ANALYSIS: The battle of Titans that may consume South West’s presidential ambition


By News Desk

Yemi Osinbajo will soon make public his presidential ambitions. It is reported that he has formally informed President Buhari of his intention to succeed him, setting a political classico with his erstwhile godfather and benefactor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who declared his intention few weeks ago shortly after informing the president.

Osinbajo’s presidential ambition was seen coming by many political watchers. From his careful political positioning to many of his recent moves building alliances across political and social divides, it was clear that the VP will soon throw his hat into the ring.

The recent move by The Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) to open political units in its church ‘to support the political ambitions of its members’ is seen as the clearest attempts to mobilize its base for Osinbajo’s presidential aspiration. Prior to becoming the vice president, Osinbajo was among RCCG’s top echelons and a close ally of the founder and general overseer, Pastor Femi Adeboye.

Many analysts argue that political infighting within the southwest could cost it the presidential ticket, amidst renewed agitations by other southern subregions (south-east and south-south) to be given the nod to succeed President Buhari.

Osibanjo and Tinubu

There’s no doubt that Mr Osinbajo’s move will throw the Southwest in further political confusion. Once seen as a united front led by Tinubu and his political structure, the former Lagos governor cum godfather has witnessed a falling out with many of his erstwhile political godsons. According to one of our sources, Tinubu can no longer rely on any of his political boys: Fashola, Fayemi, Akeredolu, Ojudu Aregbesola, etc, with the former Osun governor now among those rooting for Mr. Osinbajo.

‘For the first time, Bola Tinubu is determined to get the ticket at all cost. He’s tired of being a kingmaker and would rather see the ticket go to another candidate than see any of his former boys in the Southwest clinch it. He feels utterly betrayed. If another formidable candidate like Amaechi is able to marshal significant support among APC governors, the ticket may likely go to another region,’ says another source who does not want his name mentioned.

On his part, President Buhari has remained silent, keeping his choice close to his chest. Some weeks ago, he indicated that he has his preferences but he’s not going to name him over fears that he may be blocked by other interests. But many analysts have inferred that the president is neither sympathetic to Tinubu’s nor Osinbajo’s ambitions. The president is said to be open to a different candidate from other regions, with Amaechi, Emefiele, Silva and ex-president Jonathan leading the pack.

However, much relies on APC governors as they control a bulk of the delegates. But recent infighting within the APC governors over Governor Buni’s fate has exposed the rift within the governors, and if they cannot agree on who leads the party, it is unlikely that they would agree on who flies its ticket.

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