As various groups begin to spring up nationwide, doing underground works to make the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, emerge as the party’s presidential candidate in 2023, our investigation has revealed the many hurdles that Tinubu and his supporters must scale before getting the plum job.
New National Star gathered at the weekend that Tinubu’s touted ambition might suffer attacks from home, considering the gang-up among his political traducers, mainly from Yorubaland.
Top sources within the APC confided in our correspondent that the former two-term governor of Lagos State and one-time senator, should expect strong resistance to his aspiration, given existing muscle-flexing between him and two former governors and a serving governor in the South-West.
The source said it was unlikely that former Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, would work for Tinubu, considering the latter’s refusal to let Amosun nominate a successor for the APC in his home state in the 2019 governorship election. The source added that the antiTinubu camp had also wooed the immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, rather effortlessly, considering how Tinubu allegedly prevented Ambode from securing a second term.
The same source also revealed that the Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, may have distanced himself from Tinubu’s presidential aspiration, considering fliers that Fayemi himself nurses the same ambition. It was gathered that Fayemi had got a ready ally in the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who may pair as his running mate. Gov. El-Rufai in recent public statements too, has not hidden the fact that he is not a Tinubu admirer.
Only recently, however, Tinubu was in Kano where political heavyweights converged to mark his 69 years birthday. Activities at the ceremony helped lend credence to the raging speculation that the Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, may eventually, emerge as Tinubu’s running mate. Efforts to extract comments from Amosun and Ambode’s spokespersons hit the brick wall, as mum was the word. But the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Fayemi of Ekiti State, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, managed a reply, saying, “there is no story there.
For all that I know, neither Governor Fayemi nor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has declared their intention to run for the 2023 presidency. So, the issue of one not supporting the aspiration of the other (and vice versa) does not arise.” However, prominent Kaduna State politician and a loyalist of Governor El-Rufai, Alhaji Muhammad Rili, said, “there is nothing wrong in Governor el-Rufai aspiring to the office of Vice President in the next election.” Rili, who said he didn’t know anything about el-Rufai’s opposition to Tinubu, however, insisted that the governor was an achiever of all times and that Nigerians, in general, deserve his services.
But reacting, the National Coordinator of Tinubu 2023 (T23), an umbrella body for the various proTinubu groups, Dr. Oladipupo Okeyomi, said much as pockets of opposition could exist, all of them would fall in line in due course. “That some people are yet to join us now is not a new thing in politics; they are probably weighing options. But what is certain is that nobody can say Tinubu is not one of the best, if not the best material that Nigerians can present to lead them as President.
“We are all living witnesses to how he took Lagos out of the woods and laid a solid foundation that has today transformed the state into a world attraction. So, we need him to replicate this sagacity at the national level,” Okeyomi appraised.
He said Tinubu is a bridge-builder and a politician with a large heart, noting that with time, all the APC stakeholders would still speak with one voice for him.