Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has concluded plans to announce his presidential ambition immediately after the All Progressives Congress (APC) national convention, slated for Saturday, February 26.
Sources close to Osinbajo’s strategy team hinted at the weekend that in spite of the ongoing campaigns against his currently rumoured bid for the presidency by some interests in the South-west, where he hails from, Osinbajo had made up his mind to give the presidency a shot.
Even more instructive, inside sources claimed, was the fact that Osinbajo had received the blessing and the charge to go ahead with his ambition from his spiritual father and General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
The source said:
“Take it to the bank, he will run and he is declaring soon after the APC convention. All is set, including premium consultations already done. The coast is clear and the journey is looking good. I believe prof is also motivated by the increasing level of support from across the country, especially, the youths of this country.
“From the north to the south, tell me where he has visited recently and the charge has not been that he should contest? He has capacity, competence and knows what the issues are. Importantly, he can also sell them – I mean the issues. So, why will he not run? Why should the bitterness and envy of some minions stifle him?”
Osinbajo, who sources said was unfazed by the growing allegation of betrayal and the push for him to stand down his ambition for his former principal and supposed benefactor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who had since declared his intention to run, was said to have described the attacks against him as the real motivation to take his chances.
The source added, “In fact, none of such bothers him. But he has done one thing though, he has called his supporters and pleaded with them never to talk down on Tinubu or engage in a mud fight with his support groups, even in the face of obvious provocation.”
Although Osinbajo has refused to officially talk about his aspiration, despite the growing support for him to succeed Buhari, he is said to have been holding high level consultations with prominent Nigerians, many of whom have encouraged him to give the aspiration his best shot possible.
THISDAY gathered that Osinbajo’s motivation to run for the presidency in 2023 stemmed from the first time he acted as president, when Buhari was away on medical leave to London, during which he took far-reaching decisions in the national interest. It was further gathered that taking active charge during the period provided the vice president both the confidence and impetus to desire to succeed his current boss.
An APC member, who is favourably disposed to Osinbajo’s aspiration, stated, “It may be right to admit he stands a really good chance to succeed President Buhari after eight years as his deputy. He is an insider, who has had the opportunity of seeing things from high and serious vantage position, especially, having acted before on behalf of his boss.
“Although that may not be enough to get the presidency of Nigeria, because I believe and I know there are some politics directly connected to being the president of Nigeria. But, how well Osinbajo fits into that conversation is another debate altogether. From the list of those currently strutting the turf, he stands a really good chance, except the election is not his to lose.
“But, file this away, he is contesting and would declare after the APC convention. I am aware of that. There’s actually no stopping him. The supports have been sweeping and encouraging and for him, this opportunity might just be once and might never come his way again. Sincerely, he has nothing to lose throwing his hat in the ring. After all, he is already a frontline aspirant.”
Asked if it was true that Adeboye had given his blessing, the party chieftain, who would rather maintain anonymity, stated, “I am not privy to that, but it’s also a simple logic. Osinbajo is a pastor in Redeem and Baba Adeboye would never leave one of his own to support someone else. I also believe he must have hinted him. Honestly, the days ahead will be interesting.”