Suspense was enveloping the political space in Abuja on Friday ahead of the 8.00 pm meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of the All Progressives Congress, APC where the issue of a consensus presidential candidate for the party was expected to be discussed. On the shadows of the meeting, the fate of one of the presidential aspirants, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was also featured prominently after his outburst on Thursday in Abeokuta.
At that meeting with APC stakeholders in Abeokuta, Tinubu had spoken of seeming frustrations after what he described as his leading role in making Buhari President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo vice president and Mr Dapo Abiodun governor of Ogun State.
There were fears in the camp of Tinubu of a possible backlash arising from the outburst with fears that the presidency could now fully come out against the national leader even beyond the presidential primaries. While the result of the screening results was yet to be made public there were fears within the Tinubu Camp that the presidency could now muster judicial and extra-judicial powers to curtail Tinubu with his home base in Lagos a likely target.
A source in the Tinubu camp feared yesterday that the decision of one of the aspirants for the governorship ticket of the APC in Lagos State, Abdul-Ahmed Olorunfemi Mustapha, a former Permanent Secretary, to go to court over his disqualification from the Lagos State primary may be used to hound the APC national leader if the court grants Mustaph’s prayers.
“The decision of Mustapha to go to court looks foreboding and whatever anyone is plotting, no one should hurt Asiwaju’s life,” a source embedded in the camp of the National leader and leading presidential aspirant said yesterday.
Meanwhile, anxiety was pulling away at the camp of the major presidential contenders with the insinuation that the seeming decision by President Buhari to head South for a successor was locking away several of the other contestants outside the Southwest.
“If the president heads South he will be limited to the Southwest which is the only region that can produce the kind of bloc votes that can be needed to square up victory for the party,” a source involved in strategy with one of the Southwest aspirants told Saturday Vanguard.
“The Southeast has already been split by Peter Obi and Rotimi Amaechi will be at pains to unite the South-South behind him,” the source added.
Meanwhile, whatever are the intentions of the president, the governors, it was gathered, were ahead of the meeting preparing their own strategies but unity among the governors was still not possible unlike the March national convention when they were able to come up with a unity list.
“Don’t forget there is no list this time, it is one candidate and the interests among the governors differ,” another strategist who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.
Saturday Vanguard reports that while the majority of governors are determined to produce one of their own as a successor, a few of them are rooting for Tinubu.
President Buhari had earlier before his trip to Spain pleaded with the governors to allow him come up with his successor in the same way that all the second term governors have been coming up with their individual successors unhindered.
A presidential aide speaking on the condition of anonymity simply told Saturday Vanguard that all the intrigues would be resolved in a matter of days if not hours.
“Everything will be over in a matter of four days at most. Let us watch,” as he claimed ignorance of the inclination of the president.