NigeriaNewsDirect - The national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has set a machinery in motion to contest and win the 2019 presidential election.
Sources close to the former Lagos governor told Nigerian NewsDirect that there had been intense pressure on Tinubu to take a shot at the number one post in the country since the cabals in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet shut him out of power scheme after he led the presidential campaign which finally gave Buhari victory at the presidential poll after contesting for the fourth time.
Tinubu had previously supported former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar for presidency under the platform of defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2007, former Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu in 2011 before pitching his tent with Buhari in 2015. Since he left government house as a governor in 2007, Tinubu had not contested for any election but had been instrumental to the electoral victory of almost all the governors in the Southwest except Ayodele Fayose and Rotimi Akeredolu in Ekiti and Ondo states respectively.
“The health condition of the President (Buhari) makes it abundantly clear that the President will not contest for second time, so Asiwaju will have ample opportunity to contest” a source told Nigerian NewsDirect.
Our correspondent gathered that Tinubu is not ready to support any candidate for presidency again after his bitter experience with Buhari.
“Jagaban has made up his mind to contest in 2019 because age may be against him in 2023 because Nigerians may not want to vote anybody above 70 years as President again due to the experience they are currently having with Buhari” a loyalist of Tinubu, who was a former House of Representatives member told Nigerian NewsDirect.
Tinubu was born on March 29, 1952 and will be 67 years in 2019.
To achieve his ambition, Tinubu has started building political structures up north.
“Political alignment and re-alignment have started among the progressives and democrats so as to save the country. It’s not about political party or even Tinubu this time around but operation rescue Nigeria” another APC chieftain who does not want his name in print told Nigerian NewsDirect.
“Very soon, you will start to see the event unfolds. Asiwaju is still lying low because of the president’s health challenge but he will soon start campaigning” he said.
When asked if Tinubu will support Buhari in case the President decides to contest for second time.
He replied “I don’t know, I don’t think so but even, if he will drop his ambition to support him, it won’t be like that of 2015 where there was no agreement whatsoever”.
Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that consultation has reached top stage.
“Meetings are held at least twice in Osogbo and Lagos every week. The diaspora chapter will soon be inaugurated while other logistics are being put in place” a source told Nigerian NewsDirect.
In the meantime, powerful politicians from the north are being recruited in Tinubu’s camp daily especially those who lost out in power tussle against Buhari’s loyalists.
We have northern governors who are ready to vote for Asiwaju even if the party (APC) decides to organize primary election to select its candidate but we won’t reveal their identities now for security reasons”
The only part of the country Tinubu is having challenges is South East where majority of the APC members are strong loyalists of Buhari while others belong to the rival political parties like All Progressives Grand Alliance,(APGA) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and United Progressive Party (UPP).