Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, some powerbrokers in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are already mounting pressure on Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, national leader of the party, to bury his rumoured presidential ambition in 2023 and queue behind Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Daily Independent has gathered.
Even though Tinubu is yet to declare whether he will run in 2023 or not, a lot of his supporters believe he is very much interested in the race and his silence is borne out of his desire not to distract the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is yet to mark two years of his second term in office.
However, some of his supporters have been launching several groups, both at home and in the diaspora, to rally support for his ambition, saying it is non-negotiable.
Also, some prominent Nigerians have also been canvassing support for Tinubu’s presidential ambition, saying he is the best man to succeed President Buhari in 2023. They include Babachir Lawal, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); elder statesman, Tanko Yakassai, Senator Abdulfatai Buhari, Chief Henry Ajomale and several others.
Daily Independent gathered that prominent leaders of APC have resolved to zone the position of national chairman to the North while the presidency will be zoned to the South, with many of them agreeing in principle that it will be unfair for the North to retain the position after President Buhari must have completed his eight years.
It was also learnt that many of the party leaders, especially in the Northern bloc of the country, are favourably disposed to Osinbajo taking over from Buhari based on his loyalty, commitment and deep knowledge of the programmes of the government, especially relating to the management of the economy.
According to a credible source in the party, “There is no doubt Asiwaju is interested in the 2023 presidential race. He has every right to do so and he is very qualified based on his record as a former senator, governor of Lagos for eight years and what he has been able to achieve nationally even after leaving office.
“But for many of us, we believe that if the presidency is zoned to the South and later micro-zoned to the South- West, the current vice president should be allowed to take over from the president. We have adduced so many reasons for this”.
“The first is that he has been tested before and he has proven that he has the expertise to manage the affairs of a diverse nation like Nigeria. We are all witnesses to what happened in 2017 when President Buhari was ill and the vice president presided over the affairs of the nation in acting capacity.
“That was a period when Nigeria was almost at the precipice with many groups in the country, especially the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), seeking self-determination. He was able to manage the situation very well to the admiration of the whole country and even the president commended him upon his return to the country.