Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has rejected an appeal to him by the party to lead the national campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 presidential elections across the states of the federation.
According to a credible source in the party, Tinubu, who has declared total support for President Buhari’s reelection, said while he will do everything to ensure Buhari is reelected, he wants to focus his attention on the South-West region.
While he has Lagos and Osun in his kitty, Tinubu is working to consolidate his stronghold in Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo states.
Tinubu played a crucial role in President Buhari’s reelection in 2015. Soon after the elections, he, however, fell out of favour with the president’s men who were referred to as the Abuja boys.
Tinubu’s wife, Oluremi, a senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, in an interview admitted that her husband was dumped by the party after assisting them in winning the elections.
“He was campaigning, I did too. We were running three campaigns at my house. And for him to be trashed like that? But I saw somebody who has a love for this country”, she said.
According to our source, “Tinubu has politely rejected the request to lead President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign for the 2019 elections. Rather he has chosen to focus his attention more on the South-West.
“We don’t really know the reason for this but we have feelers that he seems unsure of what the fate of APC may be in the presidential elections and as such wants to secure his base in the South-West first.
“I also heard that he wants to concentrate his efforts on assisting his candidates. In Ogun, Governor Amosun has withdrawn support for Dapo Abiodun, who is Tinubu’s loyalist. He will also be actively involved in trying to retain Lagos for APC especially given the fact that Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the party’s candidate is contesting against a Jimi Agbaje, who is an experienced politician”.
When contacted, Tinubu’s media aide, Tunde Rahman, promised to get back to our correspondent but couldn’t do so as at the time of filing in this report.
In a related development, the APC on Tuesday described as untrue that party supporters in Imo, Ogun and Zamfara states have vowed to boycott President Buhari’s campaign in the affected states.
Speaking with our correspondent, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party’s national publicity secretary, said the APC supporters in the affected states are happy with the party leadership for putting an end to impunity and giving back power to them.
“I am not aware that the people of Ogun said they will not vote for President Buhari. If anything, they are so happy with the step that APC has taken. Because what APC has done is to say ‘enough is enough with impunity’.
“The APC said power should go back to the people and they should be the ones to decide their representatives. So, is it the people that we empowered and gave back power to that will now be moving against the party? People of Imo are happy with what the APC leadership has done.
“It got to a stage that they were telling us that even if you bring a cow, as long as it is not by impunity, we will support it’. Good enough, we are not putting forward a cow as there are many credible candidates who can fly the party’s flag.
“Even Okorocha has said he remains in APC. His son-in-law is another person entirely. The son-in-law cannot on the day of election vote with Okorocha’s PVC. People are free to make decisions. But the question to ask is the decision you are taking is it driven by public interest, the best interest of your people or driven by greed and selfishness?” Issa-Onilu queried.
Uche Nwosu, a son-in-law to Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has dumped APC for Action Alliance (AA).
Nwosu made this known on Tuesday when he spoke to newsmen at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri.
Nwosu, who had just arrived from Abuja, said he has jettisoned his governorship ambition under the APC because the party reigns with “injustice, impunity, and lack of respect for party’s constitution.”