•What City People Found Out
How come Vice President Yemi Osinbajo & his wife, Dolapo have been missing in the ongoing APC presidential campaign? That is the question many are asking right now. When the list of the members of the TINUBU/SHETTIMA Presidential Campaign Council was released a month ago, many people were surprised that Prof. Osinbajo’s name was not on the list. President Buhari was named as the Chairman of the Council and Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, as Deputy Chairman. In that structure, Tinubu is the 2nd Deputy Chairman and Sen. Kashim Shettima is the Vice-Chairman.
Festus Keyamo, the Spokesperson of the Council, promptly said it was because the President had advised that he should be left alone to cotinue his work as VP.
Many didn’t believe this excuse. They saw it as an attempt by the media team of the Campaign Council to cover up for what they termed a costly mistake.
But when the updated version was released a few weeks back and the VP’s name was again left out, it sent more tongues wagging! Many have been asking why he was left out. And up to now, no convincing reason has been given. Of course, campaign has started and the VP has not been seen to be actively involved in the campaign for TINUBU & SHETTIMA.
It is the same thing with his wife, Dolapo Osinbajo who has withdrawn into her shell since her husband lost at the primaries to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Her name has also been conspicously missing in the Tinubu/Shettima Women Presidential Campaign Team, headed by 1st Lady, Aisha Buhari. Top on that list is the Grand Patron, Dr. (Mrs) Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, and the Chairman is Senator Oluremi Tinubu (OON) and Co-Chairman is Mrs. Nana Shettima. All the wives of APC governors are Zonal Co-ordinators.
The fact that Mrs. Osinbajo’s name is not on the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Women Campaign Team set tongues wagging too. This is because the primary deliverable of the esteemed members and volunteers of the campaign team is to strategise, facilitate implementation of campaign activities and mobilise the electorate to vote for the party’s flag bearer by legitimately leveraging available opportunities, skill set, expertise, influence, and platforms within the disposition of Team members for success in the 2023 presidential elections.
Why did the couple decide to stay off the Tinubu/Shettima campaign? That is the big question on the lips of so many people.
Interestingly, no one is willing to talk about it. Mum is the word at the top echelon of the APC! No one wants to be quoted on the issue, which is considered to be very sensitive.
Prof. Osinbajo is also not talking about it. So also is his wife not addressing the issue.
It is only Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that has consistently spoken about it, that he has made several overtures to Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
A few days ago, when Tinubu went up North to campaign, a pro-Osinbajo Northern APC group, made up largely of young activists and politicians who worked for Osinbajo during the primaries declared support for Tinubu at an event and apologised for campaigning against him at the APC national primaries. They also asked that Tinubu should forgive Osinbajo who ran against him at the primaries. They told Tinubu that they will put their political structure behind him across the 19 states of the North. Tinubu took the opportunity of the event to restate the fact that he has nothing against Osinbajo. He recalled all the overtures he has made to Osinbajo, including how he visited his house the day after the primaries.
These 3 different support groups came together to meet Tinubu. They are the groups that campaigned for Osinbajo pre-primaries “We made consultations with your friends and even your enemies and sometimes all of them speak on one good quality about you”, explained their leader in a video that recently went viral. “Most of them have agreed that you stand out as been patient and thats firm and your spirit of forgiving whoever so offends you, in politics, is highly commendable. Your Excellency, we plea and we would want to see more of the public participation between you, the VP, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and all other aspirants that contested against you. You are the candidate. You have won. You are already the winner and you are going to be the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Sir, my group has a structure in the 19 Northern States, we brought in the Coordinators from the 54 Senatorial districts from the 19 States. We are for now in the 19 Northern States. We promise that with the commitment, the perseverance we would deliver you in 2023. When it was Tinubu’s turn to respond, Tinubu said I have nothing against Osinbajo. I have been to his house after the primaries. I saw him the day of the Goodwill message to the Retreat organised by the President. I am a man who forgives, a man who asks for forgiveness from God.
So, why is Osinbajo and his wife keeping off?
Insiders have explained that it is because, having lost out at the primaries, Osinbajo is no longer comfortable with members of the Tinubu political family who see Osinbajo’s decision to contest against Asiwaju at the primaries as a bad move. They also feel he should have taken a last minute decision to step down, like others did at the primaries.
City People gathered that since VP Osinbajo lost out at the APC primaries, he has found it difficult to work with Tinubu, despite all the overtures Tinubu has made to him to join forces with him and support his bid for presidency.
He has also found it increasingly difficult to associate with members of the Tinubu faction in APC who no longer trust him.
Although Tinubu had reportedly instructed his supporters not to victimise or criticise the VP for his political move to contest against him, many of them are still angry with the VP for what they refer to as his act of betrayal.
Tinubu had reportedly told his supporters that there was no winner or loser in the contest and that once the race was over, there was the need to come together as one.
But City People has found out that it has been difficult for the VP to work with the Tinubu group. This is because he feels a sense of victimisation by members of the group and he no longer feels comfortable among some of the APC members loyal to Tinubu. We gathered that the VP does not like the stigma of betrayal being heaped on him.
We also gathered that many of Tinubu’s loyalists also find it difficult to trust the VP, having betrayed his political godfather.
So, we hear the issue of trust has become a big issue between the VP and the loyalists of Tinubu.
City People gathered that many of Tinubu’s loyalists find it difficult to forgive the VP because of his refusal to step down last minute when a lot of South-West aspirants at the venue, like Kayode Fayemi, Ibikunle Amosun, Dimeji Bankole, all stepped down to pave way for Tinubu to emerge.
Fayemi, in a recent interview with City People, revealed how he, Amosun and others all had to step down to enable Tinubu emerge victorious.
City People has it on good authority that the VP feels badly hit by his loss at the primaries and since then, he has withdrawn from all APC activities at the ward, local government, state and national levels.
He was also conspicously absent at the official presentation of the Manifesto of Tinubu recently held in Abuja. By that move, he and his wife have become isolated and they don’t get invited to major events across the South-West.
A few weeks back, the 1st Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari hinted at this, when she wondered why some of those who lost in the last presidential primary elections have remained in traumatic situations.
She spoke at the ground breaking ceremony for the Armed Forces Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Centre, a project of the Mrs. Lucky Irabor-led Defence & Police Officers’ Wives Association.
Aisha Buhari explained how she had tried to reach out to those who lost out at the primary polls but hit brick wallsm adding that they had been living in traumatic condition and remained incommunicado.
She wondered why politicians who lost bids to clinch their political parties presidential tickets should render themselves almost inconsolable and even switched off their phones till date for people not to reach them…over a simple primary election. I tried to console them.”
“I tried to talk to them. Some of them have switched off their phones up till today…” she said.
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