Ahead of the 2023 presidential race, former Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo is reportedly drumming support for African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina who is yet to declare any ambition.
Obasanjo’s reported support for the former agriculture minister means former Lagos governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu will not enjoy the former president’s backing.
Tinubu, despite the barrage of corruption cases on his neck, is reportedly working hard through proxies and political godsons to ensure that he gets nationwide support.
It has since started manifesting in the crude exploitation of the poverty situation of Nigerians by the sharing of Tinubu-branded rice bags first in Kano and Borno states.
Sources, according to Sahara Reporters, said Obasanjo’s silent moves for Adesina are coming just as he (Obasanjo) failed to convince Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state and former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano state to work together to advance a common interest of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the presidential election.
It was learnt that both Tambuwal and Kwankwaso are planning the possibility of running for the presidency under the PDP come 2023 but Obasanjo had tried and failed to reconcile them ahead of the next political dispensation.
According to Vanguard, a source close to the former president said that it was the reconciliation of the two men that took the former leader to the caliphate last week while he was in the state to commission some projects completed by the state government.
“Last week, Baba was in Sokoto under the guise of flagging off some projects completed by Tambuwal but the real intention was to reconcile Governor Aminu Tambuwal with Rabiu Kwankwaso ahead of 2023 because two of them, who are his political sons, are keen on the presidency,” an aide to the former president was quoted to have said.
“But it is also clear that Baba is trying hard to put up structures for another political son of his, that is the current African Development Bank President, Adesina, under the Peoples Democratic Party since it is clear to him that the North would not support his candidates for the posts.
“It is obvious to him that the reconciliation that the former leader is pushing is not in the interest of the North and he might jettison his current party and push for the formation of a hybrid party that will weaken both the PDP and the APC and strengthen the new one to win the Presidency in two years.
“Baba’s backing for the AfDB President is predicated on his sound educational, economic and leadership pedigree that he believes can guaranty him easy victory over other recycled politicians with some baggage,” the top politician said.
But Obasanjo’s push for the AfDB top brass might not fly as intended as two former heads of state, who he sold the idea to, are reported to have kicked against the move.
They believe it would scupper the political arrangement, which favours Igbo Presidency and the Bola Ahmed Tinubu project.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have been divided on social media over Obasanjo’s move to support Adesina over Tinubu. While some think Obasanjo’s support is inconsequential politically, others say that Obasanjo and Tinubu cannot build the political gaps for the emergence of the South-West presidency.
Here are some reactions on Twitter:
@prinz_sammy: How many candidates have Obasanjo supported and won? Obasanjo is highly inconsequential as far as Nigeria politics is concerned
@thebitt72583411: Obasanjo and his likes only want one Nigeria for selfish reasons. Many of these past leaders are still on ‘huge’ pension salary and other remunerations, so what do you expect? We are talking about restructuring, Obj is talking about the 2023 election.
@tessol Obasanjo playing: Godfatherism already…help sort out the Nigerian problem which you’re part of!
@Peterahmed7: Obasanjo nightmare will be Tinubu presidency because of his selfishness, Just because he did not believe in abiola nd june 12 struggle and he has not forgive the Yoruba’s that did not support him during 1999 election and tinubu is one of them
@iykelystic: If Obasanjo supports you, hm watch your steps because you are already on the ground.
@tee_pro1: True. We can’t also deny fact it is the same set of Leaders such as Obasanjo that has led the country to the current state. While it might be tempting to think bringing the right candidate is the solution, it is not. Why? The system is faulty
@tee_pro1: While Akinwunmi is great Candidate, we shouldn’t rule out the fact that Obasanjo is his “Oga at the top”.
@st_bennetts: Does Obasanjo have votes anywhere to give Akinwunmi victory? Anyone supported by Obasanjo directly earns Obasanjo’s evil;he is one reason Nigeria is still where it is today.He left governance and setting of structures to attacking pple and seeking supremacy over all others.