… For The 2023 Presidential Race
Have you noticed that no South West politician so far has come out to indicate interest in the presidential race, despite the array of qualified aspirants available across all the Yoruba speaking states? Have you also noticed that it is only Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s name that is being badied around as a possible candidate, even though he himself has not told anyone he is running?
Have you also noticed that even his top associates who have been tipped to run have also kept mum? Why is everybody afraid? Why is nobody printing posters or erecting billboards to promote presidential candidates?
City People can tell you why, as the race for 2023 presidential elections has already begun and parties are hunting for a perfect fit that can bear the flag of their respective parties for the historic 2023 elections.
The APC is starting at rather slow pace as no candidate has openly identified interest in the spot.
While the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP has concluded its Convention and are making plans to ensure that a consensus candidate emerges, the APC is yet to seal its arrangement for the candidacy ahead of 2023.
However, there has been huge unsolicited publicity across the country for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu by many groups in all the regions of Nigeria. The South West Agenda (SWAGA) has been up and doing, The Asiwaju Mandate Group are also strong in the Southwest, the Asiwaju Youth Solidarity Forum is equally covering grounds, and many more in the northern region.
It is interesting to note that despite the resolve that the APC will be selecting a Presidential candidate from the South, Asiwaju has not been countered by anyone in the South, especially the Yoruba region. Although, he has not come out to say he is running, his body language suggests it. He has put in place political structures from the Ward level, to Local Government and state levels. He has activated all his structures such that even if he is not in Nigeria, his Boys are busy spreading the message across the country.
The underground campaign of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo began to gain ground some months ago, but the whole noise was relaxed after the meeting of the Vice President and Asiwaju in Abuja in October.
This has raised the question, how come no Yoruba leader has come out against Asiwaju? Initially, there were insinuations and projections that some Yoruba leaders will not support Asiwaju should he ever contest for Presidency. This was confirmed by a popular chieftain of Afenifere, Baba Ayo Adesanya, who spoke to City People in 2020 that Asiwaju would only be wasting his time if he attempted to contest for presidency in 2023. But Baba Adesanya would later lead a delegate to visit Asiwaju in his Lagos home after his return from the UK for medical check-up.” Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the immediate past leader of the Afenifere has also remained silent over the suggestion of Tinubu’s Presidency. The former leader of the socio-political group, Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti, rather expressed support for the presidential ambition of the APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu.
Mr Fasoranti received members of the South West Agenda for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (SWAGA 23), who paid him a courtesy visit in his country home in Akure some months ago.
It is also interesting that despite the fact that Asiwaju has not openly declared his interest to vie for the number one spot, more than 50 traditional rulers across the 6 states of the South-West geopolitical zone have already given their royal blessings for him to contest. All the monarchs in their response endorsed the candidature of Tinubu and beckoned on him to contest for president. Prominent among the traditional rulers are Onigando of Igando, Oba Lasisi Gbadamosi, Ojora of Ijoraland, Fatai Ojora, Oniru of Iruland, Oba Gbolahan Lawal, Elegushi of Ikateland and others.
They have all also lent their voice to the agitation for his candidature while praying for a successful outing for the group. Some of the traditional rulers at the event included Oba Dr Momodu Afolabi, the Onijanikin of Ijanikin; Oba Nofiu Dada Elete of Ete Kingdom; Oba Abideen Adekanbi, Osolu of Osolu Kingdom; Oba Mobadenle Oyekan Onilado of Ilado; Oba Caleb Adeniyi, Olojo of Ojo; Oba Dr N.A Akinyemi, Alabirun of Ikare Kingdom; Oba Dr Taofik Adegboyega, Alahun of Imore Apapa; Oba Gausu Rasak Ovaria of Ibeshe.
Others were Oba Kasumu Kosoko, Elekunpa of Ekunpa Kingdom; Oba Musiliu Adio Yussuf, Onisiwo of Tarkwa Bay; Oba Olayinka Lateef, Alado of Ado Kingdom; Oba Dr Adesina Asade; Oniba Ekun of Iba Kingdom; Oba Sherif Adesina Bello Onigbanko of Igbanko Kingdom; Oba Dr Josiah Ilemobade Aina, the Oloto of Oto Kingdom. This is enough to intimidate anyone from the southwest who may be nursing the ambition underground.
In a bid to solve the puzzle on why no Yoruba leader has come out to contest the choice of Asiwaju, earlier, Dayo Adeyeye the Chairman and Coordinator of SWAGA, stated that it is because the Yorubas have decided to unite and speak with one voice, ahead of 2023 presidential race.
Tinubu, according to a reliable source, has also made strong inroads into Northwest and Northeast States with heavy delegates’ count. Sources say that the Tinubu camp is especially strong in Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Borno, states that are known to be rich in delegates.
Also, the constitution of the APC provides that serving and former members of the National Assembly are statutory delegates and this means that all former lawmakers from 1999 are automatic delegates. It will not be shocking to know that Asiwaju has been making plans for this moment since he was in office as a governor. His relationship with all past and serving lawmakers is as strong as it ever can get.
Asiwaju Tinubu’s image is very enviable. He is one of the few men who have unblemished records. He doesn’t have any fraud allegation hanging on his neck, unlike many other politicians who have run for that post in the past. A lot of people have alleged that he has many companies but they are all in Nigeria to provide employment. He is a philanthropist and a man who derives pleasure in homemade products. These will definitely play a significant role to boost his ambition.
If anything, Tinubu’s towering political personality remains a constant reference point in many quarters. Truth must be said: If Tinubu’s political acumen is what it takes to fix the Nigeria Project, it is only logical to rally around him in order to truly take the country to the next level.