By Janet Bassey (Governance Reporter)
Former governor of Lagos State and a leader in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Monday, visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa Abuja and intimated the President of his resolve to vie for the 2023 Presidential election.
Tinubu who was a Senator in the ill-fated Third Republic political dispensation and one of the political leaders that formed an alliance known today as the APC to oust the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from power in 2015 general elections, told State House Journalists shortly after his meeting with the President, that he had informed Buhari that he would run for the next year's Presidential poll.
Tinubu said: “I’ve informed the president of my intention but I have not informed Nigerians yet,” he told journalists. “I’m still consulting.”
The rumours of Tinubu's Presidential quest has been in the realm of speculation for sometime but he finally let the cat out of the proverbial bag on Monday, January 10, 2021, during his visit to President Buhari. Following this development, Tinubu perhaps, is set to formally announce his intention to vie for the Presidency of Nigeria any moment from now.
Late last year when Tinubu travelled to the UK for a knee-replacement surgery and recuperation, politicians, particularly those of the APC turned his London abode to a Mecca of a sort with their numerous visits. On the eve of Tinubu's return to Nigeria from his UK treatment in October last year, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and some APC chieftains, hinted at the Onikan Stadium in Lagos, that Tinubu would run for the nation's top office when they launched a campaign group in support of Tinubu's aspiration called the South-West Agenda 2023 (SWAGA ‘23).
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The launch of SWAGA '23 signalled a floodgate of political activities as many Tinubu support groups began to show visibility in some parts of the country. The Tinubu campaign support groups also invaded the media, including the digital and social media to market the APC Chieftain.
The Presidential quest of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu also got the subtle and open support of some political leaders in the North such as Kano state governor and elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai.
According to Yakasai, “I don’t want to join any (political) party but I can support a candidate of my choice. I have said it way back in 1951 that I will not be a party member but I will support a candidate of my choice. "He (Tinubu) just came to visit me but actually I have two of them (presidential aspirants) that I have earmarked right from the beginning and I made a vow that any one of them who came to ask for my support first is the person I would support. Tinubu is the first person. He (Tinubu) did, and he asked for my support.”
Even shortly after a closed-door meeting with members of the Northern Alliance Committee (NAC), in December, Tinubu hinted that he was still consulting widely across the country on whether or not he would contest. He said he would not turn down individuals and groups urging him to run for President.
“I’m not going to turn them down,” he had declared. “But, I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly and tell Nigerians. NNL.