2023 Presidency: Tinubu, Osinbajo groups clash

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Support groups loyal to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on the one hand and those backing the All Progressives Congress national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on the other, on Monday, engaged in a war of words on social media, television and radio following Osinbajo’s formal declaration of his presidential ambition.

This is just as reports reveal that the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, might support the Vice-President’s ambition.

After months of speculations, Osinbajo released a pre-recorded video on social media on Monday where he informed Nigerians of his desire to succeed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

The declaration was a sequel to a meeting with the APC governors at the Presidential Villa late on Sunday to seek their support ahead of the party’s primary which is expected to take place next month.

In the video, Osinbajo said he believed that God endowed him with many experiences as the country’s number two citizen to enable him to serve better as President in 2023 and beyond.

He stated, “Dear Nigerians, for the past seven years, I have served as Vice President under a true Nigerian patriot, a servant of the nation in war and peace, and a man of integrity, President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We have, together, worked through some of the most difficult times in our nation’s history, but we have remained focused on securing the country, providing infrastructure, and growing our economy. As stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution, our tenure will end next year.

“In this period of seven years, I have served the government in several capacities, and I have, at the direction of Mr President, represented our country in sensitive high-level international engagements.”

Osinbajo, who noted that he had been to practically all local governments in the country, said his interactions with Nigerians and the experiences from those interactions put him in a better position to succeed Buhari.

He added, “I have been in markets, factories, schools, and farms. I have been in agricultural, mining, and oil-producing communities in the Delta, in Kebbi, Enugu, Borno; Rivers, Plateau and Ondo, and in all other states of the federation, listening to the diverse experiences and yearnings of our people. I have visited our gallant troops in the North-East and our brothers and sisters in the IDP camps.

“I have felt the pain and anguish of victims of violent conflicts, terrorist attacks, flooding, fire, and other disasters. I have been in the homes of many ordinary Nigerians in various parts of the country. I believe that the very reason why the Almighty God gave me these experiences, these insights, and these opportunities, is that they must be put to the use of our country and its great people.

“This is why I am today, with utmost humility, formally declaring my intention to run for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.”

Osinbajo promised to complete the unfinished business of the Buhari regime, including the quest of radically transforming the nation’s security and intelligence architecture; completing the reform of the justice system focusing on adequate remuneration and welfare of judicial personnel, ensuring justice for all and the observance of the rule of law, rapidly advancing infrastructure development, especially power, roads, railways and broadband connectivity.

He, therefore, called on all Nigerians to support his quest promising to build a country where everyone is given equal access to the abundant opportunities that God has bestowed on the nation.

“I now most solemnly and respectfully seek the support of fellow Nigerians everywhere in this land, and the diaspora, young and old, male and female, in the great and exciting journey that we have ahead of us. I seek your own support,” he added.