Lagos APC: I am not plotting to displace Tinubu – Banire
The National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Muiz Banire, on Sunday said there is no rift between him and a national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.
A statement issued by Mr Banire on Sunday said reports insinuating that he is plotting to displace Mr Tinubu as the leader of the party in Lagos state are untrue.
The statement said there is no rivalry between Messrs Banire and Tinubu, whom the National Legal Adviser described as his “leader”.
The lawyer described the insinuations as the handiwork of mischief makers, threatened by the cordial relationship that exists between him and Mr Tinubu.
The lawyer, who has been having a running battle with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led government in the state, accused some members of the Lagos State cabinet as the sponsors of the ‘mischievous’ reports, stressing that he remained unperturbed by their antics.
He said, “The mischievous write ups in respect of contest for leadership between myself and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, obviously manufactured by some members of the Lagos State cabinet.
“Let me thank them for the continuous publicity given to me. However, it is important to state in the first instance that I am not in the same business with Asiwaju so as to have any form of contest.
“I have said it severally and I still repeat it that I am not a professional politician but a professional in politics for the purpose of good governance. Consequently, there certainly cannot be any rivalry between us, nor am I interested in any political leadership at any level.
“The writers have their motives which is understandable because they fear my relationship with Asiwaju which to the best of my knowledge remains cordial. He is undoubtedly my leader.
“It is not in my character to be disrespectful to any elder and neither am I interested in displacing anybody. I have faith in the words of God that He appoints leaders and empowers them.”
The new development came against the backdrop of the crack withing the ruling APC in Lagos state, leading to the emergence of factions in the party state congress on Saturday.
Fouad Oki, a former loyalist of Mr Tinubu, had led other aggrieved members to hold a parallel congress in the state, in defiance of Mr Tinubu’s authority in the party.
Although Mr Banire was not present at either of the parallel congresses which held at the Lagos Airport Hotel and the party secretariat in Ikeja, some reports on social media claimed Mr Banire was behind Mr Oki-led faction. He, however, denied the allegations on Saturday.
In his statement on Sunday, Mr Banire vowed to remain resolute in his campaign for the entrenchment of internal democracy in the party.
He also argued that he was not seeking public office at all cost because he had a thriving legal practice which pays his bills.
“I am not in the struggle for any leadership position. However, I remain committed to my ideals and principles, particularly on internal democracy and good governance,” he said.
“I encourage the goons to continue in their strides as I know is that in so far as God remains on the throne, I shall remain unhurt.”