2023: I’ve informed Buhari of my intention to contest for president – Tinubu
Former Lagos State governor and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Monday declared his intention to contest the office of the president in the 2023 election.
“I’ve informed the President of my ambition,” Tinubu told newsmen after meeting Buhari on Monday in Abuja. “It’s been my life-long ambition. There’s nowhere in the world where a kingmaker cannot himself be king.”
Speaking with newsmen after he emerged from a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Tinubu said he plans to actualise his ambition under the platform of the ruling APC.
He also shrugged the question of a potential race for the APC ticket between him and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, whose support groups have since begun mobilizing for his candidacy.
Tinubu said that his ambition to be president of Nigeria had been life-long, noting that with what he did in Lagos in his time as governor, he has the capacity to lead Nigeria.
On Osinbajo’s potential ambition, the APC national leader maintained that he would not be drawn into any discussion on any individuals.
Asked why he would not remain a kingmaker rather than seeking to be the king, he said there is nothing that stops a kingmaker from becoming the king unless he has committed murder.
“I answer that with a categorical yes. I’ve informed the President of my intention but I have not informed Nigerians yet. I’m still consulting. And I have no problem consulting. And I’ve noticed that a parameter of limitation to the extent of how many people will I consult,” he said.
“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,” he said.
His open declaration of his intention to succeed Buhari confirmed what sources told The Guardian about Tinubu’s ambition.
The Guardian gathered last night that he had informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his aspiration, to which the President reportedly asked him to go ahead.
This is coming as governors of the ruling party gathered last night for a crucial meeting over the proposed February national convention of the party.
Also informed of Tinubu’s aspiration is the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. The duo was the cynosure of eyes as they met on Saturday in Azare, Bauchi State for the Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu’s daughter’s wedding.
Osinbajo served as Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General in Tinubu’s eight years administration as Lagos governor.
The duo also met on October 29 last year when the Vice President visited the APC leader in his Asokoro residence to empathise with him on his return from the United Kingdom after undergoing knee surgery.
Highly-placed sources said Asiwaju had used the occasion of the Vice President’s visit last October to intimate him of his ambition.
While it is not clear what Osinbajo’s response was, sources in the know have severally quoted the VP as saying he would not contest against Tinubu, his former boss, adding that Asiwaju remains his benefactor.
But other sources, however, noted that Osinbajo has always insisted that the APC leader has never told him he wanted to contest the 2023 election. This is in reference to the rumoured presidential ambition of the VP.
When contacted as to whether Tinubu and Osinbajo had spoken about the former’s ambition, Mr. Tunde Rahman, Media Adviser to the former Lagos governor refused to volunteer any comment. He said he would reach out to our correspondent shortly, but he was yet to do so as at the time of filing this report.
Reacting to the development, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Special Adviser to the Vice President, said he was not aware of such discussions.