Sources tap Emefiele, Akinwumi Adesina, Tunde Bakare

By Emmanuel Aziken

Permutations about the 2023 presidential ticket of All Progressives Congress, APC, were at the weekend being redefined with increasing speculations on the person  President Muhammadu Buhari’s might favour as a successor.

While Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his former political benefactor and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, have captured the political limelight in their struggle for supremacy, other potential strong aspirants within the APC are continuing to bid their time.

However, against the background of the challenges facing the country and the President’s famed detestation for politicians, sources said the eyes of Buhari are being focused on political greenhorns who may not be encumbered with the political burdens of pushing through the unfinished goals of his administration.

The three persons, sources around the Presidency said are the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, African Development Bank, AfDB, President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina and Pastor Tunde Bakare.

Though a big media tycoon is said to be the one presently marketing Emefiele, sources say he also has the support of some major ears of the President who believe that he has the best credentials to project the legacies of the President in agriculture.

“Do you think the rice show we saw in Abuja a few weeks ago was for nothing,” one source privy to the political undercurrents pushing Emefiele said?

Emefiele, it was gathered, also has the unofficial backing of Corporate Nigeria as Sunday Vanguard learned the intention of the group was firmed up during a foreign vacation of many big players a year ago.

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According to sources, with Buhari allowing Tinubu and Osinbajo to fight themselves into a war of mutual destruction, the option for the Presidency may remain in the South-South where Emefiele, Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi  Amaechi and, whose conferment of a title in Daura, Buhari’s home town last weekend, has fueled speculation that he may join the 2023 presidential race and former President Goodluck Jonathan remain the most viable favourites.

The South-West’s other viable options for the presidency, it is said, are Adeshina, Bakare and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.

However, Adesina and Bakare, just like Emefiele, will require strong political willpower from the Presidency to push as the established political insiders, it is said, will see them as outsiders.

“Traditional politicians will not be happy with any of these outsiders coming to reap where they did not sow,” a source privy to the development told Sunday Vanguard yesterday.

Fayemi, who had been seen as a likely consensus option for APC governors on the account of his headship of the Nigeria Governor Forum (NGF), a source said, remains on the course but his stars with the Presidency were said to have been blighted by the deals with the Tinubu camp during and after the Ekiti governorship primary.

Sunday Vanguard gathered that Senator Bamidele Opeyemi, a contender for the ticket has opted not to further pursue his agitation against the primary that brought in Fayemi’s alleged proxy as the APC governorship candidate in Ekiti. That move, a source said yesterday, was part of the deal.

However, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, another pro-Tinubu aspirant in the Ekiti governorship primary, it was learnt, has not given up and the Fayemi tendency in the state may finally bring Senator Biodun Olujumi into the party as a way of finishing him off in their Ekiti South Senatorial District.

While Osinbajo is believed to have won the admiration of the rank and file of APC members as to the best options for the party, sources say that past issues while he acted for Buhari continue to becloud the judgment of some close to the President.

Power calculations

An elder statesman from the North-East married to a very prominent figure who recently retired from the judiciary is said to be marketing Osinbajo in the North.

He is believed to have arranged meetings for some groups where some northern figures, including General Ibrahim Babangida, endorsed the Vice-President as Nigeria’s best.

Whatever the power calculations among the legacy parties are now coming up as an issue. As a sop to the Tinubu group of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, the national chairmanship aspiration of Bawa Bwari is now said to be finding common currency within the ACN and defunct Congress for Progressives Congress, CPC, blocs.

“If Buhari offers Tinubu National Chairman, he should let him (Buhari) produce the President,” one source said.  But who that dark horse that may emerge as the APC presidential candidate ahead of 2023 remains unknown.

Vanguard News Nigeria


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