The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described as sheer disrespect for the office of the president, the violence that greeted the presidential campaign rally of his party in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Thugs believed to be of the opposition Allied Peoples Movement, APM, in the state stormed the venue of the rally and hauled sticks, satchet water, pet bottles and other things at the chieftains of the APC on the podium, including President Muhammadu Buhari.
Their grouse, obviously, was that APC chose Dapo Abiodun as its governorship candidate in place of Abiodun Akinlade who is the choice of Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
Speaking on the violence in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said the violence could have harmed the president.
His words: “The attack by these operatives is disrespectful of the office of the president and could have potentially harmed the person of the president.
“Such antics have no place in our political discourse. The author of these misdeeds should desist before real harm is done.”
Tinubu also reacted to reports that he was seen in a video at the event throwing the flag of the party away.
He said the interpretation of his action was the handiwork of mischief makers.
According to him, he only attempted to toss the flag to the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, who needed one.
He said he remained a strong member of the APC and had no intention of leaving it.
“If the issue of the flag has become the hotspot of the PDP campaign, then they are in serious trouble.
“During that portion of the Ogun rally, the National Chairman and others were looking for a party flag.
“I spotted one within my reach. I picked it up and attempted to toss it to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, so that the Chairman can present it to the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun.
“If you want to fault me for anything in this matter, your critique can only be limited to the accuracy of my toss.
“Any attempt to enlarge the episode beyond this is fiction and mischief writ large,” he said.
Tinubu added: “As the National Leader, it is unthinkable that I will leave the party. Moreover, there is no reason for me to do so.
“I understand the bigger picture. I know what is at stake in this election.
”Either the nation moves forward along the progressive path of the APC or it will be forced to retreat into the ills of the past created by the PDP.
”With the nation’s future hanging in the balance, I will not allow myself to be deterred by petty mischief.
“After the election, I will be there celebrating the APC and this nation’s victory over those who will prevent us our rightful future.”