Connect with us


Can Tinubu, Osinbajo Distance Selves from Buhari?



By Eric Elezuo

The race to the seat of power come 2023 is becoming hotter as the political climate makes a dramatic turn into the last lap of preparations. The who is who of Nigerian politics are as a matter of urgency, throwing their hats in the ring for the all important combat to ascertain the ultimate champion that will occupy the prestigious Aso Rock seat of power as President Muhammadu Buhari slowly, but steadily winds down his stewardship.

In both the two major political parties; the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), intrigues and counter intrigues have become the order of the day, pitching hitherto political allies into temporary foes.

In the APC, for instance, two notable personalities, who are performers in their own rights, and toasts of their respective supporters, have signified their remote interests albeit indirectly, to take over from President Buhari, when the anthem is relayed on May 29, 2023. They are the indefatigable two terms governor of Lagos State and National leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the incumbent Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

Across the media space, the two Trojan horses, who have amassed amazing followership over time in the cause of their political endeavours, have continued to make waves in the countdown to the presidential race, billed to take off later in 2022. And as observers have noted, both figures have maintained close relationship with President Buhari with the unspoken intent of getting his nod as a replacement. Consequently, and as expected, Buhari constantly receives their goodwill in all his undertakings; fair or otherwise.

While Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has volunteered comments on his intention to be president, saying he is consulting wide and would not turn down his constituents request to run, Vice President Osinbajo has maintained dead silence with only his foot soldiers taking the countdown though some observers have said that his body language is suggestive of clear ambition to be president.

According to Tinubu: “I’m not going to turn them down. But, I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly and tell Nigerians.”

He added: “The president is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges that he might face today. So, we will consult and make our programme known to the people later and the intention is clear. So, you keep guessing.”

Stakeholders across industries have concluded that Tinubu’s utterance is clear indication of his ambition to be president even as he continues to maintain a close proximity to Buhari. The Vice President, on his part, also plays a card that paints the picture that he is expecting his boss’ nod to fill the space when Also Rock finally becomes vacant in 2023.

But the big question has remained if these two political heavyweights will have the guts to maintain a clear distance from President Buhari in their bid to claim the elusive Villa come the next election.

A lot of political gladiators believe that the anointed of Mr. President will receive the thumbs up of other party faithful. This is because of the belief that Buhari wields defined influence among party loyalists and northern voters in general. This believe has caused the likes of Tinubu and Osinbajo to bridge their gap of influence with special consideration to Buhari and his policies. It is instructive to note that Tinubu has not, in the over six and half years of Buhari’s stewardship, condemned or even tried to fine tune any of his policies. It is said that the intention is obvious; to garner and sustain goodwill. Even as followers of his have lamented barefaced neglect in the Buhari administration, Tinubu has maintained close association and friendship with the president. Observers have said it is a political game plan.

“Tinubu is ready to take and tolerate any form of intimidation and neglect from both the administration and the party so long as he is in the right track eo achieving his ultimate ambition of grabbing the presidency. And he believes that maintaining close relationship with Buhari will bring to pass his aim,” a political analyst, who craves anonymity, said.

The Vice President’s position is more volatile and precarious as he is both a loyal party man and an official subodinate of the president. Any body language of his, tailored towards any form of disagreement, may lead to his loss of office, and subsequent eclipse of his political career.

So not minding the issues of personality crashes suffered in the past, it is totally difficult though not impossible for the two high flying political gladiators to jettison the comfort zone of the president and toe a fresh line of political exigency. They believe that withdrawing their loyalty from Buhari at this time will be tantamount to commiting political harakiri.


Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the current Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wears the toga of a perfect, cerebral gentleman. Osinabjo who is the highest-ranking Yoruba office holder in the country today should be the easiest choice for the Yoruba if everything was equal. But everyone knows that in politics, things are usually not as they seem.

The Amiable VP, respected and learned, is no push over in any ramification. He has proved his mettle in the few areas he been allowed to perform, and knows his onions.

Many believe that the former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Lagos has the capacity and ability to unite the nation, especially at this time that the drums of succession and banditry has filled the air.

What gives Osinbajo an edge is the fact that he has acted in the position of president and passed with flying colours.

