2023 Presidency: Tinubu clarifies comment on ‘fight dirty’ campaign

Access Bank
Tunde Rahman, media aide to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has clarified what his principal meant by his remark – ‘fighting dirty’ – in the 2023 presidential election.
Rahman gave the clarification via a statement on Monday following a rash of criticisms of the gaffe on Sunday.

The presidential aspirant made the remark while speaking at the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, in continuation of his nationwide consultations over his ambition.

Tinubu had said he cannot be intimidated out of the presidential race.

“I’m out to become the president of Nigeria. No intimidation, no blackmail can stop me. I have read about a Greek philosopher that if you want to fight a pig, you must be ready to be smeared and I’m ready to be dirty,” Tinubu had said.

However, the portion of his statement where he talked about getting dirty overshadowed most of what he said and generated reactions from various quarters and stakeholders.

Reacting to the reactions and backlashes that followed, Rahman on Monday explained that his principal was quoted out of context, and misunderstood by most people.

Rahman insisted that his principal was making reference to unwarranted and sponsored attacks against him and only used the metaphor of fighting with a pig and getting dirty to buttress his point about accepting the insults that come with playing politics in Nigeria more so aspiring for the presidential seat.

“In continuation of his consultations and engagements with the traditional rulers and critical stakeholders across the country, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Sunday, February 20, 2022, visited the Alaafin of Oyo, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111, and on his return from ancient Oyo town, he paid a courtesy call on the Olubadan-Designate, Senator Lekan Balogun,” the statement read.

“Speaking at the residence of Olubadan-Designate, the All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asiwaju Tinubu, referring to some of the unwarranted attacks against him used the metaphor of wrestling with the pig, saying “if you decide to wrestle with the pig, you must be ready to get dirty.” He said he had accepted to take the insults and dirt thrown at him by some people as a price to pay for venturing into politics and seeking to be President of Nigeria.

“Sadly, the wrong headline and story have been latched on by some online platforms/blogs and commentators to pour invective on Asiwaju Tinubu. These commentaries and remarks are unfortunate because they are groundless, misinformed and misdirected. Hence, this clarification has become imperative.

“It bears restating that at no time during the visit and in his speech did Asiwaju indicate that he would fight dirty for his presidential ambition. His words were carefully chosen.

“For clarity and avoidance of doubt, this is what the APC leader told Olubadan-Designate High Chief Balogun: “Kabiyesi, all I have come for is to beg you to continue to pray for me, the entire Yoruba race and the country. Now I am out. Out for what, Kabiyesi? I am out to become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. There is a wise saying that if you want to wrestle with the pig, be ready to get dirty and deal with the poo-poo. I am ready to get dirty. No intimidation, no blackmail, no sort of insult will get me angry to the extent that I will say no more, I don’t want again.”

“This statement is comprehensible and clear enough. Our appeal to the media is that as the 2023 election approaches, and indeed at all times, they should not allow their mediums and platforms to be deployed in the desperate smear campaigns and campaigns of calumny by politicians. They owe themselves and our society to report accurately and objectively without fear or favour. The duty of the media as the Fourth Estate of the Realm is a sacred one that must be guarded jealously,” Rahman counseled.

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