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APC Stalwart Tinubu Disowns VP Osinbajo, Says He Has No Son Grown Enough to Declare for President

Obviously not expecting one of his political mentees to challenge him to a presidential contest, former Lagos State governor and frontline presidential hopeful, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Monday, denied Vice

Obviously not expecting one of his political mentees to challenge him to a presidential contest, former Lagos State governor and frontline presidential hopeful, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Monday, denied Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as a political son, declaring he has no son grown enough to declare for president.

But Osinbajo, who announced his intention to succeed his current principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, through a short video uploaded on various social media platforms, said his over seven years of working with Buhari had provided him requisite insights to complete what the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had started.

The announcement came as the Tinubu Support Group (TSG) described Osinbajo’s presidential declaration as a betrayal of trust.

However, Chairman of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) and governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, described as a welcome development the fact that Osinbajo and Tinubu were seeking to be president of Nigeria. Bagudu said it was an indication of a robust democratic contest within a party that had endeared itself to Nigerians.

The PGF chairman also stated that APC might settle for the consensus method in the choice of its presidential candidate.

Tinubu met with about 12 APC governors at Kebbi State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, a few hours after the governors’ meeting with Osinbajo at his official residence inside Aso Rock, at the start of the vice president’s presidential campaign.

Fielding questions from journalists after the meeting, an apparent knee-jerk response to the vice president’s deft pioneering meeting with the APC governors, Tinubu denied Osinbajo outright.

Asked about the declaration of the vice president, a development many of Tinubu’s loyalists reckoned should not have happened, Tinubu declared, “I don’t have a son grown enough to declare” for the office of president.

The APC leader, who said he met with the governors of his party to seek their support for his ambition, said, “My mission here is to seek collaboration, support and encouragement of my party, the APC, for my ambition to become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as replacement for President Muhammadu Buhari after his tenure.”

Tinubu’s denial of his erstwhile political protégé is a clear indication that the battle line is drawn between both men, and the battle may get more intense and messier in the period ahead.

However, speaking earlier, Bagudu described the competitive situation in the party as a welcome development. He said Tinubu told the APC governors about his intention to vie for the presidency in 2023.

Bagudu said, “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, this morning, met members of the Progressive Governors Forum, where he stated what he has made public already – his intention to seek the office of the president come 2023, which he has already announced publicly. He briefed us on his reasons, his thinking and his message.”

Bagudu said Tinubu acknowledged the role of the governors in the last convention of the party, where they helped to steady the party and produce a leadership accepted and widely acknowledged.

“We appreciated his message and we will definitely discuss the message at one of our meetings,” Bagudu added.

Asked if Osinbajo and Tinubu’s ambitions had put the governors in a tight corner, Bagudu said the governors appreciated the development, because it was an indication that the ruling party had endeared itself to Nigerians.

He stated, “On the contrary, we appreciate our party, because it has become a party that has endeared itself to Nigerians. We have many brilliant people in our party, some serving and some not serving.

“The fact that we have people in our party that express desire to lead the party into the highest office in an electoral contest shows how much this our party has resonated with Nigerians and our party members.

“For us, it is a hallmark of success that people are showing interest, but at the end of the day, and because they are leaders of the party, they will always put the party’s interest at heart.”

On suggestions that APC might adopt a consensus candidate for the presidency, Bagudu stressed that the governors would always encourage the party to go for the best.

He said, “Don’t forget that in the 2015 presidential election primary, President Buhari contested against several others and it was a beautiful contest. There is nothing wrong. Members of the party always want to see consensus if it is possible, but we are a democratic party.

“In our last convention, we had consensus in some of the offices and election in some others. There is always misrepresentation of consensus as if people are being snowballed into positions they would rather not take.

“APC has done well as a party, President Buhari has led the party ably well and we believe strongly that come 2023, Nigerians will see another President of the APC extraction.”

Osinbajo officially declared his intention to run for president in 2023, yesterday, after meeting some APC governors at his official residence, Akinola Aguda House, within the precincts of the State House.

