Revelation has emerged why the three former Nigerian leaders, who are also ex-military generals met behind-closed-door in Minna Nigeria State some weeks back
It was gathered from highly placed sources according to New Telegraph that it was the Osinbajo debate that prompted the meeting between Obasanjo and former military leaders, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar in Minna recently.
Although the three former leaders did not make public their decision, it was learnt that the idea of Osinbajo running affairs until 2019 and conducting an election where the North will field fresh candidates was top on their discussion.
A source said that one name that was accepted as the likely successor in 2019 is a former Governor of Kano State and former Minister of Defence, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
No doubt, Kwankwaso relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be said to be cordial.
An APC chieftain said: “They may have settled for Kwankwaso because of certain factors.” Part of the reasons is that more than any other politician in the north, Kwankwaso is seen as commanding a large followership in Kano and most states of the North-West.
He is also said to be preferred by Obasanjo, who is said to be doing everything he could to ensure that Atiku Abubakar, his former vice, did not get the ticket of the presidency in 2019 in any major political party. Kwankwaso came second in the APC primaries in Lagos in 2015 while Atiku came third. New Telegraph was also informed that Atiku has, of late, became worried over Osinbajo.
It was leanrned according to source that the former vice president did not factor the Osinbajo’s angle to his calculations when he started crisscrossing the country in preparation for 2019.
That, it was gathered, also put a strain in Atiku’s relationship with the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. The source said: “Asiwaju and Atiku were on the same chapter up till the time Buhari travelled in January. But the way the media was hyping Osinbajo in acting capacity made Atiku to wonder if Tinubu was not prepping Osinbajo up for 2019. I must be frank with you, since that time, Atiku has been viewing them with suspicion.
There is no open war really, but the trust is not much between them. Atiku feels that his ambition may be truncated by the Osinbajo/ Tinubu moves.”
It was further gathered that some northern leaders are also tinkering with the possibility of resolving the crisis in the PDP early enough as an emergency vehicle, should the calculations for a northern president not sail on the APC ship in 2019. Sources said that what happened in 2015, where the north jettisoned political differences to usher in Buhari might be an option in 2019 if matters get to that level.
But as the calculations continue, some governors of the APC from the North are also warming up for the battle of 2019. At least, three governors from the North-West are currently oiling their machines, while about two from the North-East are also doing same.
Outside the APC, a former Governor of Jigawa State, Dr. Sule Lamido is already on the field, declaring his intention to run. But the fear of the North is mainly the individual ambitions of the governors and many political heavyweights from the region, who believe that there is vacancy in Aso Rock in 2019.
There are also fears that the actions of some governors of the region might jeopardise the unity of the zone then