ALL Progressives Congress (APC) national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is reported to be considering dropping his 2023 presidential ambition plans amid glaring signs that President Muhammadu Buhari is not in support of his candidacy.
In 2015, Asiwaju Tinubu was the main architect of President Buhari’s victory after his Action Congress of Nigeria merged with the Congress for Progress Change and All Nigerian Peoples Party to form the APC. They fielded President Buhari as their candidate and their joint efforts were enough to oust the ruling Peoples Democratic Party of the then President Goodluck Jonathan.
After being re-elected in 2019, President Buhari is due to stand down in 2023 and jostling has already begun for the APC presidential ticket. Although Asiwaju Tinubu, the former Lagos State governor has not formally declared himself a candidate, posters have appeared announcing his candidacy and offices have been opened to support his presidential bid.
However, according to Olusegun Bamgbose, the national coordinator of Concerned Advocates for Good Governance (CAGG), Asiwaju Tinubu is considering withdrawing from the 2023 presidential race. He added that he believes that the cabal running the presidency and not in support of him, so he is now switching to a Plan B, which is to throw his weight behind a popular candidate.
Mr Bamgbose said: “The battle of who becomes the next president of Nigeria come 2023, has assumed a new dimension, as Tinubu considers pulling out of the presidential race. The truth of the matter is that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has commenced vast consultation as per his ambition to be the next resident of Nigeria come 2023.
“It’s becoming clearer to him that it may be an uphill battle for him to win the APC presidential ticket, given the stand of the cabals that may not eventually favour him. In order not to be politically stranded and thereby become irrelevant, he has decided to come up with his plan B to support a candidate that will be acceptable to all Nigerians, be it from the south or the north.
“The APC national leader has come to realise that his presidential ambition may mark the end of his political career if he does not play the card well enough. He has come to embrace the reality that his political fortune can end abruptly, should he make a wrong decision.
“He considers it a very big risk to confront the powers-that-be in APC as no northerner will be prepared to back Tinubu against the wish of Buhari. The general feeling among the top notchers in the APC is that Tinubu has had enough, having produced the president and vice president in 2015, so they are not very comfortable with his ambition to take over from Buhari.”