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General News of Friday, 3 June 2022


2023: Tinubu turns confrontational over Buhari's 'support' of another aspirant

Former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu Former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has thrown jabs at persons he says benefitted immensely from his benevolence as he switched up his campaign ahead of the upcoming All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries next week.

Tinubu, who is one of the leading aspirants from the ruling party is believed to have changed his mode of campaign amidst plans by President Muhammadu Buhari to work with governors to pick his successor.

Speaking in the local Yoruba dialect in Ogun on Thursday, June 2 Tinubu said for over 25 years, he provided a political refuge for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar when he was chased out of the PDP by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He narrated how he offered his ACN platform to Nuhu Ribadu in 2011.

While speaking, Mr. Tinubu also directed his jab at his host, Governor Dapo Abiodun, saying “this one (Mr Abiodun), would he have become governor if I had not backed him?”

Even President Buhari was not spared in the jab.

“If not me that led the war from the front, Buhari would not have emerged as the president. He contested first, second and third times, but lost. He even said on television that he won’t contest again,” he said.

The presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contested for president in 2007 on the ticket of the Action Congress (AC), a party founded by Bola Tinubu. Former EFCC Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu also contested on the platform of the ACN in 2011.

Both men lost to the PDP on both occasions.

The former National Leader of the APC is believed to have nominated Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo as Vice President in 2015 while he is reported to have sponsored several political associates for political offices.

It is speculated that the recent direct approach by Tinubu is likely to be connected to a request by President Buhari who urged State governors in the party to back him to select a successor.

The president left the country immediately after dropping the bombshell on the party.

DAILY POST findings revealed that the statement by the president has created sharp division among the governors

In several of the meetings held, some governors from the North have called for a candidate from the North to battle the former Vice President Atiku. While some governors, who feel they are closer to the President, are seeing themselves as likely candidates, according to Daily Post.

Governors have been meeting behind closed doors to suggest candidates to the President, however, they have become more divided.

A source in Tinubu’s camp, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tinubu has switched the campaign to payback and demanding from loyalists to return the favour.

“We are barely 4 days away from the convention. The proposed consensus candidacy from southwest is not feasible and many of the aspirants from the region are not willing to step down.

“So, as you have seen in Abeokuta, the mode of the campaign has changed. While Sen Kashim Shettima may beg delegates in Calabar, at home, we have to remind them they owe us. The governor of Ogun State is not invincible. He is running for the second time, so it is crucial he is reminded of that fact,” he said.

Another source said the statement by the president has emboldened candidates from the north, citing the case of Ahmad Lawan, who has intensified his campaign since Atiku won the primaries.

It would be recalled that Mr Lawan appointed Orji Uzor Kalu as his campaign DG, while about 25 politicians from the southeast also gave open endorsement to the Senate President.

“We cannot take chances any longer. With reports that governors are debating power remaining in the North, there is a need for a change of approach,” the source said.

“At this point, taking the battle to Ogun State, the State of Osinbajo, is like sending a clear message to Abuja that even in Ogun State, Tinubu is strong.

“If you have been monitoring the primary in Ogun State. Two close allies of Tinubu defeated two incumbents. Olamilekan Yayi defeated Tolu Odebiyi and Gbenga Daniel defeated Lekan Mustapha.”

While campaigns are ongoing, everyone involved is still waiting for President Buhari, who is in Spain for a state visit. However, all aspirants are in last push for the finishing line.

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