Tuesday, 3 August 2021

2023 Presidency: I'll Make My Decision Known After APC Convention...Tinubu

 Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former gov­ernor of Lagos State and national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), will formally make his position known on whether he will be seeking to contest for the highest political office in the coun­try in 2023 after the party’s national convention, Daily Independent has gathered.

Already, the Caretaker Ex­traordinary Convention Plan­ning Committee (CECPC) headed by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State has commenced ward congresses election across the country. It has not announced any date for the national convention where a substantive party ex­ecutive that will lead the party to the general election will be elected. Several groups in the coun­try have been launched by supporters of Tinubu, asking him to run in 2023, prominent among them is the South West Agenda for Asiwaju (SWAGA 23), a group which comprises former lawmakers and po­litical associates of the APC national leader.

However, there are also reports that the presidency which has already constituted a group to search for a worthy successor to President Mu­hammadu Buhari across the country is already mounting pressure on Tinubu to drop his presidential ambition and support a younger candidate. Speaking with Daily In­dependent, a very close as­sociate of Tinubu, who does not want his name in print, acknowledged the fact that even in the APC, there have been divergent views on whether Tinubu should run or support any of his loyalists for the presidential primary billed to hold next year.

“Asiwaju has not con­vened any meeting where the issue of 2023 presidency is discussed but the fact is that many of his loyalists believe that he will run based on his body language. The truth is he has received several advice from Nigerians on whether he should run or not but the ulti­mate decision is his to make.

“I strongly believe that he will make his position known after the national convention of the party. No date has been announced but we are confi­dent that it will hold this year. Every presidential candidate knows the significance of the convention because that is where those who will deter­mine the fate of the party will be decided.

“I believe that is the focus of Asiwaju for now. After the convention, the picture will be clear as to whether he will run or not and he will make deci­sion. Don’t also forget that af­ter the convention where the national chairman and other party executives are elected, the next event is the presi­dential primary. So, there is no need for anybody to hide anything again. Anyone who wants to contest will come out to declare”.

When asked if reports that Tinubu had a knee re­placement surgery in John Hopkins Hospital in Mary­land, USA, is true, the APC chieftain said Tinubu usual­ly travels abroad to rest and strategise given the fact that his itinerary in Nigeria is very tight and he hardly has time for himself.

While debunking reports that he is critically ill, he said there is nothing wrong if he also used that period to do medical checks and attend to his health if the need arises.

“Those of us who have been with him know how busy he is. Once he wakes up as early as 10 a.m, it is from one meeting to another and he doesn’t sleep until 3 a.m. Everybody wants to see him for one issue or another and he usually does his best to at­tend to everyone.

“So, he usually travels abroad to have a quiet time and strategise. Every man needs his private moment. But it is unfortunate that fifth columnists believe that when­ever a ‘big man’ travels out­side the country, it is to seek medical attention or surgery. It is very unfortunate the way people think”.

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