- There is a claim that President Muhammadu Buhari may just have Ogbonnaya Onu as his choice presidential candidate for the APC
- The notion about the former minister being in Buhari's good book was projected by some sources who spoke with journalists recently
- The sources said Onu is a younger candidate and hails from the southeast and if the president backs him, he will portray himself more as a detribalised leader
An insider source who spoke with Leadership on Monday, May 23, has said that the former minister of science, technology and innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, could just be President Muhammadu Buhari's preferred presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The source who did not even mention Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu's candidacy claimed that the widespread notion that the APC is eyeing a presidential ticket for former President Goodluck Ebele may be wrong.
“The press may have got the whole speculation about Jonathan wrong.
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“It’s because the scales are tipping in Onu’s favour that President Buhari has delayed the signing of the amendment to the Electoral Act, that may have permitted political appointees to be voting delegates at the primaries.”
Buhari desperate to redeem his legacy
Another source who projected the view that apart from the fact that backing a younger candidate as Onu will favour the call for youths' participation in Nigeria's national politics said the former minister's emergence can be used to rubbish the claim that Buhari is tribalistic.
He went on to claim that at the moment, the thinking of power brokers in Aso Rock Villa is towards the southeast after the president leaves office in 2023.
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The source opined:
“But Buhari is looking for something more than age. He is desperate to redeem his legacy, especially in the wake of the raft of crises facing the country. You know the role of Buhari, his sacrifice, and that of the Nigerian Army during the civil war.
“Rooting for Onu would be a masterstroke for the country’s unity at this time. It would repair Buhari’s damaged legacy, especially the accusations of nepotism against him. And increasingly, the thinking inside the Villa is that it is both fair and right to look to the southeast.”
2023 presidency: Buhari speaks on ex-minister becoming his successor
Meanwhile, during a valedictory session with Nigerian ministers who have officially resigned from their office, President Buhari noted that it would be a legacy to the country if one of them succeeded him.
President Buhari's remark was based on the belief that any of the outgoing ministers who inherited his seat in 2023 would serve Nigeria with the same competence they have shown while in his cabinet.
2023: Tinubu's top ally makes serious prayer over APC's alleged secret move to pick consensus candidate
The president, in a Facebook post released by Buhari Sallau, a presidential media aide, was quoted to have said: '
'I have no doubt that if the next President emerges from among former members of this cabinet, like any other aspirant, ample competence and outstanding service delivery would be on display. This will be part of our legacies to Nigerians.''