- Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo is reportedly under intense pressure to contest for the presidency under another party
- The move is said to be championed by some of Osinbajo’s associates in collaboration with some influential northern politicians
- The calculation of those behind the move is that religion would play a major role in who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023
FCT, Abuja - A report by Vanguard newspaper indicates that there appear to be renewed plots in political circles around the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s camp to draft Osinbajo back into the 2023 presidential race.
According to the report, sources in both camps insisted that there were active suggestions going on regarding the possibility of an Osinbajo/Kwankwaso ticket on the platform of the NNPP.
One of the sources quoted in the report said:
“One of the factors driving the push for an Osinbajo/Kwankwaso ticket is the need to give vent to what is clearly a nationwide yearning for a different kind of political leadership, something that the VP has come to represent to Nigerians.
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“On the other hand, Kwankwaso is known to be an accomplished grassroots politician in the northwest who can easily complement the VP.”
This latest move, according to sources, is being championed by some of the VP’s associates in collaboration with some influential northern politicians.
According to the sources, the plan is to substitute Kwankwaso, whose name has already been submitted by the party as its presidential flag bearer, using the window of substitution which opens until August.
Although close aides of the VP have dismissed the report, describing it as mere speculation, the sources spoke of the possibility of an Osinbajo/Kwankwaso ticket on the platform of the NNPP.
The calculation, one of the sources said, is that religion would play a major role in who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 and that fielding the vice president, a southern Christian, would ensure that the north is freely allowed to choose a Muslim running mate, and as such, Kwankwaso is suitably qualified to deputize Osinbajo.
2023: Osinbajo committed to APC despite pressure to run for president, says Ajulo
Recall that a constitutional lawyer and convener, Progressive Lawyers for Osinbajo, Dr. Kayode Ajulo, recently said Osinbajo is committed to the victory of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the 2023 general elections.
Ajulo said the vice president's stance is firm despite approaches by high-ranking politicians that he should run for the presidency on another platform.
He said the vice president has been turning down numerous requests from various groups urging him to contest the presidential election on the platform of one of the notable political parties in the country.
Peter Obi must agree to be Kwankwaso’s deputy, says NNPP spokesman
Recall that Major Agni, NNPP spokesman on Tuesday, June 21 said that the only condition for a coalition with the Labour Party is for its presidential candidate, Peter Obi to agree to be running mate to NNPP's flagbearer, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The NNPP spokesman stated that of the 18 presidential candidates at the conclusion of the nomination exercise, Kwankwaso stands out and remains the preferred politician of Nigerians.
He said the party has continued to receive calls that Kwankwaso must not step down for anyone.