Former Lagos State Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is also the national leader of the All Progresives Congress, needs to take at least three concrete steps after the comments and perhaps verdicts made by President Muhammadu Buhari over the issue of zoning in the political party ahead of 2023 general elections.
The president talked today and there are signals that the APC might not readily give its presidential ticket to the former governor of Lagos State. Muhammadu Buhari, who seldom talks about the internal affairs of the APC, talked today and one way or the other what he said would seriously affect Tinubu, who is considered the pillar of the party.
While granting an interview today, the president said, “Nobody is just going to sit in Lagos and tell them what to do. This is what we are arranging". The president didn't shed light on the matter but by mentioning Lagos State, every political analyst would understand the president's message.
The issue of zoning will of course cause some issues in the party. While a section of the stakeholders of the party believe that zoning should be adopted, others argue that the constitution of the country allows every qualified Nigerian to jostle for the office of President of the country. The other side seems to be correct though.
There is no document to prove that the APC agreed upon zoning and that means the party is free to use whatever patterns it deems fit by its national leaders. Of course, President Muhammadu Buhari is from northern Nigeria, he was nominated in 2015 for the APC ticket because he was considered capable of winning the presidential election and to remove the People's Democratic Party (PDP) from power.
Now that things are getting clearer, Bola Ahmed Tinubu should take some meaningful steps. The first one is that he needs to visit President Muhammadu Buhari once again. He should seek the audience of the head of the country and let the president provide more explanation on what he meant while granting the interview.
President Muhammadu Buhari might be misconstrued or he didn't really mean any harm when he referred to Lagos while talking. The president might just be talking about general things within the party, hence, the former Lagos State governor should have a one-on-one talk with Buhari. Then, the president can clear the air and explain better what he meant during the interview.
The second step is that Bola Tinubu should have a meeting with his trusted allies. The good news for the national leader is that he has several governors whom he can rely upon and totally trust. The Lagos State governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Osun State governor Mr Gboyega Oyetola, the Ogun State governor Dapo Abiodun among others will always want to back Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Even in the cabinet of the president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has his own loyalists. He can walk up to Mr. Babajide Raji Fasola, Mr. Sunday Dare, who is the current minister of youths and sports, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola among others. Mr. Tinubu simply needs to gather these top echelons of the APC and rub minds with them ahead of 2023.
Recently a stakeholders meeting of the APC was held in Lagos State. Several chieftains of the APC were present though the meeting involved only the southwest. Yet it was well attended. Then, it will be highly advisable for Tinubu to step up the meeting and involve the stalwarts in his agenda.
The last step that Tinubu should take involves getting ready for the worst that may happen. To be candid, if a powerful northern politician stands up for the APC ticket, Tinubu may lose out. Then, he needs to prepare an alternative. And that is he should get the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) ready for revival. The old party should be revived.
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