Tinubu’s Allies Worry Over Buhari’s ‘I-Don’t-Care’ Attitude Towards 2023 Presidential Election 

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President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
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Tinubu’s allies worry over Buhari’s ‘I-don’t-care‘ attitude towards 2023 presidential election 

 

 

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The All Progressives Congress (APC), the party in power, is experiencing uneasiness due to President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent lack of concern for the 2023 presidential race, especially among Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s supporters.

 

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According to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) calendar, the election is set to take place on February 25, 2023, but some of Tinubu’s supporters think the presidency isn’t doing anything to assist and prepare for the party’s presidential election. ­

 

 

 

 

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The president stated last month that at the general elections in 2023, Nigerians should vote for anybody they choose from whichever political party.

 

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While members of the opposition parties have hailed the president for his statement, some Tinubu’s supporters did not find it funny.

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Speaking with Ejesgist.ng, an APC chieftain and member of the Tinubu Support Or­ganisation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had hoped Pres­ident Buhari will do much in canvassing support for Tinubu, especially in the Northern parts of the country where he (Buhari) has a cult followership but that is not happening.

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“Of course, you cannot compare the support the president is giving to Asi­waju to what former Pres­ident Olusegun Obasanjo gave to the late Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007. Obasanjo campaigned with Yar’Adua across the country but that is not happening now. It is Asiwaju that has been using his vast political network to garner support for himself, not much support is coming from the presidency.

 

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“I think the president should do more. Asiwaju made a lot in his campaign to become president in 2015. Even in 2019 when the party was in crisis and Bu­hari’s reelection was under threat, he called Asiwaju to reconcile the party and he did an excellent job”.

 

 

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On his part, a former member of the APC Na­tional Working Commit­tee (NWC) from one of the South-South states believes that Tinubu’s utterances may have contributed to the president’s unwilling­ness to throw himself fully behind his aspiration.

 

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“I really can’t say the president is not support­ing him. If you remember in June, he donated his campaign office to Tinu­bu shortly after he won the presidential primary. However, some people have also argued that Tinubu’s utterances may also have contributed to the issue. Re­member what Papa Akande reported him to have said about Buhari in his book ‘My Participations’.

 

“Also Tinubu went to Ogun State and said with­out him, Buhari couldn’t have become president and also said some other things out of annoyance like since Buhari became president, he has never begged him for anything. The nation­al chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, even threatened to punish him then. So, naturally one ex­pects the president to be unhappy”.

 

However, President Mu­hammadu Buhari will not make the 2023 presidential election a do-or-die affair like former President Oluse­gun Obasanjo did in 2007, Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has said.

 

 

When contacted on the allegations that Presi­dent Buhari is indifferent to Tinubu’s presidential bid, Keyamo, who is the Director, Public Affairs and Spokesperson, Tinu­bu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, said Buhari through his actions has shown that he is in full support of Tinubu.

 

He also faulted those comparing Obasanjo to Buhari, saying the former president made the 2007 presidential election a do-or-die affair.

 

According to him, Bu­hari is not in the league of do-or-die leaders like Obasanjo.

 

He said, “The Obasanjo-Yar’Adua situa­tion was encapsulated in the voice of Obasanjo. He said the 2007 presidential election for him was a do-or-die affair. That was the first time that sentence escalated in Nigerian pol­itics. A do-or-die election.

 

“President Buhari is not in that league of do-or-die. If he gives you his support, you can go to bed with your two eyes closed that you have his backing. However, he does not go to the extent of do-or-die. Apart from giving his support, he also said nobody will use thugs or money to influence Ni­gerians and the outcome of the presidential election.

 

 

 

“What Buhari has done is what a responsible leader should do. He has decided to chair the APC Presidential Campaign Council. He was there physically during the flag-off in Jos. As the campaign goes on throughout the country, when it fits into his schedule, he will make his appearance at selected campaign grounds just to show that he is in support of Asiwaju.

 

“He still has governance of the country to adminis­ter and he wants to finish very strong as president. That is why you see a lot of engagements in his diary these days.

 

“But let me assure you that President Buhari is with Asiwaju 110 percent but he is not making it a do-or die affair like Obasanjo”.

 

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