The claim that some governors in the All Progressives Congress (APC) are plotting that one of them should succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 is creating anxiety in the camps of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Whereas two of the party’s governors – Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and his Ebonyi counterpart, Mr Dave Umehi – have already signified their intention to vie for the APC presidential ticket ahead of the 2023 general elections, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State was expected to conclude his consultations last week preparatory to publicly declaring his presidential bid.
Fayemi is the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), the umbrella body for governors, regardless of party, in the country.
Governors Plot Against Tinubu, Osinbajo Conceived At NGF
The idea was said to have been floated within the NGF that, with the experience the members serving their second term have garnered, any of them is as good as any of the veteran politicians also aspiring to succeed Buhari.
Other front runners in the race for the presidential ticket in the APC are Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi and Labour Minister Chris Ngige, all from southern Nigeria.
The propenderance of the presidential aspirants of southern origin appears to be so in the APC following the understanding that since the incumbent is from the North, the successor should be from the South.
The North/South rotation of the presidency has gained traction since 1999.
While Yahaya Bello, according to sources, is being supported by the immediate-past National Chairman of the defunct Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, Gov. Mai Mala Buni, among others, Fayemi is said to be making further consultations across the country while a group aligned to him, The Nigerian Agenda, TNA, has also been visiting stakeholders and staging pro-democracy events.
And whereas, the governors of Lagos, Osun and Kano, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Mr Gboyega Oyetola and Dr Abdullahi Gandoje respectively, are said to be in bed with Tinubu, the same cannot be said of Osinbajo.
Rather than lose out, some of the APC governors, it was learnt, are considering the possibility of having a meeting within the next two weeks to deliberate on the subject matter to concretise the plot given the ascendancy of Tinubu and Osinbajo at the moment.
“The division among the governors is due to competing loyalties. The fact is that while majority of them want President Muhammadu Buhari to keep to the pre-National Convention agreement to allow them nominate from among themselves, a handful of them have their primary loyalties. You have Bello and Fayemi who are contestants and you have those who are aligned to Asiwaju and the vice president respectively”, a source told this paper.
“However, they don’t want to be ‘ambushed’ like it happened during the National Convention where their inability to present a common front from the word go made Mr President to pick for them”.
Already, Fayemi is said to be in quiet consultations with critical stakeholders. Sources in the know said the consultations are largely driven by some political and corporate players.
“He is at present meeting with his colleague governors to get their buy- in.
Even though, as NGF Chairman, it could be assumed that he could access his colleagues using the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and or the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) platforms, JKF has chosen to go meet them in their respective states, while he met some in Abuja”.