Osinbajo ends consultation with APC governors, says today – Nigeria – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo put an end to all guesswork, spin-offs and rumors last night when he hosted members of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) at the breaking of the Ramadan fast (Iftar) in his official residence, Akinola Aguda House, Presidential Villa, Abuja to reveal to them his intention to run for President.
The Guardian has reliably gathered that the vice president took the opportunity to consult with governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on his presidential ambition ahead of his statement of challenge today.
The guests were Muslim and non-Muslim governors with sufficient representation from all political areas of the country. The move capped months of behind-the-scenes but apparent protests that fueled speculation and pitted the number two against his former boss, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
A source who was at the meeting told The Guardian. He said: “APC Governors, especially those from the North, are already together for the Iftar dinner. The Vice President will now reveal his intention to run for President. He will then release it to all Nigerians on Monday (today).
According to the source, almost all APC Governors except Ondo State Rotimi Akeredolu who is out of the country and his Ekiti counterpart Kayode Fayemi who reportedly encountered flight difficulties , were present.
It ended weeks of speculation and denials over the VP’s next move, months after support groups launched an intense and fiery clamor for Osinbajo to throw his hat into the ring in a bid to take over. to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Guardian reported last Friday that the vice president’s official statement would be “days away”.
According to a senior presidential source, Osinbajo felt that now is the right time to address the issue of 2023 with regard to his ambition, given that the elections are close. “I can now tell you not only soon, but in a few days. This will be an important address.
Racing against the clock after a few tactical delays to monitor the political atmosphere, Osinbajo ended all guesswork, setbacks and rumors last night when he revealed to his party’s governors his intention to run for president, seeking their support for his ambition ahead of next month’s presidential primary. .
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had last week warned political parties against violating election deadlines, as well as provisions of the new 2022 electoral law, saying it would respect the deadlines and schedule of activities for the general elections of 2023. and also monitor the primaries of political parties.
The next activity is the conduct of primaries by political parties, which according to the CENI calendar, is a 61-day period starting from April 4 to June 3, for parties to submit their candidates for all positions in the electorate.
This has necessitated a flurry of activity in political circles over the past seven days, including the declaration for the nation’s highest office by Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi and Pastor Tunde Bakare.
As of 6.45pm yesterday, sources said as many as six governors including Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai and his Ogun State counterpart Dapo Abiodun arrived for the meeting of the vice president.
Other APC governors seen driving ahead of the scheduled 7:00 p.m. time for the meeting include Hope Uzodinma of Imo; Babajide Sanwo-Olu from Lagos and Gboyega Oyetola from Osun.
A source had earlier said that Governor Oyetola was away from Makkah, Saudi Arabia for any Hajj (Umrah), fueling the idea that the Osun State Governor’s car may have been carrying the deputy. governor, Benedict Alabi.
The meeting, which seemed exclusive to only invited governors and some of their aides, did not admit journalists to the vice president’s residence.
A close source had suggested that around 12 APC governors were working behind the scenes for Osinbajo’s emergence as the party’s standard bearer, with the majority of governors from the North. According to the source, Osinbajo was being considered for continuity.
Speaking of last night’s meeting, the source said, “Osinbajo felt the need to brief the governors ahead of a scheduled public statement on Monday of his decision to contest the presidency in 2023 under the APC platform.
“He is also discussing his plans with governors and continuing consultations with more governors and other key stakeholders in the National Assembly and others. As chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) for the past seven years, he has maintained excellent relations with governors of all parties, ethnicities and religions.
“Many governors are also members or directors of certain federal agencies where the vice president is president and their relationships within those agencies have also deepened the bond, producing a strong relationship.
“Virtually all the governors are very well disposed towards him and vice versa over the years as the VP has actually become a champion of the states even as the Buhari administration has come to the aid of the governors with different financial bailouts and Paris refund. Debt.”
Sources with knowledge of the plans have informed us that unless there is a last-minute change, Osinbajo’s statement will not involve any official events or public gatherings. He will instead post a recorded video of around seven to 10 minutes, addressing the public and declaring his 2023 ambition to succeed President Buhari.
The video will be distributed on its social media channels and the sources said the campaign team would get to work immediately afterwards. This style is different from how others used to do declarations before.
Former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha addressed a public rally sharing a template with Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi who announced his intention to a packed stadium in Port Harcourt on Saturday and the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello a week earlier.
Tinubu and Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi addressed the press directly after meeting separately with President Buhari at the State House.
MEANWHILE, in preparation for the battle to choose the APC ticket, Osinbajo’s camp has already opened a campaign office at 15B Buchanan Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja.
In addition to traveling across states to garner support, Osinabjo’s team had conducted opinion polls to guide its decision on the 2023 election. In one such poll, participants were asked to choose their preferred president between Rabiu Kwakwanso, former governor of Kano State; Tinubu and Atiku Abubakar, former vice president.