National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and presidential hopeful, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has publicly disowned his political godson, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, saying he (Tinubu) has no son who is grown enough to declare for the party’s presidential ticket.
Tinubu stated this after meeting behind closed doors with about 24 APC governors.
Specifically asked to comment on the declaration of his political godson, Osinbajo, to contest the 2023 presidency, the APC leader said, “I don’t have any son grown up enough to make such declaration.”
The former Lagos State governor told journalists that his meeting with the APC governors was one of his numerous consultations with stakeholders on his ambition of replacing President Muhammadu Buhari after the expiration of his tenure in 2023.
“My mission here is to seek collaboration, support and encouragement of my party, the APC, for my ambition to become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a replacement for President Muhammadu Buhari after his tenure,” he stated.
On his part, chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) and Kebbi State governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said there was nothing wrong about Vice President Osinbajo contesting the party’s presidential ticket against his godfather, Tinubu, noting that it was a confirmation of the quality of the party.
He said Osinbajo’s decision to contest against Tinubu does not in any way put the governors in a tight corner.
Responding to the same question, Bagudu said, “No, no, no. In fact, on the contrary, we appreciate our party because it has become a party that has endeared itself to Nigerians. We have many brilliant people in our party, some serving and some not serving.
“The fact that we have people in our party that express desire to lead the party into the highest office in the electoral contest shows how much this our party has resonated with Nigerians and our party members.
“For us, it is a hallmark of success that people are showing interest, but at the end of the day and because they are leaders of the party, they will always put the party’s interest at heart”.
On the rumours that APC may adopt a consensus presidential candidate, the PGF chairman said, “We always encourage our party to go for the best. Don’t forget that in the 2015 presidential election primary, President Buhari contested against several others and it was a beautiful contest.
“There is nothing wrong. Members of the party always want to see consensus if it is possible but we are a democratic party. In our last convention, we had a consensus in some of the offices and an election in some others. There is always misrepresentation of consensus as if people are being snowballed into positions they would rather not take.
“APC has done well as a party, President Buhari has led the party ably well and we believe strongly that come 2023, Nigerians will see another President of the APC extraction,” he assured.
Bagudu said Tinubu acknowledged the role of the governors in the last convention where the governors of the party steadied the party by helping in “the evolution of the leadership that is accepted and widely acknowledged as that which we wish for our party.
The APC governors at the meeting are Nasir el-Rufa’i, of Kaduna State; Dapo Abiodun – Ogun; Simon Lalong – Plateau; Abdullahi Ganduje – Kano; Atiku Bagudu – Kebbi; Mai Mala Buni – Yobe; Babajide Sanwo-Olu – Lagos; Hope Uzodimma – Imo; Abdullahi Sule – Nasarawa; Muhammad Badaru – Jigawa, and Gboyega Oyetola, of Osun.