Obasanjo, Tinubu Draw Battle Line
Nigeria News takes a look at the forthcoming 2019 election and the role Tinubu, Obasanjo can play.
The 2019 presidential election will again test the strength of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu against former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Questions about who holds the sway between the two in Nigeria political space have always come to the fore each time election draws nearer.
As Tinubu puts it, the current ruckus among politicians is a battle between the progressives and the conservatives. To Tinubu, the real members of the All Progressives Congress, the party he co-founded in 2014 are falling in place as the conservatives among them are gradually finding their ways back to the conservative party.
The former Governor of Lagos State sees the Peoples Democratic Party as the conservative one and any other including the newly formed Africa Democratic Congress, ADC, which has its root in the Obasanjo’s Coalition for Nigerian Movement.
Tinubu will never want to be in Obasanjo’s camp even though he has climbed on the former president’s back to sell APC candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigerians in 2014.
However, Obasanjo never denies his coldness to anywhere Tinubu belongs but he could not help the situation in 2014 due to the high level of impunity by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He tore the PDP membership card and queued behind Buhari to become the next Nigerian president. But since Buhari became president, Obasanjo had written two letters to express his dislike with the level of the ordinariness of the present administration.
Obasanjo gave the economy an “F” and alleged Buhari of clannishness. Obasanjo formed the Coalition for Nigeria Movement to lure young Nigerians into politics. He threw his weight behind ADC where his close mentee, the former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola is currently directing the affairs.
Towards the 2003 presidential election, it would be recalled that Tinubu called on the leaders of the Pan Yoruba Socio-Political group, Afenifere to be careful with Obasanjo and not be carried away by the fact that he is a Yorba man.
He warned the Southwest Governors on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy not to support Obasanjo of the PDP because he is a Yoruba man. The five AD governors of the southwest lost the 2003 election to the PDP except for Tinubu. He held on to Lagos and remained the only AD governor in the southwest.
Because Obasanjo could not win Lagos for PDP, he denied Lagos the Local Government funds until he left office in 2007.
In the last few weeks, politicians, mostly the ambitious ones have turned the Abeokuta home of Obasanjo to mecca. They visit to seek his advice and backing. Some of these politicians also visit the Bourdillon, Ikoyi Lagos home of Bola Tinubu for endorsement.
Tinubu is not yet done with Buhari, he remains the master strategist in APC that can deliver victory in 2019. Obasanjo is bent on removing Buhari and is making frantic efforts to do that. He is meeting with former military brass and as it is the game is between some crack politicians against the retired generals.