If reports emanating from the Aso-Villa are to be correct it could be established that as President Muhammadu Buhari is preparing to announce his 2019 decision there are chances that he may pick a running mate from the South-East geo-political zone for the ruling APC to convince Nigeria on its plan to truly restructure the country.
This was revealed by a top source within the Presidency who is also a member of the APC and has been worried with the spate of tension in the polity arising from the killings and terror incessantly unleashed by alleged fulani herdsmen on innocent Nigerians in Benue, Taraba, Plateau states, the resurgence of IPOB protesters who were seen in a video saying they are not a terrorist organisation as proscribed by the Federal Government, there are indications that at the party level, the National leader of the APC Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu may be behind calls for President Buhari to pick an Igbo running mate.
The source from the Villa who pleaded anonymity confirmed that the former governor of Lagos state Bola Tinubu who had since denied reports in December 2017 tipping him as President Buhari’s running mate ahead of 2019 general elections, may have given the nod for an Igbo Vice President to emerge.
According to the source, if you look at the Presidency of Nigeria since 1999 till date you’ll find out that no Igbo man has assumed that position and even when the Vice President’s position was offered to the South in 2007 under the PDP it was given to the South-South whose cry for marginalisation was louder at that time. According to him it is the belief of many within the party that this is the turn of the Igbo’s and why would Asiwaju or anyone stop it.
“If you look at things within the Yoruba space of the APC it is now between Osinbajo and Tinubu, and if VP Osinbajo is allowed to continue as President Buhari’s running mate in 2019 it shuts the chances for a Yoruba President in 2023 which is the bigger picture.”
Of course you know President Buhari has not told Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that he is contesting yet for 2019, which means the VP has no agenda for 2019 in his mind and is simply focused on this single tenure and how to assist the President fulfil his promises to Nigerians,” he said.
The source further recalled how Tinubu had singlehandedly nominated Prof. Osinbajo who was a presiding pastor of a Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and reposed so much trust in him to be a reliable Vice President to the former Military ruler turned General Muhammadu Buhari.
“It was Tinubu that picked Osinbajo and now he has done the job excellently well and as a pastor I know Osinbajo is even willing to return back to the Ministry work because he is a man that loves the work of God, in fact he doesn’t miss the weekly digging deep and prayer meetings that hold almost trice a week and he is always fasting.”
He also added that amidst all that has been happening in the country from the marauding killings across the Benue/Plataea, to the scarcity of fuel since December last year Prof. Osinbajo have always been in a state of piety and somber reflections as opposed to President Buhari’s cheerful disposition in recent times most of which may be attributed to his much improved health.
The chances of the Igbos producing the Vice Presidential candidate within the APC is still being weighed by political watchers especially with 2023 Presidency in mind if the ruling party seeks a Buhari two term for the North.
Who are the likely frontrunners? Will ‘Jagaba’ be able to pull out another political green horn from the South-East just as he did in 2014 when he tipped Prof. Osinbajo to run with GMB in his stead?
Rochas Okorocha is the only Igbo APC governor and has remained only but a lone voice within the South-East region for the party. His chances could have been brighter for the 2019 VP slot as the only surviving governor from the South-East, but for his public disagreement with the APC National Leader Tinubu over the role of APC governors in the process of nominating a Presidential candidate for the party; things don’t really look in the favour of the gigantic sculpture loving governor of Imo.