Barely three weeks after declaring his presidential ambition, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s plan to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 seems to be shaking. A source at the Presidential Villa, who pleaded anonymity revealed that the APC chieftain did not get the response he expected from the president during his last visit to the Villa where he announced his intention to run for the country’s number one seat. The source stated that there is really nothing hidden in the whole thing, saying that the pressure on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo from Tinubu’s camp is because Buhari did not respond favourably to Asiwaju’s request.
He said: “There is really nothing hidden in the whole thing. The pressure on the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo from Tinubu’s camp is because Buhari did not respond favourably to Asiwaju’s request. He didn’t get what he was expecting from the president. “And I think there is this body language by the president which favours Osinbajo. So, what Tinubu’s team is doing basically is to say, ‘Come out, declare that you are not running, so His Excellency, President Buhari can go with us.’ That’s the push at the moment. “We agree that the V.P is loyal to both Asiwaju and Buhari. Just as he will not betray Tinubu, so he will not betray baba. He will never allow that to happen. The call for Osinbajo is directly from the people and the big man in the Villa. Even as Osinbajo is not pushing himself forward, it’s very unlikely for him to disappoint the people calling on him to run as well as his immediate boss.”
“The other camp is not sure of his silence and they are pushing him. Whichever way, he will still need Asiwaju to run. Everything is just not favouring the former governor, as we understand he didn’t also get the best response from former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida.’’ Speaking on the relationship between Osinbajo and Tinubu, the source said there is no personal issue or acrimony at the moment. He said the tension is being created by loyalists of the two actors, saying that many people were saying that Osinbajo was handed over the V.P slot by Asiwaju, hence he cannot betray his trust. The source further noted: “Admittedly, that’s quite true, but the V.P slot was not handed over to Osinbajo on a platter of gold. Osinbajo was a mother of necessity. There couldn’t have been Muslim-Muslim tickets. It couldn’t have augured well with Nigerians and APC would have lost that election.
“Recall that Asiwaju himself wanted that V.P slot. He fought for it and he was made to understand that such would amount to Muslim-Muslim tickets. When he was compelled to step down and was given the option to present names for consideration, he submitted three names.” According to the source, Osinbajo’s name was not even one of those names initially because Asiwaju was not happy with him, adding that his reason was that Osinbajo kicked against Muslim-Muslim. He stated that it was Aregbesola who insisted that it must be Osinbajo. Osinbajo was in Abuja and preparing for his case in the Supreme court when he was called. It wasn’t given to him on a platter of gold. The source also said: “The truth is that the VP will not contest if Asiwaju wants to run. But from the look of things, Buhari wants him to run. Nigerians are not even interested in Asiwaju. Many support groups are calling on him. We wait to see how things turn out.”