2023: The Gathering Storm Against Tinubu

When the senator representing Kaduna Central senatorial district,Shehu Sani, in a tweet, raised the alarm that some persons in the All Progressives Congress in the state have perfected plans to carry out campaign of calumny against the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, not many people took him seriously. This is on account of his no love lost between him and the governor of Kaduna, Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, but the two attack against Tinubu coming in quick succession first from Miyetti Allah Kautal

Hore and some northern youths seem to lend credence to Sani’s red flag. The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore through its leader, Abdulahi Bodejo said Tinubu can never succeed President Muhammadu Buhari. And as if that’s not enough, the northern youth in a statement widely circulated said Tinubu’s inordinate ambition is why he is vociferous about having Femi Gbajabiamila as speaker of the House of Representatives. The youth went further to assert that having his man , Prof Yemi Osinbajo as the Vice President and another as speaker is like positioning himself in case of eventuality. They argued that in case President Buhari was not able to finish his tenure through ill health or other natural causes, it will pave the way for Tinubu. And in case, he doesn’t suffer any ailment before then, Tinubu,  they said will through Gbajabiamila impeach the President in 2022 to further his ambition. 

The Miyetti Allah Coastal Hore was so vehement that Tinubu should perish the thought of succeeding President Buhari as if the group is part of the national working committee of the APC. 

In an interview granted the Saturday Sun, the leader of the group, Bodejo attacks Tinubu ceaselessly that the former chairman of the APC in Lagos , Otunba Henry Ajomale had to fire back at the Miyetti Allah group that it is only God and not the group that will determine who succeeds President Buhari in 2023.

Who is behind the Miyetti Allah’s campaign of calumny against Tinubu? Who is afraid of his growing popularity in the party he helped to midwife and gaining national prominence? 

Those in the know said apart from pockets of opposition from his south west base from some of the governors and some personalities, the northern cabal led by Governor el-Rufai, has not hidden his disdain for the persona of Tinubu. In fact, immediately after the presidential and national assembly elections, el – Rufai through some of his aides issued scathing remarks, mocking Tinubu over what he described as his poor performance in the south west, especially in Lagos where he superintendent that there was nothing to write home going by the votes the APC received. El-Rufai is also said to be working with a prominent pastor in south west who has never hidden his disdain for Tinubu’s brand of politics to make him a laughing stock and unelectable in 2023. And the plans are said to be multifaceted.

Recently, a group of Yoruba elders led by Senator Ayo Fasanmi and Professor Banji Akintoye at a forum in Ado Ekiti called upon the governor, John Kayode Fayemi to start preparing for 2023 since it will be the turn of the south west to have another shot at the presidency. Shortly after, the Afenifere Renewal Group also met with Fayemi in Ado-Ekiti to impress it on him to run in 2023 even when it was obvious that Tinubu has made it clear long ago that he will wait till 2023 if President Buhari wanted to seek a second term in 2019. Was the statements made by Senator Fasanmi and Prof Akintoye as well as ARG calling on Fayemi to contest for president in 2023 a mere coincidence? 

Fayemi has also been to Kigali recently to give lecture where he met with President Paul Kigame. Presidency sources maintain that several lectures and other programs within and outside the country has been arranged for Fayemi to networking preparatory to 2023. His tenure as Ekiti state Governor will end in 2022.

Analysts say the gathering storm against the presidential ambition of Tinubu is growing by the day, especially from a ‘recalcitrant’ group made up of his former ‘boys’ who felt he should give way for the younger people in the region. 

The source hinted that Fayemi may have been positioned to take over from President Buhari. This may also have the imprimatur of el-Rufai.

This may also be responsible for the opposition to the speakership ambition of Gbajabiamila from the south west, where he ought to be getting support.

Those who hold this position say Bimbo Daramola, a former member of House of Representatives is the Director General of Mohammed Bago, a Representatives from Niger state vying for the speakership with Gbajabiamila. Incidentally , Hon. Daramola was also campaign Director for Fayemi gubernatorial project in 2018. Daramola had while campaigning for Bago on a current affairs program monitored in Lagos on Monday, said his party , the APC should follow the principles of federal character as enshrined in the Constitution which is the ground norm. Daramola stated that the margin of votes in the Niger state alone in support of President Buhari was more than the entire south west. He was also of the opinion that since the south west already have the Vice President, it will be equitable and just for another geo-Political zones to have their representatives in accordance with federal character.

Tinubu is also said to be having problems with the governor of Ondo state , Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, who has accused Tinubu as the brain behind the suspension clamped on him by the APC. Also in Lagos , it is not yet uhuru for Tinubu and his boys- Babajide Sanwoolu and Femi Hamzat. The  gubernatorial candidates of the Alliance for Democracy, Owolabi Salis and the Labour Party has filed an action to stop the APC Governor-elect from being sworn -in on May 29 on account of allegations from the incumbent governor, Akinwumi Ambode that Sanwoolu was not of sound mind having been rehabilitated sometimes ago at Gbagada General hospital. He also alleged that Sanwoolu was once arrested in the US for spending fake dollars. The whole crisis came to a climax last week when Ambode defied Tinubu and invited President Buhari to commission  some of his “uncompleted projects”. All the south west governors with the exemption of Osun state Governor , Gboyega Oyetola, who is a cousin of Tinubu came in solidarity with Ambode while Tinubu stayed away from the commissioning. Ambode seems to have gotten a pass mark in evaluation of his projects as President Buhari commended him for a job well done. This may have further increased his chances of clinching the ministerial position he was promised when all pleas for him to return for a second term fell on deaf ears.

Will Tinubu be able to pull through in the midst of the daunting opposition against his presidential ambition? The days ahead  and the intrigues in the APC will determine who hold the ace.

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