Fresh facts have emerged on why the All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, finally decided to formalise his presidential ambition by declaring on Monday that he had informed President Muhammadu Buhari of it.
For many months, Tinubu’s presidential ambition had been a subject of speculation, amid fears that Buhari might be opposed to it.
But sources close to the former Lagos State governor hinted FirstNews that the decision to visit Buhari and officially inform him and also break it to journalists was taken last week at the Tinubu Bourdillon home in Lagos when his strategy and media experts had a closed-door meeting with him.
One of those at the meeting, who craved anonymity, revealed to our correspondent, “We felt it won’t be good for Osinbajo to first declare his ambition, as doing so can do incalculable damage to Jagaban’s ( as Tinubu is fondly called) aspiration.”
The source noted that all eyes are now on Osinbajo to see if he would come out to counter Tinubu, his political godfather and that with the declaration, Buhari, believed to reserve some affection for Osinbajo, would be put in a tight corner.
When he was asked on his presidential ambition at a media parley in Abuja, Tinubu said, “I can answer categorically yes. I have informed the president of my ambition but I have not informed Nigerians yet. I am still consulting.
“I have no problem with consulting and I have not set a parameter of limitation to the extent of how many people I will consult.
“All you want to hear is a categorical declaration. You’ve gotten that truth from me. I have informed Mr. President of my ambition and you don’t expect more answers than that.”
He put a lie to speculation that President Buhari would soon stop him from contesting.
He said Buhari “is a democrat; he didn’t ask me to stop, he didn’t ask me not to pursue my ambition. It’s a life-long ambition.
“Why should he stop me? You are running a democratic dispensation, and you must adopt the principles, values and virtues of democracy. That’s it.”
As for the touted presidential ambition of his political godson, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, which may clash with his declared ambition, Tinubu said, “I don’t want to discuss about personalities now, I want to discuss about myself. I have the confidence, the vision, the capacity to become president.”
Tinubu had earlier told the journalists during the interactive session that he came to see the President to discuss the APC but came short of saying it had to do with building factional crises and dangers posed to the party’s forthcoming convention.
He added that he came to broach with Buhari on the security challenges Nigeria is facing and “the New Year agenda, the achievement and the strategies that we must have party congresses and all that”.
When reminded, however, that he is a kingmaker and is widely expected to recline at home and anoint a presidential candidate, Tinubu replied that ‘A kingmaker can decide to be king'”, saying that is exactly what he intends to do.
Meanwhile, the presidential aspirant is reportedly shopping for a potential running mate from the North.
Sources close to the Tinubu Bourdillon Lagos residence told FirstNews that he had penciled down names from both North-East and North-West and would consult with his caucus, on who to pick.