Struggle for the APC Presidential Ticket: 3 chieftains who may be on Buhari’s protection list
The succession bid within the APC, as President Muhammadu Buhari prepares to step aside at the end of his tenure, is taking another shape.
Contrary to assumptions in some quarters that the President popularly known as “Baba go Slow” might stand aloof and watch, it is now clear that he has an interest indeed in who succeeds him.
So much is at stake, most analysts agree, as the Nigerian people look forward to the next round of voting in 2023.
There is the future stability of the country to contemplate, the direction of the nation’s economy to worry about, and the issue of who qualifies to take the nation to the next level, to tinker with.
Given the disharmony that seemingly exists in the ruling party, the President must be considering what will happen to party cohesion and the legacy of his administration if the issue of a successor is badly mismanaged.
Already, intense political activity is picking up in the APC without the intervention of the President.
On the ground, associates of Bola Ahmed Tinubu are vowing that their principal will be the one to seat on the saddle.
They say Tinubu has given so much to the party and so should be rewarded with the office of President, regardless of his age and failing health.
The Jagaban as he is called is expected, according to his top aides, to declare his intention to govern Nigeria any time from now.
Somehow, Buhari’s latest remark appears to cast very serious aspersions on the Tinubu aspiration.
The President who spoke on the succession matter while chatting with Channels Television said he will not disclose who would take over the reigns of power after him.
He said he was worried that if the name of the favoured one is revealed, the person would be eliminated.
Said a public commentator in a chat with the Telegraph , “The President is like a pregnant lady. No one knows what the sex of the baby in the womb of the expectant mother will be.”
It may well be so.
Femi Fani-Kayode said in reaction to the comment of the Commander – in – Chief, “President Muhammad Buhari on his favourite Presidential aspirant for 2023. The deepest wisdom”.
Another political observer who also spoke under ananimous condition had this to say in a conversation with the Port Harcourt Telegraph:
“His comment makes the tussle for power more interesting. It means those parading at the moment might not have the anointing.”
Who would the President’s preferred choice be?
No one is sure if the President is merely flying a kite.
Those who know him say he may be determined to influence the emergence of a new ruler who fits into his vision of a new Nigeria.
In a country where there is a not-too-young – to – rule campaign that is going on, there are speculations President Buhari is looking for someone who is not-too-old-to-rule.
There are three persons in the APC that Nigerians are already looking at as possible aspirants that are not too old to govern the country.
Jonathan, an Ijaw, has become a regular caller at Aso Rock. Within one week, he has seen the President twice.
The former president who handed over power peacefully in 2015 has enjoyed unrestricted access to the one who defeated him, and both men when they meet apparently enjoy being seen together in pictures.
Although Jonathan is still a card carrying member of the PDP, there are strong speculations about his political future in the APC.
Some APC Governors have reportedly advised the former president to lay off the ambition to return to Aso Rock on their Party platform.
That warning, notwithstanding, the
political rumour mill is awash with tales of attempts by powerful forces, which might include President Muhammadu Buhari, to position Dr Goodluck Jonathan for the APC presidential ticket in 2023.
The rumored interest of the former president in the Presidency has set certain well placed persons, men of means and influence around the President, on edge.
The upsurge in the attacks that are being launched in his direction from various quarters indicate that cabal members existing in the APC who might believe in the possibility of Jonathan returning to the Villa may go to any length to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Most Nigerians who believe Jonathan did well in office might think that he may be the President’s first pick when it comes to the choice of a successor.
Those who believe in a Jonathan presidency think that the safety of the former President who has become one of Nigeria’s foremost envoys under the current administration may have prompted the decision not to disclose the identity of the favored one.
Professor Yemi Osinbajo:
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has surprisingly transformed into a beautufil bride.
The savvy law professor has been receiving serious endorsements of late from eminent Nigerians, including former military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
As Vice President, Osinbajo has brought style and great intellect to the table.
