The man Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not strange in the dynamics of Nigerian politics. He is one of the foremost and most influential politicians in Nigeria. Aside from being a former Federal Legislator and Governor of Lagos state, he is a National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress and generally thought to be desirous of nursing an ambition to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari when his (Buhari’s) tenure expires in 2023.
Tinubu, a high ranking member of the APC, has in recent times been in the news for several reasons. However, the most common reason is his purported ambition to run for the President in 2023, when the second and final tenure of the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari will expire.
This purported ambition of Tinubu has generated mixed reactions from within the ranks of APC and indeed various quarters of the country. While some persons support the idea of Tinubu running for President, most of the stakeholders who oppose the idea have started making moves to frustrate the ambition that has not even been declared.
Political analyst and enthusiast have opined that the leadership crisis that rocked the ranks of APC recently was orchestrated by some persons to remove the then National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole from office as he was perceived to be working assiduously to actualise the 2023 Presidential ambition of Tinubu.
The latest secret plot geared towards frustrating Tinubu’s plan for the 2023 presidency is the presumed effort by some political bigwigs to put Senator Ahmed Lawan, the current Senate President, forward to contest for the 2023 presidency as the candidate of the APC.
From the inception of the crisis that led to the eventual removal of Adams Oshiomole as the National Chairman of the APC, concerned party members raised the alarm that there is a gang up against Tinubu’s ambitions by a powerful group within the party believed to be headed by Kaduna governor, Nasir El-Rufai and Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi.
However, Tinubu doused the tension raised by these insinuations by constantly assuring his supporters and other members of the party that all is well with his relevance to the rank of APC leadership and the party as a whole. But now that the report that the Senate President is also eyeing the nation’s top seat, Tinubu might have to change his game plan, else, it might be too late in a few months’ time.
This time, the man under reference, Senator Ahmed Lawan has said that it is too early to start talking about the politics of 2023 presidential elections. He insisted that as Senate President and the Chairman of the Ninth National Assembly, he does not want to neglect or be get distracted from the task enshrined on his person by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Besides, Lawan is an ally of Tinubu. In 2015, Tinubu was one of the strongest voices rooting for Lawan to become Senate President (for the eighth assembly) before Senator Bukola Saraki outsmarted them. Tinubu’s support for Lawan did not wither as he demonstrated the support for Lawan’s quest to take another shot for the Senate Presidency in 2019.
As the forces against Tinubu within APC are beginning to weaken his structures and reducing his relevance in the party, Tinubu might eventually have to consider pitching his tent with the main opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to actualise his ambition to be President in 2023 (if he really has an ambition though).
Tinubu has been at the center of almost all the conversations that have been flying around about the 2023 Presidency. Aside from being a top politician from the ruling APC, Tinubu usually get mentions when issues about the 2023 presidency are discussed because he is from the Southern part of the country, where it is generally believed both prominent parties (APC and PDP) will zone the candidacy of the presidential candidates come 2023.
That aside, Tinubu was believed to have suspended his ambitions in 2015 so the (then) newly-formed All Progressives Congress (APC) could settle for Muhammadu Buhari who was, at that time, perceived to be more popular and befitting for their plan to unseat the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
So it is understandable if a lot of people still believe Tinubu is still nursing his ambition to become President. That can be authenticated by his decision not to hold any significant position in the party since the party was formed. He has always been referred to as ‘National Leader’ a position not recognised by the constitution of the party.
Tinubu’s growing influence - occasioned by his support for several candidates who eventually got elected or appointed into various offices across the country might be the backbone of the opposition he is getting within the ranks of the APC. Several political gladiators who feel their ambitions will suffer if Tinubu still has that degree of influence, choose the tactical (but tricky) way to reduce the influence or end his presidential ambition or both!
Now that the Anti-Tinubu forces have successfully removed Oshiomole, who was believed to be a strong ally of Tinubu, it is evident that these people will leave no stone unturned in their quest to significantly reduce the relevance of Tinubu in the party. Although Tinubu is respected for his brilliance and strategy, he might need more than that to survive these plots and others that his adversaries might have in stock.
The party APC as currently constituted does not seem like a reliable platform for Tinubu if he really wants to be president. Unlike in 2015, forming a new party is not a reasonable alternative now. Things have changed significantly and the promise of change would not move people like it did in 2015. The feasible and the only available option for Tinubu to actualise his presidential ambition will be to move to PDP and help the opposition party remove APC from power.
The PDP will no doubt welcome Tinubu into their fold should he decide to join the party. They have received Atiku Abubakar and others in the past, so that will not be a problem. Besides, they will be happy to put his brilliance and strategy into good use as they plan and prepare to retain the presidency they lost in 2015 when APC’s Muhammadu Buhari defeated the then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan to end PDP’s 16-year rule.
What do you think?
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