A former deputy governor of Edo State, Rev Peter Obadan, has said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was misunderstood by most Nigerians in the build-up to the 2023 presidential election.
He said contrary to the fear of the Christian community, Islamisation of Nigeria is not part of Tinubu’s agenda.
The former National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) chieftain who served under former Edo State governor John Odigie-Oyegun, said those who had criticised the president’s choice of a Muslim as vice presidential running mate did that for lack of political knowledge and understanding and the person of Tinubu.
He told journalists in Benin City, the state capital that for Tinubu to have openly supported Christians and their activities clearly showed that he was never an extremist and cannot be.
Obadan said, “I issued out two letters during the period warning Christian leaders on the need to work in consonance with the will of God. The truth is that many of them have no knowledge about politics, and many of them did not know who Asiwaju Tinubu is. And so, they had an image of a generalised Nigerian and said he is going to be like others.
“But Asiwaju is different. I told the Christians again that God is capable of using anybody. If he can make the horse to speak, He can make anything to happen, and that is the type of God we serve. And above all, with the wife of Asiwaju being a minister of God, the one I declared as an Esther; and I told them we have an Esther in the house and Asiwaju cannot afford to Islamise Nigerians and succeed. That is not part of his agenda.
“I have related with him; I have seen him in Church programmes. I have seen him support church activities, and he’s not an extremist which many Christians were thinking. When we were together in exile, the whole period we spent in exile, it was difficult to say who was who when we sat to meet; we were just about 11 of us, and you would almost think Asiwaju himself is a Christian. So, I want to think that he was greatly misunderstood from the beginning.
“And there was so much talk about his age and I kept wondering is it the man I knew they are talking about or somebody else. And there was so much talk about his health and I say is it the same man known to me that people talk about because we were so intimate. We were just 11 relating together for about five years. Well, we had the elderly ones amongst us – the late Pa. Tony Enahoro, Dan Suleiman, Odigie-Oyegun, Ralph Uwechue and General Alani Akinrinade, Prof. Akinyemi and others,” he said.