Former governor of Lagos State and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has reportedly forced members of the Southwest caucus of the party to endorse him as the Vice Presidential candidate to General Muhammad Buhari (Rtd), who won last Wednesday's party primary.
Party sources told SaharaReporters that Tinubu revived his ambition despite the party deciding at the end of the convention not to present him for the slot.
Participants at a Sunday night meeting convened by Tinubu were shocked at his sudden U-turn.
They said his powerful hold on the party left several of them unable to refuse his decision to present himself. It is all more difficult as the party had already decided against presenting a Muslim/Muslim ticket. Buhari and Tinubu are both Muslims.
Some members of the caucus however refused to sign the so-called endorsement, which will be considered later tonight at an enlarged party meeting in Abuja.
Ironically, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had in a press statement on Sunday by the party’s publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, accused Buhari of being a “hostage” of Mr. Tinubu.
President Goodluck Jonathan, whose campaign team had gone into panic mode after Buhari emerged as the APC presidential candidate, is said to be waiting for the outcome of the search for Buhari’s running mate.
They believe that if Tinubu succeeds in his scheme, he will be an easy target to demolish since the Attorney General of the Federation has already compiled charges of perjury against him regarding his infamous Toronto certificate scandal. In addition will be his controversial history as a drug dealer, documented in a civil forfeiture trial in the United States. He was also indicted by a federal panel in 2006.
SaharaReporters’ checks with several party operatives in Abuja showed complete despondency at the action of Mr. Tinubu, considering the momentum being enjoyed by the party following its historic convention.
A lot of them are suspicious that he might have cut a deal with President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that the party presents a ticket that cannot withstand the tottering presidents’ ambition in February.
Some of them told our reporters that the party's Presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari will likely consider anyone but Tinubu as VP candidate, stressing that he is being careful.
Meanwhile, Tinubu remains in Lagos where he is scheming with some of his lieutenants to gain “support” for his scheme. He has also presented two other alternatives, including Prof. Yemi Osibajo a former Lagos State Attorney General, and Senator Olurunnimbe Mamora, in case his party rejects his candidature.
Tinubu told some members of his inner caucus that being VP is his best shot at Nigeria's presidency at this time considering that if Buhari completes one term or dies, he will, as improbably as it sounds, emerge leader of Nigeria.