Home Politics Osinbajo may clash with Tinubu over 2023 presidential ambition

Osinbajo may clash with Tinubu over 2023 presidential ambition

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The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is ready to fight the presidential battle after his ambitions collided with those of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu,

According to a report by THISDAY, Osinbajo is left with no choice but to throw his hat in the ring after the former Lagos State Governor snubbed him in London.

Tinubu returned to Nigeria earlier this month after spending more than three months on medical leave in London, due to undergoing knee surgery.

While the two-time governor was in London, no fewer than 30 politicians, including President Muhammadu Buhari, Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Umar Ganduje (Kano), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), visited him in London.

The Northern faction in the House of Representatives, headed by deputy speaker Hon. Ahmed Wase also visited the APC national leader and endorsed his candidacy for the 2023 presidency.

According to the report, a source close to Osinbajo said the VP was snubbed by Tinubu when he visited the latter in London.

“Essentially, Osinbajo arrived London to attend a conference and then, see Tinubu. As he arrived, he was supposed to see Tinubu the next morning but Tinubu left town by 6 a.m. the next morning to avoid seeing him. Even Adeboye (General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye) had arrived a day earlier and they planned to see Tinubu,” the source said.

The source disclosed that Osinbajo needed to make up his mind after his failed attempts to see Tinubu.

“Tinubu has ramped up his campaign and Osinbajo also wants to be president and both cannot be president.

“So, now the die is cast for the battle of his life. He has not decided to run but a lot of people are mobilising him to run,” the source explained.

The report also stated that a source close to Tinubu said if Osinbajo wanted to come and see him, he had enough time since the former governor of Lagos State stayed in London for two and a half months.

“The president came to see Asiwaju; other leaders came; Osinbajo did not come. If Osinbajo had wanted to come, he had enough time to do so. Tinubu wanted to return because he wanted to avoid the crowd in Lagos. And he returned when he did,” he explained.

However, it appears that Osinbajo could break away from his political mentor over the 2023 presidency. During his birthday in March 2020 when Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule, on behalf of the APC Progressive Governors Forum, suggested that Osinbajo is a good candidate to succeed Buhari.

Osinbajo supporters, under the auspices of the Progressive Consolidation Group (PCG), became the first and only support group to obtain APC approval to request support for his promotion as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 presidential elections.

The approval was contained in a letter titled, ‘Letter of Recognition as a Support Group,’ dated October 4, 2021, 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.”

While supporters of Osinbajo and Tinubu have insisted that the alleged attempt to pit the two leaders against each other will fail, there is no indication that either of them will abandon their presidential aspirations.

In response to a report that groups destined to support Tinubu and Osinbajo clashed with each other during the 2023 Presidency, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, had said in a statement that neither the vice-president nor his office will endorse “this kind of a divisive engagement and news reports”.

“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are members of the same party,” the former senator said.

“Osinbajo regards Tinubu as a respected leader of a political family to which he belongs and will therefore not for any reason endorse an endeavour that seeks to pitch them against each other.

“We are not unaware of some people who may want to foist a crack among our leaders. Such an attempt is abortive. Osinbajo and Tinubu relationship dates way back and it shall continue to wax strong,” Ojudu reportedly explained.

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