By Clifford Ndujihe, Politics Editor, Dayo Johnson, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Shina Abubakar, Rotimi Ojomoyela & Ademola Adegbite
AHEAD of the presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, governors elected on the platform of the party are divided over the aspirations of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Supporters of the duo were locked in claims and counter-claims, yesterday, over who has more support among APC governors. Dismissing as balderdash claims that Osinbajo is a threat to the aspiration of Tinubu, a two-time governor of Lagos and National Leader of APC, his supporters said he has the backing of 13 of the 22 APC governors and support of delegates from non- APC states.
Countering, supporters of Osinbajo said the Vice President enjoys the backing of 14 APC governors, especially from the North, and would shock his opponents.
Asked if the consensus arrangement won’t hurt Tinubu, Adeyeye said: “Consensus is provided for in the Constitution but will only work where all the candidates agree.”
Another staunch supporter of Tinubu downplayed Osinbajo’s threat to the former Lagos governor, saying: “We don’t believe Vice President Osinbajo is a threat to Asiwaju Tinubu’s presidential ambition. There is no convincing proof of people asking Osinbajo to declare. President Buhari is a critical factor. There is no indication that President Buhari is backing or will support Osinbajo who, as acting President, sacked his cousin when he was on his sick bed in London.
“Going for the presidency is not mere grammar. Where is his support base? Where is the structure? In Ikenne, Ogun State, Osinbajo does not know his Ward Chairman. How many party people does he know even in Lagos? He is not a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC. If he is formidable, he will be a member of the GAC. What has he used the position of the Vice President to do for the South-West?
“Tinubu has fought many battles even against the military. Osinbajo has not fought any battle. Tinubu was behind the Local Government battle he fought in Lagos as Attorney General. He has not learned the ropes. He may have the support of two governors. What does that amount to?
“In APC, Tinubu has the support of 12 APC governors who are solidly behind him and almost all the South-West states apart from Ekiti. But if Governor Kayode Fayemi is not contesting, Ekiti will go for Tinubu.
“Ogun State may be split between Tinubu and Osinbajo. Edo State, parts of Delta and Rivers are for Tinubu. He has been catering for states without APC governors. You will be shocked that Katsina, Sokoto, Borno, Anambra, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states will go for Tinubu, who is a good negotiator and strategist.”
13 APC governors’re behind Osinbajo — VP supporter
Countering, a supporter of Osinbajo, who said he may declare for the presidency this week precisely by Wednesday, boasted that Osinbajo would shock those who are underrating him.Said the source: “The VP will shock many people. All things being equal he will declare his intention this week, latest Wednesday.