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The Kingmaker Who Wants to be King


The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has finally declared his intention to contest the 2023 presidency, bringing an end to speculations about his rumoured ambition, writes Adedayo Akinwale

Political activities that will lead to the 2023 presidential election are already taking shape following the declaration of a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the 2023 presidency. His formal declaration came almost after one year of his rumoured interest to fulfill his lifelong ambition.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced in October 2020 that it had fixed February 18, 2023 for the presidential election. Following this announcement, various support groups swung into cation to strategise and project the image of presidential aspirants nursing the ambition of succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari.

Against this background, members of Tinubu’s political family wasted no time on putting a machinery in place to project the presidential aspiration of the former Governor of Lagos State when they inaugurated a presidential campaign movement tagged, “The South-West Agenda (SWAGA).”

In spite of the fact that Tinubu was yet to publicly declare his presidential ambition, SWAGA was inaugurated over a year ago in Ibadan. It has Senator Dayo Adeyeye as its leader, while former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, Senator Adesoji Akanbi, representing Oyo South Senatorial District; former House of Representatives member, Otunba Abayomi Ogunnusi, among others, are members of the movement.

Adeyeye while speaking at the inauguration of SWAGA said for the discerning mind, the 2023 election was already on the front burner of national discourse. He said that was why they asked Tinubu to come out and also urged the entire people of the South-west to rally round him to make him the next president of Nigeria.

Aside from SWAGA, Tinubu Support Group (TSG), the coordinating group for all Tinubu Support groups is already up and running with offices in the 36 states of the federation and with its headquarters in Abuja galvanizing support for Tinubu.

Recall that former Military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida during an interview on ARISE News Channel suggested that individuals in their 60s should be the focus of Nigerians as potential presidential or vice presidential candidates in 2023. IBB said such persons should have deep knowledge of the economy, must have contacts across the nation and must have been traversing the geo-political zones, marketing their acceptability and capacity.

“If you get a good leadership that links with the people and tries to talk with the people; not talking on top of the people, then we would be okay. I have started visualising a good Nigerian leader. That is, a person, who travels across the country and has a friend virtually everywhere he travels to and he knows at least one person that he can communicate with. That is a person, who is very vast in the economy and is also a good politician, who should be able to talk to Nigerians and so on. I have seen one, or two or three of such persons already in their sixties,” he posted.

However, political analysts believe that with his submission, IBB has ruled out a former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Tinubu, from the 2023 presidential run, because they would be in their 70s by the next election.

Unperturbed by IBB’s declaration as well as the forces against him within the ruling party, the presidency, while also considering the fact that his political son, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is equally eyeing the plum job, Tinubu on Monday stormed the Presidential Villa to intimate President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to succeed him in 2023.

Investigations reveal Tinubu’s camp was rattled after Buhari’s interview with Channels TV where he said he would rather keep his choice of Presidential candidate to succeed him to himself because he feared he would be assassinated.

It was based on this that the National Leader of the APC decided to officially take up the gauntlet and brave the odd and take up the battle.To him, becoming the president of Nigeria has been his lifelong ambition, hence his decision to clear years of speculation about his intention. The APC chieftain believs there is nothing wrong for a king-maker to become the king.

During his interaction with newsmen, Tinubu said it was not in his character to discuss other presidential hopefuls, saying he was out to market himself, as he possesses the capacity and vision to lead Nigeria, having successfully governed Lagos State.

He said: “I’ve informed the president of my intention, but I have not informed Nigerians yet. I’m still consulting. And I have no problem consulting. I’ve not set a parameter of limitation to the extent of how many people I will consult. You will soon hear. All you want to hear is the categorical declaration. You’ve gotten that truth from me that I have informed Mr. President of my ambition, and you don’t expect more answers than that.”

Tinubu said: “That’s our business. He is a democrat. He didn’t ask me to stop. He didn’t ask me not to attempt and pursue my ambition, which is a lifelong ambition. So, why do I expect him to say more than that? You are running a democratic dispensation, and you must adopt the principles and the values and the virtues of democracy. That’s it. I don’t want to discuss individuals now. I must discuss myself. I have the confidence, the vision, the capacity to rule, build on the foundation of Mr. President, and turn Nigeria better. I’ve done that with commitment, you know, in Lagos State. You’ve seen that experience and the capacity to turn things around and that is what we are doing.”

The APC chieftain was of the opinion that there was nothing wrong in a kingmaker aspiring to be king. He added, “That is the truth. And I’ve never seen where it is written in the rule book anywhere in any country that a king maker cannot be a king, unless you commit murder. So, whatever is your attribute is your own opinion. Me, I want to pursue my ambition without the title of a king maker. You can write your literature and your story based upon your own perception.”

Despite Tinubu’s decalaration, a coalition of 57 youth groups and students have endorsed Vice Osinbajo for the 2023 presidency. Its National Coordinator, Mr. Festus Ofume while reading the communique on behalf of the 57 groups under the aegis of National Coalition of Youth and Students (NACOYS) after their meeting with officials of The Progressive Project (TPP), stated their resolve to mobilise at least five million youth across Nigeria to support Osinbajo if he finally decides to run for the presidency in 2023.

The coalition said Nigerian youths cannot afford to remain indifferent to the nation’s political process and its future. It stressed that Osinbajo was not only the best qualified among all the names being mentioned as potential aspirants; he is also the most qualified in terms of practical potentials towards redressing issues of deep concern such as the rule of law and unemployment.

“For the future of Nigeria, we firmly believe that Yemi Osinbajo is the best qualified for the office of the President, especially with his intellectual accomplishment, empathy for the younger generation, understanding of the economy and the fact that he has the experience of being an acting President and Vice President with uncompromised passion to consolidate on the achievements of the last seven years.”

The Coalition stated: “At our enlarged meeting held at Abuja on the 10” day of January, 2022, we unanimously endorse Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON as our candidate for the top job of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the 2023 general elections; we came to this conclusion after due consultation nationwide and after a thorough assessment of all he has done over the past seven years.

On the other hand, the Organised Private Sector for Osinbajo (OPS 4 Osinbajo) has insisted that Vice President is better intellectually equipped than any current presidential aspirant for the task of leading the country.

The group, through its spokesman, Mr. Abdulrahman Farouk believes that Osinbajo’s offers much hope for citizens who have high expectations about job creation, increased earnings and growth.

It noted “Even though an aspirant has informed Muhammadu Buhari about his 2023 ambition, the most credible option still appears to be Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and for the organized Private Sector as well as the citizenry, Osinbajo offers much fertile ground for hope to rapidly germinate. With Osinbajo, Nigeria’s organized private sector has much basis for optimism about post-2023 economic activities,”

The group pointed out that rather than mere sentiments, Nigerians must carefully weigh the past and current potentials of various candidates towards using their voter’s card responsibly in the 2023 election.

No doubt the political events are still unfolding and it promises to be interesting as the 2022 is the year of political activities. Whether Osinbajo will run against his benefactor is what is not clear at the moment, but his support groups have refused to relent in pushing his presidential ambition.


I’ve never seen where it is written in the rule book anywhere in any country that a king maker cannot be a king, unless you commit murder. So, whatever is your attribute is your own opinion. Me, I want to pursue my ambition without the title of a king maker. You can write your literature and your story based upon your own perception

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