The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, says he will not support the presidential ambition of the All Progressives Congress leader, Bola Tinubu.
Ojudu further stated that contrary to reports, Tinubu did not make him successful as he was already an accomplished publisher before meeting the former Lagos State governor.
The former lawmaker said this in a statement titled, ‘Principled Political Choices are not Betrayal’.
Ojudu, who is leading the campaign for Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to be the next President, said he would continue to follow his conscience.
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.”
Ojudu, who represented Ekiti Central Senatorial District between 2011 and 2015, said he could not in good conscience support Tinubu for the Presidency.
He stated 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’s sake. I almost died seeking these inalienable democratic rights, held up in detention and severely 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.
The Presidential aide recalled how he resigned after disobeying an order by his then employer, Chief MKO Abiola, to apologise to then Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, for writing a story critical of his regime.
Ojudu revealed how human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), also forced him to refund the money he invested in his newspaper after Ojudu decided to join Tinubu’s clique.
He said he also defied his father’s wishes by joining Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria when his father was a member of the National Party of Nigeria in the Second Republic.
The veteran journalist said the story of his life has been about conviction and he would continue to follow his conscience as regards political decisions.
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 several times 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 the 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.