Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal has said he did not wish for Pastor Tunde Bakare to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said his wish for the General Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church was that he should remain a pastor.
Bakare was the running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2011 when they were both candidates for the now-defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
And as a presidential aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the party’s convention this week, Bakare secured zero votes.
The primary election was won by Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos.
Lawal while speaking on Channels Television on Thursday night said despite Buhari choosing Bakare as his running mate in 2011, he lost the presidential election to Goodluck Jonathan.
“No, my inclination was that Pastor Bakare should remain a pastor,” he said.
Lawal said Bakare was chosen as Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election because they found it difficult to convince the Christian community to support him as he was seen as an Islamic extremist.
He said it was thought that it would help Buhari “if he got somebody like Tunde Bakare to become his Vice President, frankly, I don’t know how the president came about picking Tunde Bakare but he was picked and we went into that election and he didn’t contribute much to the election because we didn’t win”.
On Tinubu’s claim that he played a huge role in making Buhari emerge as Nigeria’s President in 2015, Lawal said people like Buba Galadima among others helped to lay the foundation for Buhari’s presidency and Tinubu also contributed.
He said, “Quite a number of people lost their lives in the several campaigns to make Buhari president and quite a number of people sold their property for Buhari to be the president so no one can claim that he was the major instrument of Buhari being president.”
Lawal also said he was not aware of any promises made to Tinubu by Buhari that the former would succeed the latter.
He said Buhari joined the APC because he needed bloc votes from the Southwest to emerge as president.
Lawal said, “If there were any promises, it will have to be between the two of them, but one thing I know is by 2014, Buhari had emerged as a presidential candidate for the then-new APC.
“There was the need to carry the southwest along because as we said, it was so that we can have southwest votes so we can add to the northern votes and to do that we might need to satisfy them and it’s common knowledge Buhari offered to let Bola Tinubu become the Vice President.
“Also, we realised that as politicians the southwest might be interested in getting a foot into the door, if Buhari were to finish his eight years and the southwest as the Vice President, it just might be easy for them to move up to the presidency.
“The inclination was there from the beginning that the southwest might inherit the presidency after Buhari’s tenure has finished.”
Meanwhile, there have been reports that Tinubu, though a Muslim, might pick a Muslim northerner as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
Lawal, however, said having a Muslim-Muslim ticket in the APC was dead on arrival.
The former SGF also said even though he and the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar are from the same state, Adamawa, he will work for Tinubu to win the next presidential election.
saharareporters, new york