The Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, Babafemi Ojudu, said on Tuesday he has been receiving threat messages for refusing to support the 2023 presidential bid of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Bola Tinubu.
In a statement issued in Abuja, the presidential aide urged Nigerians not to see his refusal to support the ex-Lagos governor’s presidential bid as a betrayal.
Ojodu also dismissed insinuations that he and some other associates of the APC chieftain were products of his (Tinubu) political dynasty and benefited from his large heart.
The ex- governor informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to vie for the nation’s highest political office on January 10.
Ojodu said: “I and Bola Tinubu have come a long way and we have been there for each other. So let no one use my acknowledgment of his good deeds and my refusal not to support him in his bid for Nigeria’s presidency to portray me as a betrayer.
“Tinubu remains my leader and I will forever cherish him and the contributions he made to my organisation during our fight against the military. He, however, knows I don’t follow the herd. I make my choices based on very rigid parameters. He will tell you I am very Independent in my actions and ways.
“As a third-year university student, my dad chose to be in NPN. I never considered the fact that he fed me and paid my school fees to join him in a party I despised. I went to UPN and became a youth leader.
“So, on this matter of 2023, I wish him well but I cannot in good conscience give him my support or cast my vote for him in the coming primary. It is my right. I am above 60 years of age for God’s sake. I almost died seeking these inalienable democratic rights, held up in detention and severally tortured. Your god is not my god.
“For the irritants who have been sending threat messages or calling to abuse me for not supporting Tinubu, do know that is not democracy. It is something else. I spent my youth years fighting autocracy and intolerance of the military and I am still willing and ready, even now, to stand up for what I believe, even if it will cost me my death.
“The idea that everyone who has related to Tinubu and disagrees with him on this presidential bid is a traitor and a betrayal is puerile. Many of us, his associates, were not made by him as you also want the world to believe.
“We were already made before meeting him and in the course of relating, we gave one another a helping hand. As far back as 1992 when I came to know him, I was already one of the editors of a popular news magazine with a good standing too in the civil society.”