Thursday, 30th March 2023
Breaking News:

The APC primaries and Tinubu’s victory

By Sly Edaghese
12 June 2022   |   2:54 am
One would like to know from President Buhari if he had a candidate in the just concluded APC Presidential Primaries! If he had, who was the candidate? My guess

One would like to know from President Buhari if he had a candidate in the just concluded APC Presidential Primaries! If he had, who was the candidate? My guess is that the president had a candidate but he abandoned him in the middle of the ocean to face the sharks on a level playing ground. I am sure the reality must have dawned on the president, especially when he noticed that the Northern governors were not on the same page with him! First, he had called on the governors of the APC and told them that they should allow him to pick a consensus candidate that would bear the party’s flag! He reminded them that he also had given them the free hand to pick their successors, for those of them who’re on their last lap, and so they should leave the choice of who becomes the party flag bearer to him! Tit for tat, right? Not exactly.

From the look on the faces of the governors, what the president said didn’t sit well with many of them! Of course, the governors had an idea of who the president had in mind as his candidate, even though he didn’t disclose his identity to them. My guess: The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan!  Lawan did not start showing interest in the race until about three to four weeks ago! Someone must have egged him on to join the race and promised him the ticket. My thoughts! As l said, the governors were not comfortable with the president’s position! Just as the southern governors had been shouting, as it were, to deaf ears, that the next president must come from the south since the sitting president is from the north; the APC’s northern governors returned to tell Mr. President that they preferred a southern candidate to carry the flag of the party! Twelve out of the fourteen APC northern governors signed the agreement!

Governor Yaya Bello of Kogi State and Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, of course, refused to back down. The news got to Tinubu that the president was about to stab him in the back by picking a consensus candidate! Tinubu would not take that lying low! He had told all who cared to listen to him that becoming the president of Nigeria had been his lifetime ambition! He would not now allow the president or anyone to put a spanner in the works for him! He stormed the Abeokuta township to make what was later to be known as his “ Abeokuta Declaration!”

Expectedly, the ‘declaration’ was in bad taste, especially to those close to the president! The chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, took it upon himself to tell Tinubu and Nigerians that Tinubu can’t disparage the president like that and go scot-free! He vowed that the party was going to take appropriate action against Tinubu!

As it were, the president did not seem to see the whole thing the way Adamu was seeing it! I am sure what Tinubu said made the president revisit the whole matter! First, if Tinubu was denied the ticket, there’s the possibility of him pulling out of the APC to join hands with his friend Atiku, the PDP presidential flag bearer, to scuttle the chance of the APC in the general elections! That would not tell well of the president! So, the president, in order to save face (still my thoughts), decided to rephrase the clear statement he had earlier made to the APC governors! As damage control, he told the press that he was not having a candidate and said he never told the governors to give him the permission to pick a candidate! All he had told the governors, said the president, was that they go back and persuade the candidates to agree among themselves who they would present as the consensus candidate! Of course, even at that, none of the candidates agreed to step down for anyone until the Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, took the first throw! He stepped down for Tinubu! With that, others followed suit: Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator likeable Amosun, Ekiti State governor Kayode Fayemi, Bankole Dimeji, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Uju Ken-Ohanenye…all collapsed their candidatures for Tinubu! An approach was made to Osinbajo, the Vice President, by Tinubu’s men to step down for Tinubu, but he barked at the idea! At the end of the horse-trading, only four candidates were left for the election and they fell like an empty sack before Tinubu!

The scores:
Bola Ahmed Tinubu: 1,271
Rotimi Amaechi:         316
Osinbajo.                     235
Ahmed Lawan.             152!
In his acceptance speech, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC Leader, alias Jagaban, promised he would bury the PDP once and for all! And I believe him! He didn’t mention what he would do to the new sensation in town, Peter Obi! I am sure the Labour Party flag bearer, a man with what it takes to win the Nigerian presidency, will do his best but the party he belongs to is too small to win him the seat of the president! However, politics being what it is, nothing is over until it’s over! Between now and February 25, 2023, when the presidential elections will be held, you can’t tell what’ll happen! Anything is possible in politics!

Sly Edaghese Milwaukee, Wi, USA (