Thursday, January 20, 2022

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2023: Uneasy calm in APC over growing support for Osinbajo

There is mounting appre­hension within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as sup­port for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gathers momentum ahead of the 2023 general elections.

While the party is yet to make any declaration as to where President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor will emerge, several names have been flying around and promi­nent among those names is that of Vice President Osinbajo.

Sunday Independent, quoting a party source, said the growing sup­port for the vice presi­dent may put the party to task soon, consider­ing the rumoured ambi­tion of a leader of the party.

“Giving the potential of both men and the speculated misunder­standing that has arisen in the past over political aspiration, the leaders would have a lot of work to do soon in order to avoid any form of crisis in the party, especially in the South-West,” he said.

Others believed to be eyeing the exalted seat include the national leader of the APC, Asi­waju Bola Tinubu; Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi; Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amae­chi; Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello; former Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun.

However, of all the supposed contenders, the vice president seems to be getting the largest support from all cor­ners.

Osinbajo’s campaign posters and billboards have continued to flood various parts of Abu­ja, with some of them bearing inscriptions such as: “Businessmen for Osinbajo – Let’s Get to Work”. “Businessmen for Osinbajo – Run, Osin­bajo, Run! 2023.”

On Wednesday, some businessmen in the six geopolitical zones called on Osinbajo to join the 2023 presidential race, describing him as “the missing link the busi­ness community in Ni­geria needs at this mo­ment”.

It would be recalled that former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, recently de­scribed the vice presi­dent as the best person to lead Nigeria in 2023.

Babangida, who ex­pressed the view while receiving the Osibanjo Grassroots Organisation at his Hill Top residence in Minna, urged Osinba­jo to remain focused and resilient.

The former military leader told the group that he accepted to speak to the members because of the person of the vice president and because of his conviction that Osinbajo had what it would take to lead the country.

Speaking on why the vice president should succeed Buhari, a mem­ber of the House of Representatives repre­senting Tarauni Feder­al Constituency in Kano State, Hon Hafiz Kawu, described Osibanjo as the “natural successor to President Buhari” in 2023.

Kawu said the vice president had what it would take to succeed Buhari, owing to his “experience and versatility in managing an entity”.

When asked about the presidential ambition of the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, Kawu said: “Tinubu has not declared his presi­dential ambition. Even if he declares, the par­ty knows how to sort it out.”

Similarly, Daniel Shawulu, Chairman of Arewa Consensus Assembly, a northern group, on Thursday, endorsed the vice pres­ident as the right can­didate to succeed Pres­ident Buhari.

The decision, accord­ing to Shawulu, is based on his competence and knowledge of the cur­rent socio-economic and security challenges con­fronting the country.

“We admit that the ac­ceptable next President of Nigeria must have an appeal that crosses eth­nic, religious and demo­graphic lines, especially the youths, considering the most recent history and trajectory of Nige­ria,” he said.

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