- As Tinubu says, “Saraki, El-Rufai instigated Buhari not to pick me as VP”
Education guru and former Minister of Education, Prof Babalola Borishade, yesterday died in London, aged 71.
An electrical engineer, Prof Borishade who had served four times as a minister, between 1999-2011, was last week rushed to the Reddington Hospital in Lagos for lung and heart –related ailments; from where he was flown to London.
Born in Usi- Ekiti on March 7, 1946 into the Ebi Ilotin family, Borishade grew up to become a revered teacher and a political strategist; who between February 2001 and May 2003, first served as the Minister of Education.
In recognition of his contributions to Education in Nigeria, Africa and the World at large, Borishade was elected the Vice- Chairman of the E9 Group of the United Nations, President of the UNESCO International Conference on Education, as well as Chairman Education for All (EFA) Forum of African Ministers of Education.
His appointment in 2004 as Minister of State, Power and Steel, offered Borishade to initiate the ‘Gas to Power Project (G2P), a World Bank sponsored project designed to ensure sustained gas development and availability for power production to meet Nigerian electricity demands.
Where ever he was, the late Borishade made remarkable difference. Subsequently, his appointment as the
Minister of Aviation, between July 2005 and November 2006, provided Borishade the opportunity to assiduously work, and achieved the passing of the Civil Aviation Bill to replace the obsolete 1964 Act; as well as restored the direct flight status, between Nigeria and the United States of America.
His various reforms and contributions to the aviation sector resulted in Nigeria scoring 93 per cent in the ICAO Universal Audit, which made Nigeria a benchmark to African Aviation Industry.
In the meantime, a National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has alleged that Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, worked against the plan to make him President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in the 2015 presidential election.
Tinubu stated that Saraki, El-Rufai and other stalwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party, who defected to the APC in the build-up to the 2015 elections, instigated Buhari and some APC chieftains not to pick him as the would-be Vice-President.
The APC leader’s comments were contained in a book titled ‘Against the Run of Play,’ written by the Chairman, Editorial Board of ThisDay, Olusegun Adeniyi.
Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos State, said his opponents persuaded Buhari to look for another running mate on the grounds that Christians in the North would not embrace a Muslim-Muslim ticket, and as such, could jeopardise the party’s victory.
The former governor said the arguments put forward by the party members were not genuine, adding that El-Rufai had the intention to ensure the emergence of the Serving Overseer of The Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Buhari’s running mate.
Tinubu added, “What they (Saraki and others from the PDP) did behind my back was wrong. We always do things as a group. By the time they joined, we were already too far ahead in our processes but we accommodated them.
“We agreed to take their state structures and subsume them into the part and they all had their opportunity to nominate the candidates of their choices for different political offices.
“But they went behind to instigate Buhari and some other people in the party against me on the pretext of religion. That was not right. They were canvassing arguments that the Christians in the North would not vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“Nasir el-Rufai was also selling the same argument within the CPC (the defunct Congress for Progressive Change) because at that point, he still wanted to have Pastor Bakare brought in as Buhari’s running mate.”
Additional report from Punch