When his principal, President Buhari was away for about 150 days on medical vacation, Osinbajo showed his stuff. He was firm and fair and took decisions that won him accolades even among his most vociferous critics. The positive impact his decisions had on the economy is a trump card he could use when the chips are down.

Osinbajo is not a hardcore politician, and many Nigerians believe that the country does not need another career politician at this time, but a tested technocrat, who has academic prowess and mental depth. Osinbajo is certainly the man.

Another plus for the number two man is the fact that having spent six years, and soon will be spending eight years, in the corridors of power, Osinbajo is now an insider, who knows the working of the presidency and can correct the wrongs of the present administration as well as conduct a veritable surgical operation on all malfunctioning areas.

Recall that in 2020, a group under the aegis of Friends of Prof gave out N1 million each to twenty businesses as  Initiative for Small Businesses, to celebrate the 63rd birthday of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Observers say that the effort is only geared towards creating relevance for the Vice President as 2023 approaches.

And then of course, being a Christian, the issue of getting a northern running mate will not pose any challenge for the Redeemed Pastor.

On the downside, the VP is seen as lacking political capital even in his native Ogun State. Many also believe he may not have the muscle to take serious decisions and stand up to the Northern cabal.

They allege that his golden silence regarding the poor performance of the Buhari administration has shown that he may not be able to be his own man.

Many of our respondents are of the opinion that an Osinbajo Presidency will definitely be different from the current Osinbajo Vice Presidency.


In terms of his clout and connection, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the most prominent person in South West politics today.

He has the name recognition and the follower-ship to get things done when any push gets to shove.

One of the founders of the APC, and a force behind the ousting of a sitting president in 2015, and the installation of Buhari, Tinubu has practically seen all the colours and intrigues of political maneuvers.

He served as governor of Lagos State after the return of civil rule in 1999 following the death of General Sani Abacha in 1998. He ruled Lagos for two terms of eight years, establishing political and infrastructural landmarks that have stood the test of time. In fact, Lagos, as a state, is striving and functioning with the blue print he created.

Prior to becoming the Governor of Lagos in 1999, Tinubu, who will be celebrated his 69th birthday on Monday, March 29, had a short spell in the National Assembly as Senator representing Lagos West before the Abacha junta took over the reins of power in November, 1993. He subsequently went into exile from where he joined in the fight for the restoration of the June 12, 1993 mandate of Chief Moshood Abiola.

He is highly experienced in political matters, and can rightly be addressed as a political juggernaut. Most stakeholders believe that Tinubu is the most appropriate Yoruba man to be the recipient of the APC candidacy should the southwest gets the ticket. They believe that the man referred to as the Lion of Bourdillion, who is also the National Leader of the APC, deserves to be compensated with the presidency, having worked very hard to bring about the APC as a party and the Buhari presidency.

Not only that, there is hardly any prominent Lagos politician, who did not pass through his tutelage or benefit from his humongous structure or muscle.

Tinubu is known to randomly select technocrats capable of delivering dividends for his government, irrespective of where they come from.

A workaholic of great repute, Tinubu already has a structure in all the southwest states to set him on the right track, and that is owing to the fact that he is a great team player, who has the ability to detect talents, and nurture them to greatness. The fact that he is also a great spender, places him at an advantageous position.

It is not out of place to say that Tinubu’s friendliness is highly infectious, and that explains why even without his knowledge, people work for him, sometimes using their own resources in the bargain.

But, like he is fit and qualified, the same way he has backlogs that will definitely drag him back, and may eventually cost him the opportunity and the presidency.

Tinubu is seen as a very independent person, who cannot be controlled, not even by the northern oligarchy, and this is a minus for him because the North will definitely seek to support someone they could put on a leash. Tinubu is not that person by any standards.

Again, he is presently not in the good books of the ruling class, a source, who wished anonymity told The Boss, especially the North, and that explains why he is periodically sidelined, and reabsorbed when alarm is raised.

The source maintained that Tinubu’s role during the Ambode saga may work against him. His highhandedness in the matter annoyed not a few political heavyweights, who were said to have pleaded with him to forgive Ambode and hand him a second term. The stakeholders felt let down, said the source, and may not listen to him if he now seeks their assistance.

It was allegedly reported that even President Buhari interacted with Tinubu on the matter, but he went ahead to coordinate the process that saw Ambode out, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu in.

