Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, has said that he will not support the presidential ambition of All Progressives Congress leader, Bola Tinubu.
In addition, Ojudu stated that contrary to reports, Tinubu did not make him successful because he already had experience as a publisher before meeting the former Lagos State governor.
Ojudu stated this in a statement titled, “Principled Political Choices are not Betrayal”.
The former lawmaker who says he will follow his conscience is spearheading the campaign for Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to be the next President.
He said, “The idea that everyone who has related with Tinubu and disagrees with him on this Presidential bid is a traitor and a betrayer 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.”
The former Senator who represented Ekiti Central Senatorial District from 2011 to 2015, said he could not in good conscience support Tinubu for the Presidency, stating that he would not be intimidated by those describing him as a traitor.
“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 sake. I almost died seeking these inalienable democratic rights, held up in detention and severally tortured. Your god is not my god.
“Let no one think he can browbeat or blackmail me to do what does not go with my conscience or my ideals. Enough of your phone threats and embarrassment of my family members!” said Ojudu.
In the statement, the Presidential aide described his resignation after being ordered by his then-employer, Chief MKO Abiola, to apologize to then Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, for writing a story critical of his regime.
After joining Tinubu’s campaign, Ojudu said Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), a human rights lawyer, forced him to return the money he had invested in his newspaper.
The veteran journalist said he defied his father’s wishes by joining Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria in the Second Republic when his father was a member of the National Party of Nigeria.
He said his life has been a story of conviction and he would continue to follow his conscience as far as political decisions are concerned.
He added, “When I left that job, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, a man whom I was indebted to greatly (gave me a scholarship in my school days alongside King Sunny Ade) invested in my publishing platform (The News, publisher of PM news). The same one that was consequential in the battle to bring democracy back to Nigeria.
“At the conclusion of that struggle, Chief Fawehinmi insisted we sit out politics. Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu disagreed with this notion, and I did as well. Against an obvious choice to blind loyalty, I went along with Senator Tinubu even serving severally in critical roles as he assumed the Governorship position. My actions angered Chief Gani so much he asked that I repay his investments. Guess what? I gladly did.”
“So if my principled stance against NPN, against IBB and against ‘siddon look’ was not betrayal of my father, Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Gani Fawehinmi respectively, why would my principled stance against our leader’s present ambition be?” he asked.