…To Stop TINUBU’s Presidential Ambition
As we move closer to 2023, the election year in Nigeria, the political game is getting a lot more exciting. So far, at the presidential level, no aspirant has come out to openly indicate interest in the presidential race.
But from the South, a few names keep cropping up. These are men whose body language and disposition suggest that there are a few who seem interested in the race. APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has been traversing the length and breadth of Nigeria galvanising support and meeting stakeholders. Already, there have been various groups drumming up support for him. One of them is SWAGA.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s name is also on the list of possible contestants. Although he has not come out to say anything, there are several groups campaigning for him all over Nigeria. Billboards have been erected and posters pasted all over Lagos & Abuja. Former President Ibrahim Babangida has also endorsed him, saying he will make a good leader.
Ekiti Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi is also in the race. He also fits the bill. He is young, articulate & vibrant There is also former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who is said to be highly favoured by Pres. Mohammed Buhari. Over the last 12 months, he has been enjoying high visibility in the corridors of power in Abuja. He frequents Aso Rock, the seat of power and he has been made a Special envoy by Pres. Buhari to help handle high profile assignments, across the world.
There are a few others who have not made up their minds whether to run or not. Of all of them, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu remains the man to beat, because he enjoys a larger than life image. He also has the political structure which is pan-Nigeria and huge resources to pursue such a gargantuan project as the Presidency. City People gathered from inside sources that he officially informed Pres. Buhari that he is running for Presidency last December. And the President has already told him to go ahead. That won’t be the first time Tinubu will tell the President about his ambition. Both have an understanding that Tinubu will help Buhari achieve his presidential ambition, which he has accomplished, after which Buhari will, in turn, help Tinubu achieve his 23-year-old ambition of becoming Nigeria’s President. Insiders say Tinubu had begun work on his presidential ambition as far back as 1999 when he became the Governor of Lagos. City People gathered that in their various discussions, Tinubu had always told Pres. Buhari that when the time comes all he wants from him is for Buhari to give all the presidential aspirants a level playing field and that on a good day, he believes he will thrash all those who contest along with him. He feels he is a more experienced politician and a Master of the game. Buhari has always agreed to that.
Osinbajo has also formally informed Pres. Buhari that he is also running for the Presidency in 2023. He feels if the presidency is zoned to the South, he will want to take a shot at it. He believes that if he wins, he will build on the achievements of President Buhari. For Osinbajo, it is about protecting the legacies of the Buhari administration. Fayemi also feels he can build on his existing relationship with Pres. Buhari to get the ticket. He believes he can mobilise his fellow governors, as Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, and his closeness to the Sultanate in the North.
Former President Jonathan who has accepted to run is excited about the prospects of coming back to the seat of power. City People can authoritatively reveal that behind all these moves is a powerful Mafia from the North who wants to use these personalities to scuttle the game plan of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to be the next President. It has been gathered that certain key players from the North don’t seem to like the prospects of a Tinubu Presidency for many reasons. They feel he is too influential to be given power. They feel the North would not be able to get him to do their bidding when he gets to power. There are some of them who feel he is too independent-minded to be controlled by the North. They cited as examples how he stuck to his guns during the Ambode crisis in Lagos, that Ambode must go despite all the pleadings from some key Northern personalities.
So, their solution to stopping Tinubu, in his tracks, is to throw up equally strong candidates that can tackle him within the APC before they get to the primaries. What they are plotting is to pick on some of Tinubu’s Boys and dangle the carrot of the Presidential ticket at them and through that means, weaken Tinubu’s votes within the party.
An insider has revealed that unknown to many, the whole noise about the Direct & Indirect Primaries is all part of the ploy to stop Tinubu. A new dimension has also been added to the issue, City People gathered. It is the issue of Consensus. President Buhari, in his interview a few days back mentioned the option of Consensus. What that implies, City People gathered, is that, if accepted, at the end of the day, the APC might end up choosing its presidential candidate not by Direct or Indirect primaries, but by Consensus (which will also be an alternative).
As it is, Jonathan has intensified work on his presidential ambition. City People gathered that it was a strong delegation from the North that prevailed on him early last year to run. They met with him and revealed that he was being strongly considered for the job. They extolled his virtues and great sense of leadership and tried to convince him to run.
Of course, Jonathan asked for time to reflect on the offer. He also told them he needed to consult widely. Jonathan initially found it strange why the leadership of the APC which rubbished him and his tenure after he left office, will now turn round to offer him the Presidency on a platter of gold.
But he is excited about one thing. The offer will show to everybody that he is not as bad as he was painted by the APC when they came to power. Insiders have revealed that the attraction Jonathan holds for the North is that, Jonathan constitutionally will only spend 4 years and power can then go back to the North. They see a new Jonathan Presidency as a stop-gap since he will take over from Buhari for 4 years and the position can now go back to the North
So, for Jonathan, it is about being able to redeem his image battered by the APC and for the North, it is the fact that he is a candidate they can do business with and one that will be easy to manage, by the North.
But the big issue is that for Jonathan to run, he will have to dump the PDP for the APC and he is waiting for the right time to do that.