Tinubu’s other albatross is the allegation of corruption and the fact that he has his unseen hands in every pie in Lagos. Though nothing has been linked to him, the former Executive at Mobil Unlimited, who earlier had stints with Arthur Andersen, Deloitte, Haskins, GTE Services Corporation among others, has not been able to shake off that tainted perception.

A respondent noted: “How would you categorise the bullion vans that were offloading money in his compound during the 2019 election, that is sheer impunity”

The respondent maintained that the allegation of corruption on Tinubu, though not proved, will make so many to be wary of him as the race for 2023 hots up, adding that even those who are his protege may shelter themselves from him. He stressed that the corruption issue is one area the media team of Tinubu has been careless about, noting that they have done absolutely nothing to change the narrative.

Tinubu may also be confronted with the Abiola syndrome, where it will be slightly difficult to find a running mate, who is not a Muslim. There is no possibility that Muslim/Muslim ticket will fly again in Nigeria as it happened during the Abiola era with Babagana Kingibe. On closer analysis, the veritable Christian politician that can complement Tinubu’s ambition is former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

The Jagaban has proteges and stooges in all areas of human endeavours; it is a matter of how he plays his card that would eventually determine his eligibility for the exalted position.

Recall that a serving minister the previous week revealed that Buhari was not keen in having Tinubu as his successor.

“The president is not interested in Tinubu’s candidature because he is not convinced that Asiwaju is the right person to succeed him,” he was quoted as saying.

The Jagaban’s actions in recent times has actually riled many, making people think he or his supporters are showing signs of desperation.

Sometime ago, he visited and made a donation of N50 million to victims of Katsina Market fire; a gesture that caused quite a storm because there have been many fire outbreaks in the southwest including a major blast in Abule-Ado in Lagos and he did not openly visit or donate a kobo.

And to even make matters more interesting, he decided to take his 69th birthday to the Kano State Government House with President Buhari as the Chairman, and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje as Chief host.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Identity Saga: Tinubu Pleads with Court to Release Only His Certificate, Not Academic Details




President Bola Tinubu has reluctantly allowed a federal judge in the United States to give his university certificate to his political opponent Atiku Abubakar.

But the Nigerian leader pleaded with Judge Nancy Maldonado to block all other details, especially the gender, and admission records, among others, of the person who owns the certificate from being disclosed.

Mr Tinubu’s prayers on Monday morning came as part of the ongoing legal battle unfolding at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

The case was brought by Mr Abubakar, who has been on a judicial quest to establish that Mr Tinubu was not eligible to be Nigerian president despite his election in February 2023.

He won the election by 36 per cent of the vote after Mr Abubakar and Peter Obi, who was his running mate in the 2019 election, fell out, subsequently dividing their potential votes into at least two parts, paving the way for Mr Tinubu’s victory with the slimmest margin in Nigerian presidential election history.

Mr Tinubu’s acceptance that his certificate could be released came after he narrowly escaped full disclosure on September 21 by pleading severe harm to his life in order to obtain a stay of a magistrate judge’s order on September 19.

“There is harm in allowing discovery on issues and documents outside the diploma,” Mr Tinubu’s lawyers said in their full briefing to the court seeking a review of Judge Jeffrey Gilbert’s order by Ms Maldonado, a district judge.

The identity of who was admitted into Chicago State University in the 1970s has been a hot issue after college transcripts emerged that indicated the school admitted a female Bola Tinubu from Southwest College Chicago in 1977.

Source: People’s Gazette

Continue Reading


Sanwo-Olu Floors Jandor, Rhodes-Vivour As Court Dismisses Petitioners’ Application




The Lagos Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, on Monday, dismissed the petitions brought by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and the Labour Party, and Olajide Adediran, also known as Jandor of the Peoples Democratic Party, challenging the victory of Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the March 18 governorship election.

The tribunal therefore, affirms the election of Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the March 18 Lagos State governorship poll.

Jandor and Rhodes-Vivour had contested the results, challenging the victory of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr. Obafemi Hamzat.

Continue Reading


Supreme Court Building Catches Fire




A portion of the Supreme Court is on fire.

The fire, according to source, engulfed a side of the judges’ chamber of the apex court.

Details about the incident are still sketchy as of the time of filling this report.

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: