A blitzering autobiography launched on Thursday for former Osun State governor, Chief Bisi Akande, should definitely have put a moral burden on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to unquestionably back down from his touted presidential ambition in 2023.

In the new book titled “My Participations”, Akande recalls how All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, came close to becoming Vice presidential candidate twice but ended up a victim of political betrayal.

Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, gets glowing tributes in Akande’s new book, for his generosity and deft political moves that resulted in the formation of APC as a party, the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as the party’s candidate and, the resounding victory for APC, especially in the 2015 presidential election.

The Osun former governor was APC’s Interim National Chairman at the period.

He stated that Tinubu was primed to become the running mate to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in 2011 but was schemed out at the last minute and Atiku eventually went for Senator Ben Obi. A clear act of betrayal and breach of trust and understanding on the part of Turaki Adamawa, Atiku, who was rescued in times of need from the draconian fist of his then boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo by Tinubu.

Again, in 2015 when Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) as he then was, was to contest for the presidential ticket of the APC, Tinubu was firmly assured by the former that he would be picked as running mate.

But at a stage, having secured the APC ticket, Buhari suddenly reneged on his promise and instead, asked Tinubu “to bring three names”.

Though disappointed by the volte-face, Tinubu took all in his strides and eventually presented Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate.

These are all captured in Akande’s autobiography with gripping detail, thus justifying Tinubu’s presidential ambition at the moment as well deserving for a man who had endured two critical denials to have a shot at the presidency.

Keen political observers, in dissecting the book by a top insider like Akande, are of the view that for Osinbajo to now stand on the way of Tinubu’s presidential ambition will be tantamount to playing Judas.

Recalling events that brought out Osinbajo from the shadows, Akande states, “In April 2014, I was in Abuja when Buhari called me and asked me to persuade Bola to run with him. Governor Masari was the one who came to call me. When I followed him into Buhari’s private lobby, Bola Tinubu was already seated there.

“So, when Buhari tabled the matter, I cautioned them that this must not get out beyond the four of us. ‘How could he be talking of a running mate when he had not secured the ticket?” I mused.

“I thought such information, if leaked to the general public, might affect the conduct of the party’s congress at the presidential primaries, if not its choice of candidate. I thanked Buhari for thinking so highly of our friend.

“Bola later told me that Buhari’s emissaries had been coming to him, but he tried to dodge the gesture and not to show interest. We agreed that we would reopen the matter when Buhari had secured the ticket,” he explained.

However, he expressed surprise that thereafter, when Buhari became the party’s candidate, things changed, with former APC chair, Odigie Oyegun, who was supported by Tinubu to become chairman of the party, asking for names from the geopolitical zones from where Buhari will pick his running mate.

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“He said it was from this list that Buhari would choose a running mate. I objected. I turned to Buhari. ‘General, where are you choosing your running mate from?’ He answered, ‘The South-west.’ ‘Oh! I didn’t know,’Oyegun said. He apologised.

“I didn’t know why Oyegun made that proposition and at whose behest. As the chairman of the party, maybe some people pushed him to do that,” he notes.

Akande states further: “Then, I called Buhari aside. ‘Is our arrangement still standing?’ I referred him to our discussion in April. He said yes!”

According to the author, some members of the party eventually agreed that a committee should be set up to search for Buhari’s running mate, a move himself and former Governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiohmhole, opposed.

“Adams Oshiohmhole , then Governor of Edo State, stood up and said we were being dishonest. He said he was a serving governor and many of those in the Elders Committee had been governors.

“Did we set up a committee to give us our running mates?’ He asked. ‘It is not fair!’ He further said what we were pushing was a dangerous act and that we should allow Buhari to choose his running mate. So, we left,” he narrates.

Akande adds that he later came to know that some people constituted themselves into a group, called the Northern Interest Group, and they prevailed on Buhari not to allow a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

According to him, it was the following day after the Elders’ Committee meeting which was deadlocked, that Buhari phoned Tinubu to give him three names from which he would pick a running mate.

“We were all in Abuja and Tinubu rushed to me with this information. He wanted to know whether the understanding we reached with Buhari had changed. I called Buhari and he told me he now needed three names from us. I was angry with him.

