The Chief Whip of Senate, Orji Kalu has exonerated himself from media reports that he allegedly attacked Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We can never attack Tinubu,” Mr Kalu said in a statement where he reacted to claims that he attacked the former governor over their presidential ambitions.
Mr Kalu had during the week said he would consider running for president in 2023 if APC zones its presidential ticket to the South-East. His declaration came hours after Mr Tinubu formally declared his interest after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The former governor of Abia State had in an interview said he was ready to match Tinubu grit for the presidential ticket of the ruling APC. He had described Mr Tinubu’s presidential ambition as unreasonable and an idea “dead on arrival.”
But the senator claimed his statements about the APC chieftain were misunderstood. “I told Nigerians that I will contest against Tinubu if the ticket is zoned to the South. APC is a democratic party that allows every qualified member to vote and be voted for.
“It is not owned or managed by an individual. If I said I was going to contest against Tinubu, it doesn’t mean I attacked him. I cannot attack him for any reason.
“It is sad that few elements are trying to twist my statement to score a cheap political goal. I am not distracted. My friendship with Tinubu is deep-rooted and I am not quarrelling with him.
“I am not against his ambition of becoming the president. It is the choice of the party to determine who becomes the presidential candidate,” Mr Kalu added.