Those who claimed to support me secretly worked for Tinubu — SDP presidential candidate

‘Politicians taught me lesson academics cannot give’
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The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Adewole Adebayo, in the just concluded general elections has said those close to him worked for the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election.

A first-timer in politics who single-handedly sponsored his party’s campaign led his party to appreciable showings with two Senate seats, six House of Representatives seats and many state Houses of Assembly seats in the elections.

In an interview with Vanguard, Adebayo says Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu won the presidential election because he had the most experienced politicians in the polity supporting him even as he dismisses the petitions challenging Tinubu’s election at the tribunal.

According to him, he has learnt his lessons but, like Judas who betrayed Jesus, there are a lot of pretences in politics.
He said, “There are many lessons learnt. Life itself is about lessons. It makes you know yourself better; you know when you are more resilient than you thought.

“You become more self-aware. You know the limits of your strength. You are able to know the country in relative to what you thought the country was. You understand human nature better and you appreciate politicians better, especially those who have succeeded in politics because, when you read about Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Osadebe, Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa, among others, you can question why didn’t they do this, why didn’t they achieve this? But when you are in politics, you see how challenging leadership can be, such that you have to give about 500 talks or speeches at different fora and you realise that you can’t give 500 speeches without making one mistake and it is that one mistake that people talk about. I now understand party politics and management better. As stated, I learnt a lot.

“It’s a lesson of a life time that academia cannot give you. You cannot substitute political experience with any experience you have outside politics.

“Yes, I am disappointed in every way because I should be president-elect now, because when I set out, that was my expectation. But, I am happy that the country has not lost the opportunity to have a peaceful transfer of power from one president to another president. So, I am disappointed I am not president-elect. I am disappointed in the process as every of the participating agencies fell short which makes it look as if we didn’t take all the opportunities that could have been taken to better our politics. We now have opportunity to interrogate our problems and let the people see the consequences of their choices.

“Tinubu somehow managed to keep most of the governors with him, even those who were hostile to him at the beginning. I encountered a lot of people in the course of the campaign who said “We like you but we are stuck with our man”. But, you as a presidential candidate, even the sub-total of your efforts is not up to what the people are doing on his behalf even if he is somewhere in France hanging his leg. They were still very active.

“Like in Jigawa, whatever I was doing, the governor would come and undo it. I am not sure Tinubu was aware of what I was doing there but the governor there was enough. Every time I thought I had put something down in Jigawa, I will get one bad news shortly after.

“If somebody was working for me, within a short time, I get the bad news that the person had defected to APC. Like a senator who was a strong pillar of my campaign went and declared for the APC and even gave up his senatorial ambition for them.

“I am just letting you know that people can pretend. When the Labor Party collapsed in the entire North-West, they said they didn’t like Peter Obi, and they came to us saying they wanted to join us, but I didn’t think it was wise to encourage brinkmanship in politics. Maybe it was a mistake on my part.”

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