… It’s Untrue— Campaign Coordinator
In what may be a show of respect, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is set to instruct his teeming supporters to stop further campaigns for him to be president following the declaration to run for the office of the president by the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
This paper had exclusively reported that following a meeting between Tinubu and Osinbajo in 2021, the latter gave a node to Tinubu’s presidential ambition, which effectively ended his own.
The report was not denied by the Vice President or his camp.
Osinbajo, a successful lawyer and pastor, came into politics when Tinubu was governor of Lagos State.
He was the state’s Commissioner for Justice and became one of Tinubu’s trusted allies.
The relationship of mutual trust and confidence between the two facilitated Osinbajo’s energence as Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in 2015.
Sources have now confirmed to THE WHISTLER that Osinbajo, who has not made known his presidential ambition, will ask his supporters to end their activities and queue behind Tinubu to realize his ambition.
One of the sources close to the Vice President, who was part of the team that opened an office in Wuse 2, Abuja, confided in this paper that loyalty is an important virtue for the vice president.
“We, Osinbajo’s supporters won’t have any scruple against Tinubu. Whatever our principal decides we will follow,” he said off record.
He added that, “We won’t force him (Osinbajo) because he’s the one that will run while we will support.
“Following Asiwaju’s declaration, we held a quick meeting and it emerged while we were at the meeting that the Vice President wouldn’t want to be seen to fight his political mentor.
“We were told he will inform everyone to support Tinubu and that he won’t declare. I don’t know if he will openly ask us to stop campaigning for him as he hasn’t declared, we don’t know yet.
“But it’s true that we would be told to stop our activities. Besides, the funding will stop if there’s no movement in the VP’s camp.”
While the spokesman to the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, failed to respond to enquiries made to the Vice President’s office, the National Coalition for Youths and Students for Osinbajo, NCYSO, Mr Festus Ofume, denied the reports declaring that, “That is not true”.
He however said the group “cannot categorically tell that the VP is contesting.”
According to the youths coordinator, feelers all pointed to Osinbajo contesting for the ticket of the APC, despite the declaration by Tinubu.
He said the group and other support groups would have long been asked to stop if the VP will not contest.
He further informed that the Osinbajo group, especially the NCYSO, had been carrying out advocacy and sampling opinion of Nigerians especially the youths, “who are yearning for the VP’s leadership as a president of Nigeria.
“There are youths in Nigeria who feel that governance is within their reach. We are protecting our interest. And we have sampled opinion and found out that the VP is a capable person that the country needs right now to be the number one citizen. That’s why we are not only going to give him support, we are calling upon him to come and serve in this capacity as a president for the nation.
“If we had the notion that he has been asking people to dismantle structure, we won’t be doing whatever we are doing. We have never really spoken to the vice president.”
He explained that based on sampled opinion, the VP remained the best candidate, adding that the group had risen “to make this clarion call for him to come and run for the office of the president.”
He however said the group had no reason to wait for the VP to indicate interest.
“If he indicates interest we will support him. That is what we want. Now that he has not indicated interest, we are more focused on sampling opinion and the interest of the generality of Nigerians pointing towards him to be the person that will lead for the country next 8 years so that we can consolidate on what this present government is doing and also correct areas where the government has not met the expectation of Nigerians.”
He discountenanced insinuation that Osinbajo will not challenge Tinubu for the APC ticket saying while both were qualified, the support group will work hard to produce him as the next president of Nigeria.
He added that both Osinbajo and Tinubu were working towards the same path to produce the best person as the president of Nigeria.