- The 2023 presidential race seems to have kick-started in earnest
- All the gladiators are gearing up for what is expected to be the mother of all presidential contests in Nigeria
- Mr Peter Obi, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governors Aminu Tambuwal and Nasir El el-Rufai are leading the pack
A report by ThisDay indicates that wide-ranging consultations have begun in earnest ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
According to the report, the kick-off of political activities is due to the end of the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the February 23 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
The report listed those in the rce and they are;
1. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
2. All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu
3. Ekiti state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi
4. Pastor Tunde Bakare
5. Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state and
Governor Nasir el-Rufai
7. Former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega and
8. Former governor of Anambra state, Mr. Peter Obi.
An unamed source quoted in the report, however, said it is believed that Atiku might still show interest in the race.
It is believed that Tinubu used the presidential campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election to bounce back to reckoning.
He was the vice chairman of the campaign council while the president was the chairman.
On his part, Vice President Osinbajo is said to be looking to reap from the principle of right of first right of refusal.
He is said to be banking on the trust the president has for him, to push for him to ascend to the presidency.
Osinbajo, say some political watchers, may be the dark horse that would upstage Tinubu in the impending contest. But will vested interests baying for blood in the media allow him?
For Governor Fayemi, his deft political move in clinching the position of the chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum earlier in the year, points to the fact that he is interested in the race.
The fiery pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, is the only one of the lots that has openly declared his intention to replace Buhari at the villa come 2023.
It is, however, unclear on which platform he would run being without a known party presently.
For Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state, he has been canvassing for the scrapping of zoning, to give way for competency.
Should the political elite buy into el-Rufai’s well-considered argument, the 2023 race will be opened to aspirants from the north, and one of the main beneficiaries of such a new arrangement would be the Kaduna governor.
For Mr. Peter Obi, a businessman with vast interest in banking, brewery and commerce, among others, his reputation as a parsimonious manager of public funds gives him an edge over other southeast politicians.
Given the groundswell of sentiments for the south-east to be allowed to take a shot at the presidency, for the first time since the rebirth of democracy in 1999, Obi would stand tall among his kindred, should such concession get a nationwide backing
Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto is a firm favourite should the PDP throw open the 2023 race by abandoning the zoning policy or conceding the presidency to the north.
The Sokoto governor has over the years built political alliance across party lines, is in a good stead to vie for the party’s ticket.
For Professor Jega, since his declaration for the Peoples Redemption Party, the polity has been awash with tales of the former INEC chairman warming up to throw his hat into the ring for 2023 presidency.
Meanwhile, supporters of Tinubu recently stormed Akure, the Ondo state capital to solicit the support of the people of the state as they continue their Tinubu-for-president campaign ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
The supporters of the former Lagos state governor, are made up of politicians and non-politicians from all the 18 local government areas of the state.
They are operating under the political platform known as Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) Network Vision which was inaugurated in the state on Monday, October 28.
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