By Ononye VC

Report say the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and the former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu have commenced supremacy battle over the presidential ticket of All Progressive Congress (APC) for the 2023 election, following the secret and public meetings held with governors elected on the platform if the party.The declaration of Presidential ambition on Monday by Prof Osinbajo was preceded with a secret meeting on Sunday with APC Governors in his private residence in Abuja. Barely 24 hours after, the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Tinubu had a public meeting with 17 APC Governors in Abuja for collaboration and support, in what many have termed as show of strength and confidence.According to Asiwaju, the meeting was aimed at achieving his 2023 presidential ambition.While meeting with the APC governors under the aegis of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) at the Kebbi Government Lodge in Abuja, Tinubu maintained that, “My mission here is to seek collaboration, support and encouragement of my party, the APC, over my ambition to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari at the expiration of his tenure.”The Vice President, after months of speculation and pressure mounted on him by supporters, on Monday, declared his interest to contest under the platform of the ruling APC.In his declaration speech uploaded on his Twitter handle at the early hours of yesterday morning, Osinbajo expressed his commitment to advance President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for the country, adding that he knows the yearnings of Nigerians.According to him, “In this period of seven years, I have served the government in several capacities, and have, at the direction of Mr. President, represented our country in sensitive high level international engagements. I have been to practically all local governments in Nigeria. I have been in markets, factories, schools, and farms. I have been in agricultural, mining and oil producing communities; in the Delta, in Kebbi, Enugu, Borno; Rivers, Plateau and Ondo; & in all other States of the federation, listening to the diverse experiences and yearnings of our people.“I believe that the very reason that the Almighty God gave me these experiences, these insights and these opportunities is that they must be put to the use of our great country and its great peoples.”About 200 groups from the North Central part of the country had thrown their weight behind the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Presidency of 2023 recently.The group under the North Central Agenda for Tinubu, NCAT in a communique issued in Abuja after their meeting said Tinubu is their preferred choice from the array of aspirants that have indicated an interest in leading Nigeria.However, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu recently urged leaders of the APC in Lagos and those representing the state in the National Assembly to back up Bola Tinubu, to enable him realise his presidential ambition.At the 17th edition of the executive/legislative parley of the Lagos State government, on Friday, themed “mobilising citizens as a social capital towards 2023 general elections,” Sanwo-Olu asked party members to bury differences and work as one entity.Speaking on the development, the All Progressive Congress (APC) senatorial aspirant for Ogun West and three-time governorship candidate in the State, Gboyega Nasir Isiaka, said he doesn’t see the Vice President’s declaration as a betrayal to Tinubu.Isiaka disclosed this when he led hundreds of Ogun residents under the aegis of “The New Tribe, Ogun State,” on a solidarity walk for the presidential ambition of Osinbajo in Abeokuta on Monday.The walk came a few hours after Osinbajo declared his intention to run the presidential race in 2023.The group marched through the streets of Abeokuta, expressing their satisfaction with Osinbajo’s declaration.Speaking with journalists, Isiaka said, “I think it is a clarion call that he has heeded to. If there are issues that need to be sorted out, I think there are better ways of sorting that out aside the fate and the future of 200 million Nigerians.“This is in solidarity and approval of the declaration earlier today by Professor Yemi Osinbajo to run for the President of Nigeria in the 2023 elections which was broadcast this (Monday) morning.“This is being repeated in quite a number of other states from the reports I’m hearing and I think what it says is the approval of people for his candidacy and if you notice, this has been going on for quite a while by various support groups. So, what the support groups have done is just to come together and show appreciation for the declaration and also the readiness to work for him towards winning the election.“From the speech that he delivered, I think everything is contained therein. He spoke about his capacity, his capability even before coming into government. He spoke about his experience in government in the last seven years, marshaling the various challenges that we have and he also mentioned the various things that needed to be done.“Number one, to continue with the various things that are being done now and even to make it better. I think he has the capacity and experience and readiness for the job. I want to say that he is probably the number one that we have within the APC today.”Similarly, a prominent member of PYO for President, Asojuoba Michael Adesanya, said the joy the Vice President brought to the hearts of Nigerians from the South to West, from North to East with his declaration is indescribable.Adesanya said that “even though some believe that the Vice President is in a difficult situation to declare his interest to contest for the number one seat of the nation come next year because of some prevailing political circumstances, we all still know that he is the best as we speak for the country and so our best should not be sacrificed on the altar of needless sentiments.“And that is why many Nigerians have been begging him to come out and serve the country, serve the humanity and we thank God that today, Monday April 11, the Vice President heeded the calls of Nigerians at home and in diaspora, and I want to say that it’s a new dawn for the nation because of what Osinbajo presidency signifies like accountability, good governance, economic growth, massive investment in infrastructure, agriculture among others.”On his part, the Managing Partner, BBH Consulting, Barr. Ameh Madaki, said if given an unfettered environment, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has the requisite intellectual capacity and competence to steer the ship of the country in the right direction.In his words, “VP Yemi Osinbajo’s declaration for the 2023 Presidency has finally put paid to months of speculation about his ambitions.“The dilemma he faced in the declaration statement is quite understandable because a sitting VP cannot make a clean break from the administration he is part of. Many Nigerians, however, believe that, given an unfettered environment, Prof. Osinbajo possesses the intellectual capacity and competence to steer the ship of State in the right direction,” he added.Also speaking, a security expert, the Chief Executive Officer, Beacon Security Consult, Dr. Kabiru Adamu, said Osinbajo has heeded the clarion call from majority of Nigerians to vie for 2023 presidential election.He disclosed that Osinbajo has positioned himself to bring about the change Nigeria is yearning for.According to him, “Vice President Yemi Osinbajo answered the clarion call of the majority of Nigerians to declare for the number one seat in the country. In doing this the VP has positioned himself to deliver the change that Nigeria is desperately yearning for.“The VP is a technocrat extraordinaire who has become an astute politician. His management style is comparable to the best and most modern even in the private sector. This positions him to identify and deliver as a leader. He is humble and astute and above all a corruption free candidate.“His promise to radically transform the security and intelligence architecture resonates with me. The changes will introduce probity and accountability in the sector. That is what the sector needs at the moment,” he added.Speaking on what was discussed during the meeting, the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Gov. Abubakar Bagudu, said “Tinubu met members of the PGF where he stated what he had made public already — his intention to seek for the Office of the President come 2023.“He briefed us on his reasons, his thinking, and his message. We appreciated him, his message and will definitely discuss it at one of our forum meetings,”While playing down speculations of rift between the VP and his erstwhile benefactor, Bagudu said Osinbajo and Tinubu being in the 2023 presidential race would not put the governors under any pressure.“In fact, to the contrary, we appreciate that our party has become a party that has endeared itself to Nigerians.“We have many brilliant people in our party; some serving and some not serving.“The fact that we have people in our party that express the desire to lead the party into the highest office in the electoral contest shows how much our party has resonated with Nigerians and with our members.“For us, it is a hallmark of success that people are showing interest, but at the end of the day and because they are leaders of the party, they will always put its interest at heart,” he said.

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