The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Saturday disclosed that he informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his presidential ambition in order not to step on his toes.
He equally disclosed his intention was not to create bad blood between him and Buhari, stressing that he did not want to offend Buhari by “pulling the carpet from his feet”.
Tinubu made the disclosure while speaking to the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, when he paid him a visit at his Ake Palace in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital.
The former Lagos State governor who arrived at the Palace of Alake at 4:35 pm went straight into a private meeting with the monarch.
He had earlier paid a similar visit to the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona at his Ijebu-Ode Palace.
Addressing the Alake and his chiefs after the meeting, Tinubu said, he decided to express his intention to Buhari following calls from his supporters and friends to run for president.
“I told the President I want to replace you and I don’t want to offend you. I told the President that I want to step in his shoes, but not step on his toes.
“I told him as the number one citizen, I should start my presidential bid by informing you first, and he (Buhari) told me to inform the whole world, and I have done that”, he said.
Tinubu, who noted that he had served as a Senator at a young age, as a governor and he was actively involved in Nigeria’s return to civil rule, emphasized his ultimate aim is to become the president of Nigeria.
His words: “I call this visit a courtesy call. I have contested with the support of the people for Senate and I won at the youngest age ever. I have been governor, I clocked 50 on the seat of governor.
“I have done crusades to return Nigeria to democratic rule before I started hearing the voices of the people that I should contest for President, I have thought about it deeply, but I cannot think about it alone.
“The people said, this time around, I should run for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I told them that, we have elected someone there and I don’t want to pull the carpet from his feet.
Explaining the reason for his visit, Tinubu said, he had come to seek the permission of the monarch to contest for president and to also seek the monarch’s blessing.
“I want to seek the permission of the Kabiyesi; I want to seek his blessings and his prayers and seek the blessings of other chiefs.
“I’m here to tell you (Alake) that, I want your prayers and I want to inform you that I want to become the President”, he added.
The monarch in his response prayed that Tinubu will achieve his ambition.
He expressed optimism that, if Tinubu becomes the President, Nigeria would be better for it.