Presidential Snub…Why President Buhari Disappointed Tinubu on His Birthday

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Presidential Snub…Why President Buhari Disappointed Tinubu on His Birthday

Presidential Snub…Why President Buhari Disappointed Tinubu on His Birthday
April 01
18:12 2019

On a day that he turned 67, and was expected to be celebrating and thankful for being blessed with such an eminent and enviable life, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ended Thursday, March 28th, on a sad and sour note. Yet, it was not meant to be that way. Everything that needed to be done to make it one of his most glorious days had been put in place.

After delivering on his task to ensure President Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected for a second term, Tinubu, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, must have imagined himself a beautiful bride in the eye of the president. Within days of the victory, Tinubu had been photographed about twice with the president at different locations, backslapping and beaming elaborately. Victory is sweet. And nothing can be sweeter than being instrumental to the hard-fought victory of the presidential election.

It was this sense of pride perhaps that spurred the former two-term governor of Lagos to move the annual colloquium held in his honour for the past 11years from its traditional Lagos home to Abuja. The idea was to ensure that nothing hindered the president from coming. The organisers prepared for a presidential visit ensuring water tight security in and around the International Conference Centre venue of the colloquium.

In attendance were the Vice president, governors, ministers, members of the APC, top government functionaries, corporate titans and foreigners. Shockingly, the President failed to turn up. Yet, he was in Abuja. In fact, he was about a kilometer away from the ICC attending the launch of the Micro Pension Plan organised by the National Pension Commission at the State House Conference Centre.

Those at the event said Tinubu kept glancing furtively at his wristwatch and whispering into the ears of his aides in hope that the president would still come. When it dawned on him that he had been snubbed so ignominiously, and so soon after the election, Tinubu’s face reportedly became ashen as his anger and disappointment were clearly furrowed on his brows. Incidentally, last year, with the 2019 elections a few months away, the president flew into Lagos to be a part of the same event. There have been wild conjectures about this inglorious snub; one being that the president was prevailed upon by his kitchen cabinet not to attend as there was an arrangement to get Senator Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila to have a picture with the president and syndicate it as a presidential seal to the APC leadership’s preference for the duo as the Senate President and Speaker respectively. The two legislators have the backing of Tinubu which Buhari’s men are not comfortable with; they reason that he would be too powerful if he had the National Assembly in his pocket literally. Secondly is that sources said the president wants to actually keep Tinubu at arms’ length having served his purpose for him. Whatever the intention was, it hit target. Tinubu has not rallied from the hit.

Conceived by close friends and associates of the former governor who thought it important that the rich debates and intellectual discussions that often marked cabinet and other meetings when he was governor be translated to a platform which would expand the conversations and lead to tangible outcomes, the Bola Tinubu colloquium holds every March 28th, Tinubu’s birthday. The first edition held after he had served his two terms as Lagos governor.


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