Tinubu: How Masari galvanised north for Tinubu
Governor Aminu Bello Masari is not new in politics. Even when it was not fashionable to canvas power shift to the South, he never left anyone in doubt, especially those in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who were against power shift to the south in 2023. He always spoke his mind on why power should be rotated and who is to take over from President Buhari in May this year.
Masari has a political trajectory of speaking truth to power even at the risk of losing his political ambition. As a Speaker, House of Representatives, he was courageous enough to tell former President Olusegun Obasanjo that he had presented his last budget in 2007, when it was rumoured that Obasanjo had a third term agenda. Masari told him that such a move was unconstitutional.
Obasanjo was taken aback by such bravado, candour and fearlessness. But Masari paid dearly with his ambition to be governor of Katsina State at that time. Obasanjo made sure that Masari paid for opposing his third term agenda.
Buhari, who had promised never to contest any election in the country, was elected President of the country. And it was the Jagaban Borgu, Tinubu, who made it possible at that time, with all the then ACN governors that met with Buhari in Kaduna where he was convinced to reconsider his promise never to contest again. The Jagaban Borgu promised Buhari to give him all the support he needed to win the 2015 election. And he never went back on that promise, as he led his supporters across the country and all the ACN governors to give him their votes, which made Buhari to win the election in 2015.
And when it looked like it was not going to be easy for anyone from the Southwest to succeed President Buhari in 2023, Masari did not change his position on power shift.
Some APC governors in the North had ganged up to fight Tinubu and they started by removing the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who they believed was an ally of Jagaban Borgu, and one of them had an arrangement to hand over power to the son of a chieftain of the main opposition party in the country, all because one of them had ambition to be Vice President to a Minister, who hailed from the South-South and was a former governor of his state. As soon as their plan was out others began their moves to truncate it.
They failed woefully despite removing Oshiomhole, because Jagaban Borgu still emerged victorious in the presidential primary of the party, thanks to the support and activities of some APC leaders like Katsina State governor, who had and still believe that it was totally immoral to deny Jagaban Borgu chance to have a shot at the Presidency.
Masari had a meeting in Kaduna with his APC colleagues in the North and sold the idea of supporting Jagaban Borgu to achieve his dream to become the next Nigerian President after Mohammadu Buhari.
Labaran is the Director General, Media to Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina.