The acclaimed political sagacity of the former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, seems to have met with a rare failure as his support for Senator Ahmed Lawan as the next Senate president has reportedly suffered a setback.
Tinubu was said to have made last minute efforts to convince some of the outgoing governors of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to prevail on the former Kwara state governor, Bukola Saraki, to step down for his candidate.
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Reports say Saraki is coasting to victory as he has the backing of the majority of the senators even as some of them have been under immense pressure by their governors to shift allegiance to the Lawan camp, but they have so far refused.
Tinubu last week allegedly met with two outgoing north-west governors, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano state and Ibrahim Wamakko of Sokoto state, whom he tried to convince to support Lawan and also convince their senators.
According to sources, Wamakko rebuffed Tinubu's overtures, telling him it was too late because the senators had signed an undertaking to support Saraki.
To compound Tinubu's woes, the north-west caucus of senators-elect met recently and agreed to join forces with the Saraki camp. The meeting was, however, not attended by the Kano caucus and Senator Kabir Marafa of Sokoto.
During the meeting, the former governor of Zamfara state, Sani Yerima, volunteered to speak to Kwankwaso and Marafa to join others from the north-west caucus in supporting Saraki.
Sources suggested that most of the senators approached to join the Lawan camp declined based on the fact that they have given their word to the Saraki camp and abandoning them now would put their integrity at stake.
According to a source, one of the senators approached said, “We’ve already committed our support to Senator Saraki, a signed letter has been sent to the party’s national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the document is already in the public domain. How do you want people to see us, as treacherous beings and inconsistent fellows?”
This Day gathered that Wamakko, who is a senator-elect, urged Tinubu to emulate President Muhammadu Buhari who has remained neutral in the upcoming National Assembly elections.
With Tinubu's failed move to convince the north-west, Saraki's support base now cuts across the north-west, south-east, south-south, south-west, north-central and north-east with more than 70 senators supporting his candidacy.