Will Bola Tinubu Run For President In 2023?

While the number of campaign organisations for the realisation of his presidential aspiration keeps increasing rapidly, the man himself, Mr Bola Tinubu, has not said a word.

Is this a strategy for the contest or a diversionary tactic to influence eventual emergence of the real candidate?

Not a word has been spoken by Mr Bola Tinubu on his supposed Presidential ambition, yet reports seen to suggest growing acceptance of the man.

Regarded as the National Leader of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, the former governor of Lagos State has seen his political stock risen so rapidly even while he was away to London for medical attention.

Nigerian President, Mr Muhammadu Buhari, the Speaker of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu headlined those who staged a get-well-soon visit to him in London.

Since his return, his country home in Lagos has been like a Mecca, as his political proteges, the caretaker chairman of his party, political supporters and friends have all visited him. And many more are still doing so weeks after his return.

Yet, while the man himself has not said anything, over one hundred different organizations have emerged to sell his candidature.

In fact, the Lagos State governor inaugurated the South West Agenda for Asiwaju, SWAGA, as a statement that no candidate on the platform of the APC would be allowed to contest against him from the zone. Such a no-contest show has not been criticised, leaving Tinubu as the sole aspirant in the party from the region.

The governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, came out to say whatever Tinubu says they will follow and led some governors from the zone to his country home after his return from overseas medical treatment.

Yet, as plethora of campaign organisations keep rising, Tinubu remains quiet and mute on 2023 presidency. But that has not diminished his profile but has confounded some political watchers who have failed to grasp his style.

A close associate of the man called Jagaban told THE WHISTLER that, his “style is his style. He is a shrewd politician. He wants to watch and see the political climate and check his chances before taking a plunge.”

Saying he was not authorised to speak on matters like this, he however revealed that “all has been worked and planned and soon it would be unfolded. But don’t forget, this silent approach is a strategy deliberately adopted for safety purpose.

“You know, the country is going through a lot in terms of insecurity, unemployment and bad economy. Somebody like Tinubu would be blamed for starting the journey too early.

“Again, there is a Vice President, who is also nursing the ambition. By virtue of the position of the Vice President, no matter who you are, you must defer to him because the office must be respected.

“So, everything especially the Presidency must be negotiated. It’s not a given, no. That he is Tinubu does not mean everyone would sit idly by and gift him the APC Presidential Ticket and then the Presidency. He like others must work.

“But what has made Tinubu’s position better and puts him in good stead to others is that, he is experienced, prepared and ready. He has made a lot of people politicians and they are everywhere. In addition to that is the fact that he laid the blueprint on which Lagos is growing today.

“Because he has paid his dues, alot of people feel they should pay him back and put him as Nigerian number one so that he can replicate what he did in Lagos in the whole country.”

Speaking in the same vein, a political activist and former Director of New Media of the PDP, Deji Adeyanju, said even though he has not openly stated he wants to contest, “he is secretly telling people he’s running for the office. He has been meeting people,” he told THE WHISTLER in an exclusive interview.

Referencing the event that happened in the UK, he said, “In one of the trending videos in the UK, after they had a meeting, people were even calling him ‘good bye Mr president,’ those things are clear indications of his intention to run.”

Asked if this silent posturing was strategic, he answered in the affirmative adding that, “You know that he and his political godson, VP Yemi Osinbajo are from the same political family and Yemi Osinbajo is also planning to run.

“With Asiwaju, you never can tell. He wanted to be VP (in 2015) and in the last minutes, he brought his godson, Osinbajo, one of those he had been mentoring for many years. So you never can tell with politicians 2 hours is a long time in politics.’

According to Adeyanju, “Majority of the support groups that are canvassing for him to run are being sponsored by him.

“He wants to run but he will consider several other factors, to know whether those factors will ensure or endanger his bid.”

He added that “whether he runs or not is at his own discretion. Nigerians generally believed that people like asiwaju should go and rest. They are too old. They are part of the people that have grossly underdeveloped the country. They have bastardized the country.

“The country has done so much for them and they should be grateful for what the country has done for them.

“They have done far too worse to damage the integrity and image of the country.

“This is somebody who ferried money with bullion van during the last election to his house on the eve of that election and he not been prosecuted for that.

“You are aware that we wrote a petition to the EFCC and EFCC has failed to act on that because people like asiwaju are naturally above the law in Nigeria.”

But as the election month drags closer, it remains to be seen whether the man popularly called the Lion of Bourdillon would throw his hat in the ring or simply remain at the ringside to annoint a winner for 2023.

But whichever he chooses, it is almost certain that he would be influential in the the countdown to 2023.

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