By Olabode Opeseitan
With just a few days to the big night when the ruling All Progressives Congress – APC will decide its flag bearer for the 2023 Presidential election, it is time for the supporters of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to brace up for any outcome. The bitter reality on ground is that the political juggernaut may not win the APC Presidential ticket.
The odds stacked against him are higher than Mount Everest. The President, Muhammadu Buhari, clearly the most influential individual voice in the party, may not support #Asiwaju. Most #APC Governors, the most influential bloc in the party, are reportedly still upset by the dismissive manner they felt Asiwaju treated their entreaties in the past when they needed his help. Referenced were the Akinwunmi Ambode and Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki episodes, among other issues.
The statutory delegates may be a huge factor but the amendments to Section 84(8) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2022 that could allow such delegates to vote has not been signed into law by the President.
The elected delegates are also important but they have subjugated themselves to become what you may call “efulefu”. Collectively, they should be the determinants, but they have self-obliterated. They will dance to the tune of money or order from above.
APC is leaning more in the direction of consensus candidacy. A few orchestrated or independent Presidential aspirants may step down for Asiwaju but it may not alter the party’s coronation agenda. It will be the 8th wonder of the world if he overcomes all the odds.
If anyone ever doubted Asiwaju as a man of steely resolve, the way he executed his Presidential ambition laid that to rest. Some even thought that with the rumored overwhelming evidence the #EFCC has against him, Asiwaju would be cowed to backout before the commencement of the political season. On his whistle-stop campaign tours, he was mocked about his health, there were occasional flip-flops and he was sometimes spotlighted over his hazy chronological order. Asiwaju braved it all and stayed the course.
Asiwaju is used to having his way in politics. He has bagged many victories including playing a prominent role in rallying the opposition party to sack an incumbent Nigerian President. As Lagos State Governor, he fought the powerful President Olusegun Obasanjo over constitutional matters and came out unscathed. He has also suffered some setbacks. He lost out in the quest to become Buhari’s running mate in 2015. In the last 7 years, he has seen his influence in the Southwest plateaued. In many of those instances, he was not the focal point. It was easier to concede and play along.
None of those setbacks can be compared with losing a ticket to actualize a lifelong ambition. Even though he has said he would go back home if he lost, Asiwaju may be inclined to play other cards. Asiwaju should weigh his options carefully to avoid accelerating his political deceleration.