The chances of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Bola Tinubu to emerge as the consensus presidential candidate of the party are getting slimmer ahead of the 2023 general election.
This followed the revelation of an APC chieftain and director general of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu that President Muhammadu Buhari did not reach a succession agreement with the former Lagos State governor.
Pioneer National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Rufai Hanga on Sunday said there was an agreement that Tinubu would take over from President Buhari when he completes his second term in office in 2023.
But speaking with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Okechukwu refuted the Hanga’s claims, saying: “as a member of the defunct CPC, I never heard of such an agreement and most importantly Mr. President won’t or better put rarely enter into any formal or informal agreement with anybody”.
He said the only chance available to Tinubu was to become Vice President but that did not work as the party leadership advised against the Muslim/Muslim ticket and the APC Chieftain nominated Yemi Osinbajo, a Christian as Buhari’s running mate.
“All I know was that Asiwaju automatically could have been the Vice President if not for what lawyers will call force majeure. For our leadership warned against Muslim/Muslim tickets.
“Our leadership then argued that the Abiola/Kingibe Muslim/Muslim ticket which worked in 1993 may not work in 2015, if Buhari/Tinubu both Muslims were to run, as the scenario differs. That was how Asiwaju nominated Professor Yemi Osinbajo, GCON as a replacement”, the VON DG said.
Okechukwu however, said Tinubu will be among the top aspirants to be considered, given his immense contribution to the success of our great party in 2015
On whether the Asiwaju of Lagos will still be the consensus candidate, he said he is just an ordinary member of the APC and cannot by any stretch of imagination decide for the over forty million members of the APC.
“Who am I, an ordinary member to decide for the over 40 million members of the APC. As a political scientist, all I fear is Governor Bala Mohemmed PDP Committee’s report which recommended open contest,
rather than rotation. It is a big albatross to the rotation of the president to the south.
“Albeit the PDP by throwing it open, is covertly plotting to harvest Buhari’s 12 million Vote-Bank. Indeed, a lot of people take it that PDP is tacitly waiting in the wings for APC to go south and they go north to quickly harvest the Buhari’s Vote-Bank, domiciled mostly in the north”.
He also hailed the leadership of the APC for proposing the presentation of a consensus candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
“One slept well last night after reading the profound statement from the social media credited to Distinguished Senator John Akpanudedehe, our National Secretary that at the appropriate time APC will come up with a consensus and agreeable presidential candidate that will fly its flag in 2023.
“I hail the consensus proposal for it is a deft move which will perish the phobia of an implosion of our great party as touted by some naysayers”, Okechukwu said.