The defiant posture of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors against the preferred choice of the party leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as the Presidential running to General Muhammadu Buhari could not achieve much as the party names Tinubu’s associate, Yemi Osinbajo, as vice presidential candidate.
After days of speculations, marathon meetings and horse-trading, General Buhari, has been forced to settle for the former Attorney General of Lagos State as his running mate.
The choice of Osinbajo, a source close to the party said, was a concession to the former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu, who for days aggressively pushed himself forward for the vice presidential slot or his ally, Osinbajo as a plan ‘B’.
Since Buhari’s emergence, the leadership of the party has met a number of times to pick his running mate before their names are submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Each of the meetings held for the purpose had ended in a deadlock.
According to sources, the leader of the party Bola Tinubu, did not only canvass the nomination of Buhari’s running mate from the South West geo-political zone, but also pushed for himself to be named for the position.
It was further gathered that Tinubu also pushed the name of a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Osibajo, through his long standing ally and former party chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, in the event that his quest to be the vice presidential candidate failed.
Some party members, it was learnt, had kicked against the Buhari-Tinubu ticket because both are Muslims.
The possible choice of either Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State or Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State could not scale through as the party chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, is from the same South-South zone as the duo.
A senior member of the party, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak, had revealed on Tuesday evening that “Tinubu’s quest to be the vice presidential candidate is the dilemma the party is facing.”
Tinubu’s first choice candidate beside himself, however, was Yemi Osinbajo, 55, a senior advocate of Nigeria, and University of Lagos professor of commercial law who helped rebuild the Lagos State judiciary as a national reference point as a two-term attorney-general of the state.
Osinbajo is also connected to the powerful Awolowo political dynasty by marriage. He is married to the Late Chief Awolowo’s grand daughter.
Inside party sources who did not want to be named disclosed that Tinubu offered Buhari three options, namely, Osinbajo, himself (Tinubu), and Babatunde Raji Fashola, the current Lagos State governor.
“In essence Tinubu, while promoting claims to his own candidature, was actually playing a wedge politics to fend off opposition to Osinbajo,” an aide to the politician said.
Osinbajo, is Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Pastor and the Chairman of the governing board of the Redeemer’s University.
Osinbajo who is also the resident minister at the Olive Tree Redeemed Church is said to be one of the closest aides to the Church’s General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye. He has at various times been Master of Ceremony at the church’s Holy Ghost Convention and Congresses.
By the choice of Osinbajo, Buhari is to run with another cleric after 2011 outing with Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly as his running mate in the presidential election.
In line with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, political parties have up till Thursday to submit names of their presidential and vice presidential candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).