- How National Assembly Plans To Mobilize For His Ambition
- The Buhari’s Factor
The camps of former Lagos State Governor, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other presidential hopefuls on the platform of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) are currently in disarray following the recent emergence of Senate President Ahmed Lawan in the presidential race.
Since he declared his intention to run for president, the Senate President has been growing in leaps and bounds which has confused his fellow aspirants.
The first indication of the strength of Lawan’s candidacy emerged when Orji Kalu, Chief Whip Of The Senate dropped his presidential ambition and endorsed Lawan while also calling on his supporters to throw their weight behind Lawan.
“I congratulate my friend, former roommate and boss, Senator Ahmad Lawan as he picks form to run for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under our great party, APC,” the statement reads.
“I am most glad because he is from the North East, the only zone alongside South East that is yet to produce President of Nigeria,” he said.
As if that was not enough indication, Kalu, dropped another bombshell that nine presidential hopefuls from the APC are set to back the bid of Lawan.
“Lawan’s candidature will rock like a hurricane,” Kalu disclosed.
“The issue of the APC presidential candidate will be settled even before the primaries.
“As I am talking to you, about nine presidential aspirants from our party have intimated to me of their plans to drop their presidential ambition to support Ahmad Lawan.
“Does that not signify victory before the election? Lawan’s candidature will rock like a hurricane.
“Lawan is from the north-east and has similar sympathy with the south-east that is yet to produce a president.
“I have repeated my reasons for dropping my ambition for Lawan severally and I am sure Nigerians are aware already.
“We are also expecting an influential presidential aspirant from the opposition to join the APC.
“So, you can see the party is very progressive and properly ready for Lawan’s emergence.”
Similarly, Lawan’s ambition enjoys the support of a sizeable number of principal officers of the Senate who are his confidants and belong to his inner cabinet.
The list includes Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi; chairman of Senate Committee on Appropriation, Barau Jubrin; Senator representing Niger East and former aspirant for the office of national chairman, Sani Musa; Deputy Chief Whip and Senator representing Niger North, Sabi Abdullahi.
Another factor that may tilt the ticket towards Lawan is the issue of the marginalization of the North-East, the region where Lawan comes from.
This position was strengthened by a chieftain of the APC, who incidentally is the chairman, of the National Stability Project, Sam Nkire, whose group purchased the form for Lawan.
He stated that the North-East is as marginalised as the South-East and needed to be placated. He argued that the North West, North-Central, South-South and South-West had all had their fair deal in the country on the issue of power rotation.
“PDP is most likely to go to the North to pick its candidate. APC is not in politics to lose. The PDP that has zoning in its constitution has jettisoned it. The APC has not breached any agreement because zoning is not in its constitution. I am from the South and I am for the Igbo presidency but it isn’t feasible now. When something isn’t feasible, you don’t go on pushing for it.
“For me, it is the turn of the North-East. I will rather vote for a North Easterner because it is the North East and South-East that have not produced a president of Nigeria. The North-West, South-West and South-South have had their fair share. So, I won’t waste my time, I will rather align with North East.
To further underscore Lawan’s growing stature and acceptability, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and his counterpart from Imo State, Hope Uzodinma led several senators to submit the presidential nomination forms for Lawan.
A bombshell was dropped by Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal who revealed that APC is currently fine-tuning plans to field Lawan as its candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
Tambuwal, a frontline presidential hopeful of the PDP disclosed on Monday while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting with PDP delegates in Lokoja, Kogi State that Ahmed has the backing of President Buhari.
“They are gradually moving away from their zoning arrangement. We know their tricks. They want to see the outcome of our primary come May 28 and 29 before they will decide who will be their candidate,” Tambuwal said.
“Look at the APC national chairman. He is quiet about their supposed zoning arrangement simply because they already have plans to field Senator Ahmad Lawan depending on who is the presidential candidate of our party.”
“No doubt the issue of insecurity is a national issue, but it has worsened under the present administration. Any attempt to vote for an APC aspirant or candidate will worsen Nigeria’s situation. Nigeria should know that APC will continue with Buhari’s bad leadership and under-development,” Tambuwal pointed out.
“This will not go down well for our country as there is hardship in the land. We must not lose hope in this nation. Nigeria will rise again as we need a leader who will unite and not divide us.”
He further noted that the eight years of the APC were horrible compared to the 16 years of PDP in power, stressing that the judiciary is currently under attack.
Already seeing the handwriting on the wall, Tinubu is reported to be finetuning his plan B which is to decamp to the Social Democratic Party, SDP if he fails to get the APC ticket.
Asiwaju’s associates are already talking tough. Recently, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal stated that Tinubu had plan B if APC primaries are manipulated against him.
Although, he noted that APC remains the primary platform Tinubu intends to actualize his dream of presiding over the affairs of the nation; other options including the SDP would be explored if the primaries come short of transparency and credibility.
“It is too early to ask if Asiwaju would leave the APC for another party. He is a big factor in APC, a party he helped form, financed and nurtured into what it is today. We are not unaware of recent developments and attempts to insult a man who has paid his dues in the political evolution of this country. But that is not important for now. What I can tell you is that our leader, like other contestants, is looking forward to a credible process that would lead to the emergence of our flag bearer. But if that process is compromised, I can tell you for free that we will encourage him to explore other options.
It is left to be seen how this scenario will play out in the coming days.