The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, is set to declare his interest in the 2023 presidential election tomorrow, Monday, capping months of behind-the-scene – yet apparent – mobilisations that have fuelled speculations and pitted the No 2 against his erstwhile boss Bola Tinubu.
According to sources with knowledge of the plans, except there is a change, Mr Osinbajo’s declaration will not involve any formal event or public gathering.
Rather, he will release a recorded video of about seven to 10 minutes, addressing the public and declaring his 2023 ambition to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
The video will be distributed across his social media handles and the sources said the campaign team will get to working immediately afterwards.
This style is different from how others had previously gone about declarations.
Former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha addressed a public gathering sharing a pattern with former Rivers State Governor and transportation minister Rotimi Amaechi, who announced his intention before a filled stadium in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Mr Tinubu, former Lagos Governor, and Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi spoke to the press directly after having, separately, met with Mr Buhari at the State House.
However, Mr Osinbajo’s announcement video will be preceded by a ceremonial iftar – the Muslim break of Ramadan – with APC governors at his official residence tonight, sources said.
At the gathering, he is going to inform the governors of his intention to contest; though, he had previously told each of them individually.
Meanwhile, in preparation for the battle to pick the APC ticket, the Osinbajo camp has already opened a campaign office at 15B Buchanan Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja.
In addition to travelling across states for support, Mr Osinabjo’s team had organised opinion polls to guide his decision on the 2023 election. In one such poll, participants were asked to choose their preferred president between Rabiu Kwakwanso, former Kano State Governor, Mr Tinubu, and Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President.
In another poll, participants were asked to indicate if they would vote for Mr Osinbajo – and this particular poll yielded 63 per cent yes votes, sources said.
Mr Osinbajo is believed to enjoy a wide appeal among the population but how he is going to mobilise the political capital to defeat Mr Tinubu or Mr Amaechi – two of his main challengers – remains to be seen.