ALL Progressives Congress (APC) national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has distanced himself from the recent distribution of rice across northern Nigeria bearing his picture saying he had nothing to do with the scheme.
Over the last few days, bags of race bearing Asiwaju Tinubu’s name and picture have been distributed to Muslim fasters across northern Nigeria as they commence Ramadan. Political commentators have described it as the beginning of Asiwaju Tinubu’s 2023 presidential election campaign.
In recent years, Nigerian elections have been dominated by the distribution of essential food items to voters as inducements in what is known in local parlance as stomach infrastructure. Items regularly distributed include rice, gari, yam, cooking oil, beans, chickens, Maggi cubes, soft drinks and water.
Tunde Rahman, Asiwaju Tinubu’s spokesman, has, however, pointed out that his principal had nothing to do with the distribution programme. A former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Tinubu himself said that although he was not responsible for this initiative, he commended the efforts of the various groups involved for their benevolence.
Asiwaju Tinubu said: “I am not responsible for this initiative but l commend the efforts of the various volunteer groups responsible for this benign act of charity and love for one another, particularly in this Holy month of Ramadan. We have seen the images being circulated of bags of rice distributed across parts of the north.”
With President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office due to end in 2023, Asiwaju Tinubu is considered one of the frontrunners seeking the APC presidential ticket to succeed him. Although he has not yet formally declared his candidacy, campaign groups have begun working on his behalf.