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu should remain silent.
“As such, Okeke shows his ignorance that the Nigerian constitution has enshrined freedom of speech as a fundamental right of all Nigerians, even us in the opposition.”
“For Mr. Okeke to suggest that because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a party leader he does not have the right to talk about a party matter is lunacy of the first order.
“Let us explain to him how a democratic political party works. Party leaders are entitled to express their opinion and endorse whom they like.
“The matter does not end there. Of course, party members have the right to their opinion, but this enables them to weigh the opinions of their leaders. Should any disagree, they have the right to disagree. Should anyone want to compete against the incumbent for the party ticket, they may.”