In the announcement video posted on his verified Twitter handle and other media platforms, including television, radio and social media platforms, Osinbajo promised to use his seven years insight and experience as the vice president to complete all that the Buhari-led APC government started at the centre since May 2015.

According to him, if given the opportunity to lead Nigeria, his experience, insights and opportunities would be used for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.

He claimed to have practically been to all the local governments in the country and had taken time to listen to the diverse experiences and yearnings of the people.

Vowing to transform the security architecture, agriculture and all other sectors for the betterment of the country, Osinbajo assured the citizens that he would build a Nigeria, where everywhere would be home for everyone.

He sought the support of all Nigerians to be their president in the next political dispensation.

Listing some of the challenges he intended to fix, if elected in 2023, the vice president said, “In this period of seven years, I have served the government in several capacities, and I have, at the direction of Mr. President, represented our country in sensitive high-level international engagements. If by the grace of God and the will of the people, I am given the opportunity, then, I believe that, first, we must complete what we have started:

“Radically transforming our security and intelligence architecture; completing the reform of our justice system, focusing on adequate remuneration and welfare of judicial personnel; ensuring justice for all and the observance of rule of law; rapidly advancing our infrastructure development, especially power, roads, railways and broadband connectivity.

“Providing an excellent environment for businesses to thrive, taking the agriculture revolution to the next level especially, mechanisation and developing the farm to table value chain, making sure that the government, its agencies and regulators serve the business community, creating a tech economy that will provide jobs for millions;

“Enhancing our Social Investment Programme to a full scale social welfare scheme, completing the promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within this decade, completing the task of ensuring that all Nigerians, male and female, attend school, reforming our educational system for relevance to the challenges of this century.

“Completing the task of universal health coverage for all, and strengthening the capacity of states and local governments to deliver on their respective mandates. Above all, front and centre of our efforts will be the provision of jobs and opportunities for our young people.”

Osinbajo added, “We will, working together, establish by the grace of God, the Nigeria of our dreams in a few short years. We will build on the foundation laid by our predecessors. We will need to move, with much speed, intentionality, and perseverance, towards the vision of a prosperous, stable, and secure nation. I am convinced beyond doubt, that, we have the creativity, the courage, the talent, and the resources to be the foremost black nation on earth.

“Let us now birth the expectations of greatness conceived generations before us. Let us build a Nigeria, where the man from Nnewi sees the man in Gusau as his brother; where the woman in Warri sees the woman in Jalingo as her sister; where the love of our nation burns alike in the hearts of boys and girls from Gboko to Yenogoa.

“Where everywhere, in this land, is home for everyone, where our diversities, tribes and faiths unite, rather than divide us. Let our tribes become one tribe; the Nigerian tribe, where all are treated fairly, justly and with respect. Where all are given equal access to the abundant opportunities that God has bestowed on this nation. It’s time.”

Meanwhile, Head of Media, Tinubu Support Group (TSG), Mr. Tosin Adeyanju, while reacting to Osinbajo’s declaration, said, “His declaration is a welcome development but a betrayal of trust to the political family he belongs to. However, he does not portend any threat to our camp.

“Our eyes are on the ball and we are counting our numbers. Our consultation continues, as our principal is meeting with governors of the party.”

Adeyanju stressed that Osinbajo’s declaration would further strengthen internal democracy as party members look forward to a transparent primary.

“We are ready for primaries with any interested person, because our principal is a true democrat,” he said

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Group Commends Osinbajo for Declaring Presidential Bid

A group, Osinbajo Volunteer Movement (OVM), commended the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, for making public his intention to contest for the position of president in 2023. The group said Osinbajo was the right man for the job.

National Publicity Secretary of the group, Comrade Kalid Ibrahim, spoke to newsmen in Bauchi on Monday, shortly after a rally held in honour of the vice president. The OVM spokesman recalled how the group had earlier called on Osinbajo to declare interest in the presidency, which he finally yielded to.

