Wednesday 2 February 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Why President Buhari, Governors Are Kicking Against Tinubu’s Presidential Ambition

There was a strong reason why the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, chose the Presidential Villa in Abuja to declare his ambition to run for president in 2023. Beyond the national and international attention it would give his aspiration, the Jagaban was also desperate to know whether Buhari would support him as his successor.

Thus, on January 9 when he visited the president at the Aso Rock, it was to assess the President’s disposition to his ambition and also show his critics and the world that he had the backing of Buhari.

After a closed door meeting with President Buhari, Tinubu told State House reporters, “I have informed the President of my ambition but I have not informed Nigerians yet, I am still consulting.

“And I have no problem consulting. And I’ve not set a parameter of limitation to the extent of how many people I will consult.

“You will soon hear. All you want to hear is the categorical declaration. You’ve gotten that truth from me that I have informed Mr President of my ambition, and you don’t expect more answers than that.”

But THE WHISTLER can confirm authoritatively that the plan backfired as Buhari never imagined Tinubu could turn the hallowed ground of the villa into his campaign platform. Multiple sources close to the President have told THE WHISTLER that Tinubu’s publicity stunt angered Buhari, who out of respect for Tinubu, did not publicly show his disapproval but only strengthened his resolve not to back him for president.

This website was told that Buhari and the APC governors, especially those from the north, had long resolved not to allow Tinubu get the presidency in 2023 for some personal reasons. Two related incidents happened that allegedly made Tinubu a taboo for some of his hitherto supporters among the governors.

The first incident had to do with Buhari’s effort to prevent Tinubu from denying former governor of Lagos State, Akinwumi Ambode, a second term. Tinubu was said to have rebuffed all entreaties from Buhari, insisting that it was the members of the party in Lagos that no longer wanted him.

Buhari reportedly told associates that the governors who asked him to intervene that he was unable to persuade Tinubu to change his mind on Ambode. He then suggested that the governors themselves should go and talk to Tinubu in a last-gasp attempt to save Ambode in September 2018.

The northern governors, some of who were sponsored by Tinubu, subsequently took the trip to Lagos to meet Tinubu in his Ikoyi home. Among the governors in the entourage were the governors of Kebbi, Katsina, Kano, Nasarawa and Jigawa states.

The governors, out of respect for Tinubu, were said to have prostrated to greet him as a Yoruba elder.

“But they got the shock of their lives when Tinubu started to lecture them on democracy because he knew why they had come to him,” said one of the sources familiar with the development.

“Tinubu did not allow them to even get up before telling them he could not change his mind on Ambode. He said it was not in his hands and there was nothing he could do.

“The governors were shocked at the treatment meted to them and concluded that if they support him to be president, he would become a dictator.” 

THE WHISTLER was told that Buhari and the governors now see Tinubu in that light, a development that had made it more difficult to sell his candidature.

“Buhari will not support Tinubu for president and many of the governors are also backing out,” another source close to the northern governors confided in this website on Monday. “He is seeing it clearly that it is becoming impossible for him to win the APC presidential ticket.”

Credit: The Whister

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