As President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration ends in less than 17 months, the race for the highest seat in the country has received huge attention from Nigerians.
As the general elections draw closer, top politicians have begun to express their intention to take over the seat of power in the next few months.
The development has seen the likes of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi and the former Governor Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, inform President Buhari about their intention to run on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on its part has seen former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, ex-senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, the publisher of Ovation Magazine, Dele Momodu declare their intention to run in 2023.
However, of all the politicians who have declared interest in succeeding Buhari, Bola Tinubu’s declaration has drawn the most mixed reactions.
Questions have been raised on the competency of the former Governor of Lagos, his state of origin, source of wealth, health status and his real age.
Prominent persons at one point or the other have questioned the real age of the APC stalwart.
A screenshot from the Wikipedia page of the daughter of the APC leader, Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, the Iyaloja of Nigeria had claimed that she was born in 1961.
However, a recent check on her Wikipedia profile reveals that Folashade Tinubu-Ojo does not have any detail about her birth in her history.
Situations like this have resulted in a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Bode George, a vocal critic of Tinubu, questioning the real age and identity of the former Governor.
George while speaking with newsmen at his Lugard Avenue office a few days ago had said Tinubu who hides his age, identity and certificate should not be voted as the president of this country.
He had said, “Who is Ogundele, is that not his real name? Where did he pick up this Tinubu?”
“The man who says he is 69 years old and his first daughter is 60. Did he start making baby by age 9?”
In a recent interview, the director-general of the Bola Tinubu Support Group Management Council, Abdulmumin Jibrin, charged Nigerians to focus on Tinubu’s ability to lead the country instead of questioning the source of his wealth.
Jibrin while answering questions from Arise TV said, “The focus now should be on the capacity and the competence of this candidate.”
He repeatedly sidestepped questions concerning Mr Tinubu’s source of wealth and age.
Recall that Tinubu in January 2021 was reported sick and hospitalised in Paris, France as he was absent from official and party functions in Nigeria before leaving the country for the United Kingdom for knee surgery.
Tinubu, however, returned to the country on the 15th of June around 7 pm, ending speculations that he has been hospitalised in France for old-age related sickness.
Tinubu’s 2023 Race
Despite the questions surrounding the credibility of the APC leader, Tinubu continues to meet political bigwigs with the intention of getting their support
Tinubu since declaring his intention has visited some states in the country and has made donations to victims of terrorist attacks.
The APC leader who visited Zamfara State a few days ago donated N50 million to Zamfara communities recently attacked by terrorists.
The former Governor of Lagos donated to the state governor, Bello Matawalle during a visit to Gusau, the state capital.
The presidential aspirant in his visit to Niger State also donated the sum of N50 million to victims of bandit terrorist attacks.
Tinubu days after the death of the former Governor of Oyo State, Alao Akala, visited the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde to console him on the death of the former Governor and two prominent traditional rulers – the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogunguniso 1.
The APC leader in his journey to presidency also paid a visit to the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari.
This online newspaper reports that the meeting may not be unconnected to the 2023 presidential ambition declared recently by Tinubu.
Meanwhile, some top politicians in the ruling party have noted that they are not threatened by the presidential ambition of the party leader.
Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Kalu, while speaking on his ambition to emerge as the presidential candidate of the APC insisted that he would contest against the APC leader for the ticket of the party if zoned to the South.
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, on his part stated that he will not work for Tinubu, to become president.
Ojudu in the statement released wished Tinubu well but stated that he would not support his presidential ambition and vote for him in the forthcoming primary of the party.
The APC Leader’s Plan For Nigerians
A few days ago, Tinubu revealed the theme for his 2023 presidential campaign.
The former lawmaker and business mogul said the theme of his campaign is titled ‘Breaking Shackles.’
The former Lagos governor in his statement vowed to pay for students West African Examination Council Exams (WAEC) if eventually elected as President.
The development has been condemned by some Nigerians who believe the country is facing more difficult challenges, which need serious attention.
Recall that Naija News had in November last year exclusively leaked Tinubu’s manifesto, which touched on things he plans to achieve as president.
The APC leader in the leaked manifesto has plans for technology, security, leadership, infrastructure, homegrown businesses, education.
Will Tinubu become president? He, first of all, has to battle others in the APC for the presidential ticket, including his political son, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.