Lagos – The camp of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and frontline presidential aspirant for the 2023 presidential election, has reportedly slowed mobilisations for him across the country since the conclusion of the party’s national convention in Abuja.
This has led to worry among loyalists of the former Lagos State governor on whether he will still proceed in the race, Daily Independent has gathered. Prior to the convention, Tinubu, who said it has been his lifelong ambition to become president of Nigeria, had embarked on consultations with major political stakeholders across the country while various support groups led by the South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023 (SWAGA’23) and the Tinubu Support Group (TSG) also carried out sensitisations for him across the country.
However, all the momentum has waned since the conclusion of the party’s national convention in Abuja on March 26.
Stakeholders in the party informed Daily Independent that the Tinubu’s camp had preferred former Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Al-Makura as the national chairman.
However, at the last minute, President Muhammadu Buhari asked that the name of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, another former Nasarawa State governor, who was the chairman of the party’s National Reconciliation Committee, be included in the list of chairmanship aspirants.
The president also pleaded with the governors and other stakeholders to adopt the consensus method in electing the new national chairman.
Even though many of the governors and party leaders disagreed with the president’s choice, they deferred to him out of respect and Adamu was elected the national chairman after other aspirants stepped down for him.
Even though it has not been officially announced, stakeholders in the party believe that the party will also adopt the consensus method in choosing the party’s presidential candidate, a situation that SWAGA leaders have said is unacceptable.
Speaking with Daily Independent, a chieftain of the party confirmed that he noticed the momentum in Tinubu’s camp has gone down since the conclusion of the national convention.
“Yes, I was talking to some members of our party on a WhatsApp platform we belong to and majority of us believe that not much has been heard from Tinubu’s camp since our party concluded the national convention.
The reason for this is not clear. Could it be that he wants to step down? Could it be that he has seen the handwriting on the wall that it may not go his way? We wait and see what plays out in the days ahead”, he said. When contacted, Hon. Bosun Oladele, SWAGA’s National Secretary, said it is not true that the group has slowed down its activities in campaigning for Tinubu’s presidency.
According to him, the group only decided to respect the Ramadan and Lenten season which calls for sober reflections and supplications.
“No, that is not true. We have not slowed down. We are just being sensitive and responsive to the dictates of the moment. Number one, if you observe, this is the Lenten period and also the Ramadan period. Normally in every sphere of human endeavour, it is always a moment of sober reflection and supplication.
“So, the only tempo which is high now is the spiritual activities. We believe in that and the need to respect supplications for individuals and groups.
What a better time we have than now to even seek the face of God for our project.
“Rather than slow down as being speculated, we have even taken our project to another dimension and very soon there are some states that are also beckoning to us and we are ready to proceed there. In the course of time, we will unveil that”, he said.
In a related development, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will tomorrow formally declare his ambition to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the APC. An associate of the vice president who is an arrowhead of The Progressive Lawyers for Osinbajo disclosed this to Daily Independent on Tuesday.
He said the vice president has already informed major leaders in the party and has already consulted with prominent elder statesmen in the country who have all given him their blessings.
“Yes, the vice president will make his declaration on Thursday. If there is any shift in the date, it can’t be beyond Friday. I was reliably told that the declaration is not going to be a formal gathering.
I think he will just do a recorded video that will then be shared by his media aides.”
A senior official in the vice president’s office who also confirmed the development said all things being equal, the vice president will make his intention known by weekend.