2023 Presidency: How North Divides Osinbajo, Tinubu

2023 Presidency: How North Divides Osinbajo, Tinubu
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Mustapha Suleiman

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and his political godfather and leader of the All Progressives Congress Party , APC, Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu have seemingly been pitched against each other ahead of the 2023 general elections.

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 Tinubu, two time governor of Lagos State appointed Osinbajo as his Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state and was rumoured to have nominated Osinbajo as a running mate to General Muhamadu Buhari, retd, after losing his bid to be so, due to the Muslim-Muslim ticket controversy that trailed the party`s election 6 years ago.

The contributions of Tinubu to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari is so overwhelming that he was routed to be his running mate, but both being Muslims derailed it.

In fact, the deep rooted political enmity between the former Senate President Bukola Saraki, who was once a strong member of APC before his defection to PDP and Tinubu was linked to Saraki`s faction rejection of the Tinubu /Buhari`s ticket which later made Tinubu to present his former commissioner in person of Osinbajo as the running mate to president Buhari.

But as of now, there is doubt whether the duo are having the best of political relationship as they were known for owing to their ambition to succeed President Buhari come  2023.    

Indications emerged that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is interested in the presidency the same position his godfather Tinubu is so much interested in;this was made clear last week when the APC secretariat in Abuja endorsed a pro-Osinbajo support group for the 2023 presidential election.

These supporters of Osinbajo, under the aegis of the Progressives Consolidation Group, received the approval of the All Progressives Congress to canvass support for his emergence as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.

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The approval was contained in a letter titled, ‘Letter of Recognition as a Support Group,’ dated October 4, and signed by the Director of Administration of the APC, Alhaji Abubakar Suleiman.

The letter, which was addressed to the PCG, read in part, “We write to inform you that the National Chairman, His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni, has approved your recognition as a support group of the party”.

Addressing reporters on the recognition, the head of the Progressive Civil Society Group, one of the sub-groups in the PCG, Mr Bala Gide, said with this development, the PCG had been given the rare privilege of becoming the first to be so recognised.

Gide said, “While we laud President Muhammadu Buhari’s forthright leadership and its populist direction which we expect an Osinbajo presidency to energetically sustain after 2023, we also applaud the focused forthrightness of the APC leadership ably led by Governor Buni.

“We deeply appreciate the widening mobilisation and deepening support that PCG and all associated groups working towards an Osinbajo presidency, all our grassroots and national leaders, as well as current governors, federal and state lawmakers along with various labour and professional groups will have further significant roles to play post-2023.

The group, however, appealed to the Vice-President Osinbajo to yield to the public demand to declare his interest run for presidency.

It also promised that members would conduct themselves with decorum and respect all other aspirants who may wish to fly the APC flag in the presidential race.

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However, political observers are of the view that the latest rivalry between the two was orchestrated by the northern politicians to weaken the

political structure of Tinubu ahead of 2023 elections. They argued that the fact that Buni endorsement of Osinbajo`s supporters group is a pointer to that fact.

But as the North schemes to divide the south and clinch the presidency after the end of Buhari`s tenure, the governors of the southern part of the country are adamant that the presidency must come to the South at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in 2023.

The political situation is rife as the northern elites are insisting that the demand of the southern governors is unconstitutional and since democracy is a game of numbers, the North has the number to win the presidential race and they are not ready to shift ground.

While the war of words rages between the North and the South, supporters of some presidential aspirants are already on the political field.

In the South-west, three names are at the front burner for the 2023 presidential race.

They are the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State. Although none of them has publicly declared interest in the contest, their structures are already on ground and some of their supporters have been going round the country soliciting support.

The question therefore is who is likely to be the choice of the South-west sub-region among the three front runners when the chips are down. Stakeholders in the region are undecided on who they would prefer.

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 Some argued that any of them who have anything to do with the present administration already has a disability that cannot be ignored.

 They, however, spelt out the qualities they would expect their presidential hopeful to possess.

The Supreme Court on last week Thursday, October 14 upheld the emergence of the ex-Central Bank of Nigeria ,CBN,  Governor Prof Charles Soludo as the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State.

A five-member panel of the apex court, led by Justice Mary Odili, was unanimous in holding that the appeal filed by the Jude Okeke’s factional leadership of APGA was without merit and proceeded to dismiss it.

The court held that the issue of party leadership and the election of party’s officials were internal affairs of a political party over which courts lacked jurisdiction.

A statement in Abuja by Oye in reaction to the judgment said: “Today the Supreme Court of Nigeria reaffirmed the leadership of APGA under me by unanimously dismissing the twin-suit filed by one Jude Okeke and his cohorts”.

Aljazirahnews


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