Saying Osinbajo is forgiven by Tinubu is an insult, we reject it — Group

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, hosting the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to a private session during his visit on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. File Photo: Statehouse/Tolani Alli

By Marvellous Nyang

The Osinbajo Support Movement (OSM) has described it as insulting and said it rejected the comment of the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, that he has forgiven Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Recalled while addressing a Kano group who stood in support of the presidential aspiration of VP Osinbajo in the buildup to the June 7 to 9 presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tinubu had said he had forgiven the VP and he had nothing against him.

“I have nothing against him. I have been to his house after the primaries. I saw him on the day of the goodwill message [at] the retreat organised by the president. And a man who forgives, a man who asks for forgiveness from Allah fully deserves forgiveness. If you cannot give forgiveness, how are you asking from Allah? To me, it is over,” Tinubu had said.

But responding, the Osinbajo Support Movement (OSM), who took a swipe against Tinubu’s comment, said, “the Vice President has not committed any crime or offended anyone by seeking to serve his country in the capacity of President.”

The OSM in a statement issued by its national coordinator on Thursday, October 27, 2022, said, “while there is room for political realignment, any talk of forgiveness between the VP and Asiwaju is both an insult and a provocation that the OSM will not take lying low.”

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Expressing the view of the Osinbajo Support Movement, Badmus in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, said the group deemed it fit to react “in response to a group of persons who in Kano went to declare their support for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” noting that “they should be counted out of plea for forgiveness.”

According to Osinbajo Support Movement (OSM), it said in its statement that “its attention has been called to a news report in Vanguard newspaper, where a fellow and his co-travellers in declaring his support for Bola Ahmed Tinubu begged for forgiveness of the candidate for our principal as well as members of the support groups during the primaries of the party.”

The group, in its statement, noted that “the representation of the support group in question does not speak for the coalition of all Support Groups that rooted for the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo in the buildup of APC Presidential Primary.”

The OSM further states in its statement: “While the OSM welcomes the need for the APC flagbearer and other presidential aspirants to come together, the group rejects the use of the word ‘forgiveness’ and the implications attached to it.”

“We note just like the flagbearer stated that both the VP and himself have met at least twice since after the primaries, any attempt to take a revisionist perspective by insinuating that an offence had been committed because a sitting VP decided to run for the Office of President is an unmitigated insult, completely unnecessary and such narratives ought to be totally discouraged.

“We recall a meeting of APC Elders in the Southwest ahead of the primaries where the aspirants had resolved the issue concluding that all the aspirants had the right to contest. It is the spirit of that meeting that should be maintained not a derogatory effort which undercuts the solidarity required to take both the flagbearer and the aspirants including the VP forward.”

The group said the support of everyone was appreciated and their new political choice is respected, but will not accept a situation where every group or individual in the Vice President’s camp will be forced and classified into this self-serving agenda.

“Everyone who supported the Vice President has the right to support whoever they wish after the primary, and Vice President Osinbajo has made it clear that people are free to support the party’s candidate but no one should however ridicule us and our principal by going to beg for forgiveness,” the statement added.

The group also noted that “Nigeria runs a democratic democracy, and approves anyone within the legal ambit of our laws (constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the APC constitution) to seek to be elected for President and other elective offices as so desired”.

“For the umpteenth time, we state that His Excellency, the Vice President has not committed any crime or offended anyone by seeking to serve his country in the capacity of President.”

“We wish to call on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to face his campaign and ignore elements who want to want to benefit from him by regularly invoking Osinbajo. Osinbajo has since moved on and he is vigorously facing the task of nation-building for which he was elected Vice President,” Badmus said.