He said Nigeria needed a leader, who was strong physically and intellectually to tackle the many challenges facing the country.

Ibrahim stated, “We are very happy over the official declaration made by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to contest for the office of the president come 2023.We are supporting him, because he is mentally fit, has exceptional leadership qualities, and possesses the technical know-how to transform this nation

“The vice president has been part of this government for the past seven years, he is not a novice when it comes to affairs of this country. He is conversant with challenges facing this country. We are expecting him to consolidate on the work already laid down by President Muhammadu Buhari. This is the reason we are registering our support for him.”

Osinbajo’s Chances Bright, Tinubu Should Allow Him Grow, Says Abba-Aji

Former Presidential Liaison Officer to the National Assembly, Senator Muhammad Abba-Aji, described as bright the chances of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, following his declaration to contest the 2023 presidency.

Abba-Aji, a member of the Progressive Consolidation Group (PCG), a pro-Osinbajo lobby group, was the liaison officer to the National Assembly during tenures of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He applauded the spontaneous nationwide celebrations that greeted Osinbajo’s declaration for the 2023 presidency.

Abba-Aji stated, “I have been in politics since the early 80s and I can tell you that the Nigerian electorate is now much wiser, much more discerning and sophisticated than what you had in the past. The spontaneous rallies are a show of strength, asserting the power of the real people and it is a strong pointer to Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s very bright chances for ultimate electoral victory.

“Asiwaju is a great leader of our party and his role in bringing about an Osinbajo vice presidency has been vindicated, having performed creditably, impressing President Buhari and millions of Nigerians.

“When you have brought a great idea, you should allow such to grow and Vice President Osinbajo’s declaration for the 2023 presidency is a reflection of very sound growth and the next step is for Osinbajo to assume the presidency in 2023.”

Abba-Aji added that Osinbajo had impressed Nigerians with his performance during the periods he acted as president.

“His chances are very bright in the view of most people that I have interacted with. He is better than anyone else but we are in a democracy and others also have a right to present themselves and increase the choices available to the electorate,” he said.

Ekiti Group Endorses Osinbajo, Says VP Better Than Tinubu

A group, Osinbajo Grassroots Organisation, has begun mobilisation in Ekiti State for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, saying he is better than other contestants vying for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket, including Bola Tinubu.

To mobilise for Osinbajo, the group, on Monday, marched across the streets of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, where vehicular and human movements were disrupted for several hours.

In their hundreds, members of the group chanted solidarity songs in support of the vice president, and moved from the popular Fajuyi park through Ijigbo area to APC secretariat in Ajilosun area, where they were received by the party officials.

Addressing the crowd, leader of the group and a former House of Assembly member, Hon Femi Adeleye, saluted the vice president for accepting to contest the 2023 presidential poll. Adeleye said Osinbajo’s competence and capability stood him out among the aspirants jostling for the nation’s number one seat.

The former lawmaker noted that Osinbajo had in the last seven years demonstrated unmatched loyalty to the president and the party, saying this has made him acceptable to all Nigerians across party lines.

According to him, the group and other citizens of the state would commence massive mobilisation to ensure Osinbajo wins the ticket of the APC, saying with him as the candidate, the party would not lose the presidential election.

He called on the party under the chairmanship of Abdullahi Adamu to consider picking the vice president as the presidential candidate of APC by all options available to the party.

Adeleye stated, “We have been pressurising him in the last few years for him to contest. We even decided if he doesn’t declare this week, we would have gone to court to compel him. It is on record that no other vice president in the history of modern Nigeria has had such a crisis-free, corruption-free, robust working relationship with his principal like Professor Osinbajo.

“Today, in Nigeria, Professor Osinbajo’s name is synonymous with loyalty, trust, competence, capacity and faithfulness. He is the one with most capable credentials and disposition of taking Nigeria to the Promised Land. He has long been nurtured for the leadership role of president.”


Deji Elumoye, Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja, Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

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