The Punch investigations have revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari may have started a move to parley with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of 2019 presidential election. The report showed that the president is making attempts to woo Tinubu following calls from some quarters that the former Lagos state governor is unhappy with him over his recent appointments, which sources say were against the party leader. It was also gathered that prior to the president’s recent moves, the relationship between the duo had not been rosy but Buhari decided to reach out to Tinubu to seek his support for the control of the APC.
Among those the APC leader had tipped for appointments under the Buhari administration were a former commissioner for finance in Lagos state, Wale Edun and a former Commissioner for Budget and National Planning, Yemi Cardoso which sources say may be actualised in the coming months. An anonymous member of the APC national working committee, who spoke with The Punch, informed that Tinubu had been loyal to Buhari. He explained further that Tinubu was fighting Buhari’s battle at the time he decided to support Senator Ahmed Lawan in the move against Senator Bukola Saraki for the Senate presidency.
“You will recall that Tinubu was initially supporting George Akume for the senate president position, but he switched over to Lawan when it became obvious that that was the man the President preferred. “Also, many APC members are aware that Tinubu lost out in ministerial and many of the appointments made by the President,” the source said. Speaking also on the issue was another prominent member of the party who told Saturday Punch that Tinubu’s decorum since President Buhari’s moves has been more like a “siddon look” approach, adding that prominent members of the party were worried that the president rejected the APC leader’s candidates for appointments.
A source within the presidency who also confirmed Buhari’s recent moves, said that the president has not forgotten what the national leader did for him, especially in bringing him to power.
Buhari’s recent efforts to reach out to Tinubu, it was further gathered, was borne out of the alleged moves by some elements in the party (including a former Kano state governor, Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso) to reposition themselves for the 2019 presidential race. This was established when the former governor allegedly launched his 2019 presidential ambition during his visit to Kano early this month, however, Kwankwaso, in a statement signed by his Chief of Staff, Yunusa Dangwani, said he did not launch any presidential campaign. The aide said:
“It is appalling and rather unfortunate that the good gesture of Senator Kwankwaso has been mischievously interpreted wrongly.” Buhari, clearly aware of the moves by some elements in the party to position themselves for the 2019 presidential race, may have been the brain behind the decision of the party caucus at its meeting on Tuesday to declare that there was no presidential vacancy. “Buhari needs the support of Tinubu to survive the onslaught of elements that want to seize the control of the party ahead of the 2019 elections,” another well placed source within the ranks of the APC said, adding that Tinubu’s loyalists would be taken care of as a way of wooing the APC leader, in boards and other appointments that would be made by the president in the months ahead. “Although the President is not somebody who can be dictated to, he is not an ungrateful person.
He is aware of the role played by Tinubu in his election and he will not abandon the man,” he added. Recall that president Buhari on Tuesday evening, met with members of the APC caucus members without embattled Senate president, Bukola Saraki. Photos obtained by Sahara Reporters showed majority of the party’s stalwarts during the meeting including national leader of the party, Asiwaju Tinubu; Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the party’s national chairman, governors from APC states, among other key members. The Punch reports that former vice president, Atiku Abubakar got to the venue of the meeting about 20 minutes after it commenced.
Read more: https://www.naij.com/778225-must-read-president-buhari-romances-tinubu-ahead-2019.html
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