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Why Pres. BUHARI Is Reluctant To Handover To TINUBU

Barely 8 years after the political marriage that birthed the All Progressive Congress, APC and ushered General Mohammadu Buhari into office as the Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, things have begun to fall apart and the centre is finding it very hard to hold.

One of the major political influencers that played a key role in the 2015 victory was Statesman and national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Recall that President Buhari had tried out his chance at presidency three consecutive times and was on the verge of giving up before Asiwaju joined forces with other aggrieved opposition and invited him to fly the flag of change. He stood totally out of the picture as the three major political aspirants; Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, and Mohammadu Buhari battled for the spot in Lagos. The agreement, regardless of the three aspirants emerge, was to pick a southern candidate to replace him after 8 years in office.

Asiwaju, being one of the major faces, and the brainbox behind the political takeover from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), had reportedly made his position clear from the outset; he wants to succeed Buhari, and the northerners are quite aware of his ambition long before now.

However, President Buhari, according to a reliable source, had a second thought over the decision and has decided to pick someone else other than Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Throughout the period of consultation, consolidation and delegate visits, Buhari remained silent and neither discouraged nor encouraged any aspirant who approached him for his endorsement. He would rather tell them to go to the field and do their work, while he makes sure that the electoral process is free, fair and peaceful.

The belief of the northerners was that Buhari was used by the south westerners to take power from the ruling party in 2015 and the “mutual arrangement” is concluded. This is why the cabal has continued to maintain the stance that Buhari would not hand over power to Tinubu in 2023.

Former Governor of Jigawa. Sule Lamido had once mentioned this position long before the permutation at the primaries that “Buhari used Tinubu to become Nigeria’s president. Likewise, Tinubu used Buhari to fulfil his political desire. So, it is a mutual interest that has been fulfilled. So, the agenda has been concluded.

“The southerners used Buhari to attain their political goals. Those goals are political and economic goals, such as appointments and infrastructure, which is now happening there.

“They just used Buhari because he was the main attraction and appeal in the country. That is why they used him to lead the coalition because in the legacy party, no material except Buhari. He was the only material that could be sold easily in the country from the legacy parties, that is what happened.

“So, it is now over. It was a mutual arrangement and all desires have been fulfilled by both parties.”, he argued.

On the other hand, the founder and pioneer national chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Senator Rufai Hanga, has said there was an “implied agreement” President Muhammadu Buhari would hand over power to Asiwaju.

A former interim National Chairman of APC, Bisi Akande, had claimed in his book, ‘My Participations’ that Buhari in 2014 promised to make Tinubu his running mate in exchange for his support at the APC primaries.

Akande wrote that Buhari reneged on his promise after some governors raised objections, but it was not clearly stated if Buhari promised to hand over to Asiwaju in 2023.

Some other pundits are also of the opinion that President Buhari will not hand over to Asiwaju based on the latter’s character assassination of Buhari during the 2010 and 2011 presidential campaigns. It was reported that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was in the opposition party, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, had Nuhu Ribadu as his presidential candidate and went all out to sponsor a slanderous campaign against Buhari in The Nation Newspaper. The newspaper which allegedly belongs to Asiwaju was used to reveal so many atrocities allegedly committed by Buhari against the southwest leaders while he was the head of state. Mohammadu Buhari was at the time the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. Recall that both parties; ACN and CPC lost to Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

Beyond all the past deeds and grudges, inside sources have confided in City People that president Buhari is wary of regular politicians replacing him. He believes he has achieved so much, despite the fact that the achievements are yet visible. He would prefer a candidate that can take over and kick-off where he left off rather than a successor that will infuse a whole new idea that may not be of the interest of President Buhari or the zone he represents. Suffice to say Buhari may want to remain in power after leaving office officially in 2023. Of all the aspirants who are jostling for Buhari’s seat, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the most experienced and unpredictable.

He is a king by his own fireside and has held the southwest political landscape tight and united for more than 20 years. He cannot be tailor-guided to make any decision. To a considerable extent, Asiwaju remains one of Nigeria’s carriers of development with a strong political network and structure across the country. His presence in the race is the only barrier that keeps the president off the path of dictating whom he would prefer to take over from him and allow internal democracy to reign.  The amendment and pre-amendment of the electoral act are all in the consideration of Asiwaju in the picture.

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