‘‘General, this was not what we agreed upon,’ I said in annoyance. ‘You are changing our agreement?’ He knew I was getting angry. He said he was under pressure from some governors from the north, including those who were Muslims. I told him the slot belonged to the South-West and among the Yoruba, religion is not a factor in leadership,” he said.

Akande added: “Oshiomhole was surprised about the narration. ‘If indeed you promised to make Asiwaju your running mate, it would not be fair to renege,’ he said. Buhari now said he never meant it that way. What he meant originally was that Tinubu should partner with him.”

The former Osun governor explains, in the book, that he didn’t know what that meant because before they discussed the issue of Tinubu as the partner or vice-president’s ticket, a merger had been accomplished and they had already partnered.

“We were registered in July 2013, and he called me to prevail on Tinubu to be his running mate in April 2014. Buhari knew I was upset but we tried to manage the situation. Perhaps he was overwhelmed by all those pressures. We decided to let him go,” Akande states.

He insisted that once it became apparent that Buhari would be the presidential candidate, he was interested in making Tinubu his running mate.

“In our years of interactions and engagements, he seemed to have come to know and admire Tinubu.

“He constantly seemed to admire Tinubu’s business acumen; his courage in politics, his large heart, his native intelligence, his readiness to forgive those who have betrayed him but who now show remorse, his empathy for the under-privileged, his capacity as a tactician, and a strategist of the highest hue, his loyalty to the ideas of Nigerian unity and good governance, and his steadfastness to his friends,” he added.

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According to him, without Tinubu, the “APC miracle” would have been more difficult if not impossible. “All these made Buhari to admire and respect him,” he said.

He narrates that what prompted the push for a Tinubu as vice president for the first time under Atiku was that anytime they said they needed money, Atiku would say “Bola please help us”.

“Bola (Tinubu) was the only one spending the money among us. The rest of us were poor. Tinubu also put all his energy and resources into the formation of the AC and we felt he deserved a spot on the ticket,” he wrote.

He also recalls about Tinubu’s frustration with the entire rigmarole, eventually opting to leave Abuja for Lagos.

“I don’t want to be part of whatever you are discussing now, ‘he said. ‘I don’t trust Buhari anymore! Even if we give him names, he may decide to go outside the list. So, let him choose on his own. He was unhappy with Buhari.

“I told him that was not the attitude to adopt. We were trying to toy with some names and I wanted him to participate in the discussion. After some time, Amosun, Aregbesola and I were considering some names. Then I decided to call Tinubu again.

‘We negotiated with Buhari in 2011 and gave him a name to choose instead of Pastor Bakare,’ I spoke to Tinubu on phone. ‘Who was that person?’ l asked.

‘It was Yemi Osinbajo,’ Tinubu declared. I asked Aregbesola to find out where Osinbajo was. He called him on the phone. ‘Yemi, where are you?

‘Don’t you know your case is coming up tomorrow?’ ‘l am in Abuja to argue your case.’ Osinbajo answered at the other end. ‘Which hotel are you staying?” Osinbajo told him.

“I got a blank sheet of paper and wrote Yemi Osinbajo on it. I instructed Amosun and Aregbesola to deliver that note to Buhari immediately. It was almost midnight. Then the two of them left.”

He continued: “I was waiting for Buhari to call me after he must have received my message. He did not. It was Tinubu who came to me at the wee hours of the morning. He was not in a good mood and was worried that Buhari might visit our efforts with bad faith.

“Let us go back to Lagos”, he said. Why? I asked. “Maybe Buhari has his own agenda,” he said. Even if we give him a name , he might not use the person. Maybe he just wants to use us for whatever his agenda might be.”

“I reassured him that Buhari will not disappoint us and that he would agree with our choice as the vice presidential candidate of our party,” Akande said.

Following from Akande’s revelations in his new book, it is now the consensus of political leaders and observers alike that not only is Osinbajo bereft of requisite political platform or understanding but also befuddled by the moral burden of nursing an inordinate, even though legitimate, presidential ambition come 2023. This is one contest Osinbajo cannot win, the observers, all asserted.

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