Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has denied endorsing Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
This is contrary to the claim of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who on Thursday said that former President Obasanjo may have endorsed the presidential ambition of Tinubu.
Tinubu had visited Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Wednesday where they had a closed-door meeting.
On Thursday, Gbajabiamila, who was on Tinubu’s delegation, said what transpired during the meeting was assuring of the former Lagos State governor’s victory, come 2023.
Gbajabiamila made the statement while speaking at the Surulere Local Government Area APC meeting in Lagos.
The Speaker, who was present at the closed-door meeting between Obasanjo and Tinubu on Wednesday in Abeokuta, said from what he heard there, Tinubu’s presidency was a reality.
He said Obasanjo made encouraging statements about Tinubu’s aspiration and even prayed for the APC presidential candidate.
“When we were going to Obasanjo’s house, we were eight, including Asiwaju Tinubu and me; we didn’t want many people to know about the meeting. So, we were to meet Obasanjo and five others from his side.
“But when we eventually got there, we met something pleasantly shocking: a mammoth crowd of our supporters were already at the former president’s house waiting for us.
“So, Obasanjo told Asiwaju Tinubu to pick three people from his side and that he would pick three from his side to meet behind closed doors.
“So, I, Chief Osoba and Chief Akande and Asiwaju went from our side. My people, what I heard there, what Obasanjo said, the victory of Asiwaju is assured.
“Obasanjo spoke at length and we were all happy. He embraced our candidate like a brother, gave him a pat on the back, and prayed for him copiously”, he said.
But countering Gbajabiamila’s claim on Saturday, Obasanjo said those spinning what transpired at the meeting were enemies of Tinubu.
Speaking through his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former president said the statements coming from those claiming to be supporters of Tinubu are unhelpful.
He said the discussion during the visit was “more brotherly than political.”
Obasanjo’s aide further said the former President has neither agreed nor disapproved of Tinubu’s ‘request’.
“Those claiming to be insiders at the meeting issuing statement on the discussion and those crediting to me statement I had not made are enemies of the visitor and are not doing the visit any good.”
Specifically, Obasanjo, while speaking at the inauguration of a 300-man planning committee on the installation of the new Olowu of Owu, Oba Saka Matemilola, said he told Tinubu that he had added two phrases to Yoruba vocabularies.
“We now have two vocabularies in the Yoruba dictionary, ‘Emilokan’ and ‘Olule’. These two vocabularies are now popularly used. I asked Bola and he laughed. I said whether the vocabularies are good or bad, we have started using them,” he said