residential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 general election, Bola Tinubu has said he is still searching for his running mate.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Tinubu made this known on Sunday in his goodwill message at a book presentation to mark the 60th birthday of Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives.
In his goodwill message, the former Lagos State Governor lauded the amiable working relationship between Gbajabiamila and his deputy in the House of Representatives, Idris Wase.
This is while pouring encomium on the Speaker, saying Gbajabiamila is a contributor to the democratic growth of Nigeria.
Tinubu also recalled the contribution of Gbajabiamila in his emergence as the presidential flag bearer of the APC, while also narrating how the Speaker had helped him make better decisions in the past.
“As a Minority Leader, he consulted wide and he’s always there to see the thinking of opposition that we must bring a revolution to the House to be able to beat the PDP. And then, he will brainstorm for any length of time about political strategy.
“When he was challenged for the position of the speaker, I think after our merger he worked with me tirelessly. Femi is a workaholic. The problem of failure stared him at the face. He lost the election to become the Speaker.
“I was close to tears. Stamping my foot to the ground I said ‘we will win again. Femi keep up. Pick yourself up.’ I am very proud of you that you did, you didn’t give up. You did the opposition and the support job. You demonstrated what we learnt from textbooks and other authors.
“That life is not about education of one section of the society. Remember what we discussed about paying the WAEC fee of omo iya oniboli (the Son of the Woman who roasts plantain), and my Mum was alive then, asking me to see to it each time I gave her money, it doesn’t last.
“And I said whatever you do with the money I don’t know. Mama will say no, those women there they are Mothers, they want to pay WAEC fees. And Femi was one of the first set of people I consulted. Are we going to say that the children of the poor are not deserving becoming Governors, Doctors and Engineers? I said I was afraid. He said do it. So that is how a junior brother can inspire a senior leader.
“Femi with your determination, grit, you are a contributor to our democratic growth, thank you. You have character. You are a great mentor and you are doing a good job charting a path to success. You’ve done a good job and I say thank you, thank you.
“What you did during my primary is a story for another day. I’ve spent more time, too many times and people might be bored, they might be envious too, they might be jealous. I won landslide, I thank you.
“I could see his deputy (Wase) sitting down there too, you are a very good symbols of unity, dependability, and honesty, thank you. Thank you for both of you. You’ve not rocked the boat. I will need to learn from both of you, how you made the pair work because I’m still searching for my running mate,” Tinubu said.
Reacting, Gbajabiamila urged Tinubu to consult him in choosing his running mate. The Speaker said he would help the presidential candidate to get a running mate that would work smoothly with him.
“You (Tinubu) said in your address that many years ago you consulted with younger brother on the issue of WAEC and that consultation bore fruits. I give you my own parting shot. It is that time again to consult with your younger brother. I will give you a running mate that you will enjoy working with. But this time the consultation I promises you will not be for free,” he said.
Earlier, a chieftain of the APC, Kabiru Faskari had during an interview said Tinubu had picked Hon Kabiru Masari as his ‘placeholder’ running mate for the 2023 Presidential elections.