Former Lagos State Governor and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu may have reviewed his career progression and resolved to go for the nation’s top job, the presidency.
Tinubu, believed to be initially interested in the nation’s vice presidency is said to have concluded plans to announce his bid for the presidency immediately after the party’s national convention slated to hold between June 13 and 14 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The APC leader, who is said not to be taking chances about his presidential bid, sources say, has tipped a former senator in the state, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, as the Director-General of his campaign organisation.
According to sources, Tinubu has resolved not to be left out in the emerging dispensation and was prepared to give it his best shot possible, especially in the wake of the opposition that greeted his alleged vice presidential ambition through the pairing of a Muslim/Muslim ticket.
This latest move, inside sources however claimed, was designed as a bargaining chip to eventually clinch the slot for the vice-president, since it was most likely that the presidential slot would go to the north.
One of the sources told THISDAY that Tinubu was very displeased with the way his vice presidential ambition through a Muslim/Muslim ticket was exposed, hence his resolve to take his ambition a notch up by eyeing the presidency.
His decision to give the presidential bid a shot, another source said may not be unconnected with the possibility that he could sell out if nothing works in his favour, hence a move that would make it even more difficult for the party leadership to push him aside.
Tinubu is said to have seen clearly, certain indications that he and some other notable members of the APC might be played out by the younger elements in the party at the June convention and since there might be nothing left for him, he has therefore come up with a ‘Plan B’ in order to survive the turn of events.
Although one of the sources was not sure how Tinubu intends to pull through both the presidential ambition and the vice presidency since he might be knocked out in both categories, albeit on different grounds that are considered trite.
The source said while the presidential bid looks impossible because of the fact that the party has agreed in principle to zone it to the north where a Muslim candidate is most likely to emerge, his vice presidential bid is literally impossible on the grounds of religion.
But a recalcitrant Tinubu is said to have continued with his plans, regardless of misgivings and would soon announce his presidential ambition with Afikuyomi leading the campaign group as the director-general.
According to sources, the choice of Afikuyomi was borne out of the need for someone who understood the politics of the SDP/NRC (Social Democratic Party and National Republican Convention) days and has built contacts across board to help sell his candidacy and sustain the momentum.
Aside that, Afikuyomi was believed to have come through as his choice DG because the former senator from Lagos Central and West is believed to boast the kind of energy, networking and experience required to execute a project as huge as a presidential election.
These are some of the moves the former Lagos governor is said to be making in the bid to remain relevant both now and in the experience after. But they are moves observers believe would further unsettle the party and set it on a collision course if mismanaged.
Tinubu was recently reported as pondering a Muslim/Muslim ticket that could feature him and a former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari in next year’s presidential election, a consideration that has since drawn the ire of party members and opposition alike.
Not long after came the indications that he might lose out in the current effort at structuring the party, a development some party members feared could lead to Tinubu selling out in next year’s election like he was believed to have done in 2011.
But many of the observers believe that the truly defining intrigues would not start to manifest in the party until the outcome of its national convention and Tinubu’s alleged ambition declaration.