Chief John Odigie - Oyegun

APC Crisis: The Plot Thickens

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That the All Progressives Congress (APC) is threading on dangerous grounds is no longer news. The outburst of the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu against the National Chairman, John Oyegun is a result of pent up frustrations.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and deputy national publicity Secretary, Timi Frank have all thrown their weight behind Tinubu in this saga.

The launch of Buhari’s book on Monday has added a new twist to the whole saga. After emerging as the flag bearer in the APC primaries, we all knew an unknown Yemi Osinbajo was presented to Buhari as a running mate. But excerpts from the book has proved otherwise.

The book, ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria,’ written by Prof. John Paden, quoted the author as saying: “With Buhari coming from the north-west geopolitical zone, the vice-presidency had been ceded to the south-west geopolitical zone.”

“Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and political ‘godfather’ of the south-west geopolitical zone, felt he should be the vice-presidential candidate.”

“His protégée and the then popular governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, was also a possible candidate.”

“Both Tinubu and Fashola were Muslims, which complicated the national balance.”

“A third candidate, Yemi Osinbajo, had been Attorney General of Lagos State and a senior law professor and a pastor.”

“When the three names were forwarded to Buhari, he chose Osinbajo despite enormous pressure from Tinubu.”

I never knew Tinubu contested directly against Osinbajo for the vice presidential slot. I remember Senate President, Bukola Saraki, during the heat of the CCT trial, saying he was suffering persecution because of his refusal to support a Muslim/Muslim ticket for the APC in the 2015 presidential election.

According to Saraki, his refusal to support the ticket was his “original sin” and those whose ambition were truncated by the position had been doing everything possible to frustrate him.

I am beginning to see sense in the Senate President’s assertions then. Tinubu, who was the book reviewer, had the opportunity to put the records straight but did not.

According to sources, the revelations in the book have not been received well in the camp of Tinubu, who see the inclusion of that part in the book as deliberate. Talk of wrong timing when there are allegations now that the presidency is trying to cut Tinubu to size.

The person I pity most in this saga is the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo. Where will his loyalty be, to his benefactor Tinubu or to his immediate boss, Buhari?

The reviving of the AD party in the Ondo gubernatorial elections is another pointer that Tinubu is planning to revive his old party. Another coincidence, if you will call it that, was the visit of governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbosola, to his Ekiti counterpart, Ayo Fayose. The Osun governor, a well-known Tinubu man was praising Fayose, a critic of President Buhari and APC to high heavens. This is no coincidence, something is cooking here. Realignment in the south-west has started. Interesting days ahead.

By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah

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