He has been credited with beheading certain ‘untouchables’ in the Buhari administration and cutting rare deals which has helped to keep the Buhari administration afloat.
Nigerians recall the trip of the Vice President to the South South, which opened the gateway for the unrestricted flow of oil at the time the President was not on seat.
They also remember the sack of the head of the Directorate of State Services while he was acting on behalf of the President.
Osinbajo who may enjoy the support of Awoists, some of who are members of the Afenifere, is a team player when it comes to the political camp raised by Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
The fact that the outgoing vice president would be completing a second tenure with the incumbent president shows that he enjoys the confidence of his principal.
There is perhaps a major snag. Tinubu is purportedly in the running for the presidency, and an interest in the race by Osinbajo may be seen as an act of betrayal.
The South West is preparing for the battle ahead. The geopolitical zone has produced Olusegun Obasanjo, a retired military General, as President.
The South East has not been that lucky to occupy the Presidency, and it is doubtful that the separatist agenda being pursued in the area would help matters.
The South West and the South South are capitalizing on the weakness of the Ibo quest to position themselves for the presidential run.
Pro – Tinubu supporters may not be happy with Osinbajo if he ever crosses the endorsement stage.
Reports that are emerging suggest radical Tinubu supporters might pose a huge threat to the personal safety of the Vice President if the President were to name him as a successor.
Having served as vice president for two terms, Osinbajo comes with loads of experience within the APC as the nation readies itself for the 2023 transitional period.
Rotimi Amaechi, current Minister of Transportation, is believed in well placed circles to be the apple of the President’s eyes.
Despite attempts to shade him from the President, Amaechi is one of the few powerful people in the country who have unfettered access to the Nigerian leader.
As Governor, Amaechi is reputed to have worked for the Rivers people even though many admit Governor Nyesom Wike has equally written his name in letters of gold.
Amaechi is perhaps, one of the most influential ministers in the Buhari administration.
Trillions of naira have passed through his Ministry which has become the engine room of the ongoing effort to diversify the transport sector.
Although he is yet to make any meaningful impact in his home state as well as the South East when it comes to rail development, Amaechi has left an indelible mark in the rail sector in the South Western and Northern parts of the country.
His name is being linked increasingly to the Presidential race. Some Nigerians say the one who is called the lion of the Niger Delta is allegedly the chosen one,
They are quick to point to Buhari’s reference to ‘higher office’ in one of his birthday wishes to the Ubima born politician.
Since Tinubu dipped his Champlain in water, not much has been heard from Amaechi or his supporters.
They seem to have been dwarfed by the strong media presence of the Tinubu side.
Of late, Amaechi and his people have been preoccupied with former President Jonathan, a man from a neighbouring state who is related to Rivers State by marriage.
The Transportation Minister has not spared Tinubu whom he describes as “our Leader” either.
On one accasion, Amaechi has punctured claims that Tinubu and Buhari have a pact, saying he is unaware of any agreement to cede power to the Jagaban.
Sources say the man who has served twice as the Director General of the President’s campaign organization was one of the pillars behind Buhari’s meteoric climb to power in 2015.
Amaechi has never said so in public, but there are Nigerians who swear that funds garnered by Amaechi made the difference in Buhari’s presidential bid, particularly in 2015.
Accordingly, some in the APC say there is a secret understanding between the two men.
They insist that as a result of the relationship between them and what is seen as his sterling performance in providing rail services, Buhari would hand over to Amaechi.
While Amaechi has a lot of political enemies, he is believed to be next to the heart of the Northern Oligarchs who dominate Nigeria’s political space.
The President who said he would not be quick to name a successor, some say, is possibly protecting the favored one from those who may be desperate enough to eliminate him.
Who among the three men from the South do you think the President will bring in as a successor now that Tinubu is apparently running on his own?
Why not share your thoughts on who would possibly get the Buhari nod.
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