Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, is “working on an alternative party” to vie for the 2023 presidency.
DAILY POST was informed that his camp is not putting all eggs in one basket to avoid being caught unawares by an “unfavourable outcome” of the APC primary.
President Muhammadu Buhari is said to be considering “a younger person” as a successor.
In January, he refused to name his preference, saying the person may be killed.
At the weekend, insiders in Ekiti claimed Tinubu plans to test the waters with the governorship election that will be held on June 18, 2022.
The ambition of the ex-Lagos Governor “does not have the full backing” of Governor Kayode Fayemi, who himself is reportedly interested in the presidency.
Tinubu, well aware of this, is “tactically aligning” with Segun Oni, a one-time Ekiti Governor and Social Democratic Party (SDP) flagbearer.
Fayemi’s ally, Biodun Oyebanji, a former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), won the APC ticket after defeating Ojo Kayode, Opeyemi Bamidele and Dayo Adeyeye.
The calculation is that with 54-year-old Oyebanji as Governor, the state government and party chapter may not commit to working for Tinubu’s emergence as President.
The Jagaban of Borgu is disposed to stopping Fayemi from installing a next-in-line not only for refusing to support his bid but daring to join the presidential race.
“The President wants a younger person and that’s not Tinubu. Fayemi wants to be President if the office is zoned to the South”, a source said.
“If he fails, he may get the SGF (Secretary to the Government of the Federation) position as long as the next President or Vice are not from South-West.
“Tinubu is monitoring all that’s happening and he seems to have pitched his tent with the SDP. The truth is that civil servants like Oni are ready to vote for him.
“With his cold war with Fayemi and Oni’s popularity, Tinubu has developed a soft spot for the SDP. And this isn’t just about Ekiti election, he may contest on the platform if APC denies him a ticket.”
DAILY POST gathered that Oni’s running mate, Otunba Ladi Owolabi was picked after consultations with Tinubu’s camp. Oni, 67, is from Ifaki while Owolabi, 68, is an Ado Ekiti indigene.
During Tinubu’s visit to Ekiti monarchs a fortnight ago, the state government allegedly frustrated the use of the Adetiloye Hall.
“The authorities stopped the use of the venue because Fayemi isn’t working for his political leader’s ambition. In fact, by the time Tinubu landed, Fayemi left the state via helicopter.
“They said he had to be in Abuja. He could have briefly showed up at the parley with the Obas but didn’t want to be seen with Tinubu in such a gathering”, another source hinted.
The Onisan of Isan Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Ayodele Adejuwon is Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers. Fayemi hails from Isan.
The meeting was eventually held at the palace of the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, where Tinubu decried “hopelessness, hunger and lack of development” in the land.
“We can not just be talking of airport alone in Ekiti, we should boast of good roads and better education system and better future for our children.
“We are here to answer the call of our forefathers to build a nation that will be united, prosperous and happily developed. I need your prayers to achieve this mandate.
“We are here to renew the hope of Nigeria and make the country better for our children. I have been on the issue of Nigeria since 70s. (MKO) Abiola was brought out by us, we fought for democracy”, he stated.
The late Abiola, a business mogul and philanthropist, won the 1993 presidential election. He contested on the platform of the SDP.