…Call On Osinbajo To Publicly Declare His Stand On Running For President

Since the dawn of year 2022, the political atmosphere is getting more fragile.

Not even with President Mohammadu Buhari’s disclosure during an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday that he had a preferred successor in mind that he would not name out of fear of his being assassinated before 2023, the year of the next general elections.

When asked about his favourite presidential candidate, the president replied, “I won’t tell you my favourite for 2023; he may be eliminated if I mention. I better keep it secret.”

This presidential inkling is generating so much heat in the polity with some citizens exhibiting doubts about the president’s sincerity of conducting a free and fair presidential election since he had publicly professed to have an unnamed preference that must outlive the coming elections so that he can succeed him.

To millions of Nigerians, President Mohammadu Buhari’s unnamed preferred candidate has put serious slur on the coming presidential election since it is believed that he will do everything, using the state might, to ensure that his choice eventually emerged as his successor.

Notable Nigerians and groups condemn this undemocratic declaration barely 13 months to the 2023 presidential election. To these Nigerians, the president should concentrate on the serious hullabaloos generated by the federal government’s planned removal of fuel subsidy by the first quarter of this year.

Nigerians and groups, thinking the president to be behind the audacious interest of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to succeed his boss, are worried about the rancorous clamor his interest and the president’s pronouncement might have on the electoral process.

Most people are of the view that Osinbajo ought to focus on how best to support his boss in leaving a good legacy upon leaving office come 2023 than his pursuit of a hidden agenda of becoming the next president of the federal republic of Nigeria.

As legitimate as such aspirations might be, most people believe that nothing from the current leadership of which Osinbajo is a prominent part shows that Nigerians will want a continuation of the Buhari/Osinbajo hegemony come 2023.

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Nigerians prefer to have someone with demonstrable track records of achievements in the state, formidable political platform, and one who has created talents and leaders out of men to take over from Buhari come 2023. Osinbajo in all sense of fairness can’t be that person.

The Campaign for Democracy (CD) has expressed worry over the increasing number of shadowy political organisations campaigning for the presidential ambition of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The CD said while it is within the right of the VP to aspire to be President, it is disappointed that Osinbajo has been denying these groups, whereas they insist they are working for him and yet are not reprimanded.Not even by the presidency for its distractions.

In a chat with The LiberationNews on Wednesday, the CD Secretary General, Comrade Ifeanyi Odili, said last year’s inauguration of Osinbajo’s presidential campaign office in Abuja by a coalition of groups spoke volumes.

He expressed surprise that despite that the event held with so much fanfare and carnival-like ceremony, there has been no reaction from Osinbajo. And now the president is publicly professing his preference for an unnamed person to succeed him. With Osinbajo’s purported supporters getting louder, and Buhari’s refusal to call his distractions to order, it is not difficult to conclude that Osinbajo is the president’s preference. But this preference is dead on arrival.

By keeping mum, and the president also not calling him to order, only translated to the VP and his boss playing the Ostrich Game, he stated.

“Nobody is saying Osinbajo should not contest for President, but it is only laughable that the VP can be denying groups of people campaigning for him and yet these groups are enjoying glaring official encouragement.

“It would have been more honourable for the VP to say he is under pressure to contest rather than deny these people the way Peter denied Jesus.

Also Dr Ridwan Imam of the Initiative For Good Governance (IGG), considers the president and his vice’ utterance and acts as laughable and deceitful. According to him: “We understand that the VP as a lawyer knows the implication of jumping the gun by declaring his presidential ambition, but it is not also honourable for him, more so a Christian cleric, to deny having any link with all the groups campaigning for him.”

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Dr Imam further expressed disappointment that while the country is wracked with insecurity problems of lingering and worsening dimension, such as insurgencies, banditry and kidnapping, a sitting VP’s obsession is to lap up various campaign groups, for an election that is still about 13 months away.

He, as a result, advised the VP to toe the path of honour by calling his campaigners to order or openly express the possibility of his contesting for President in 2023.

” Nigerians are highly sensitive; they are not mumu (idiots). They know that without your tacit support, these groups will not be gallivanting around, spending resources to campaign for you,” Dr Imam told the VP.

In the same vein, another group, Broad Political Platform (PPP) headed by Elder Dipo Ajidahun, has lamented that the president is threading a beaten path, noting that such could heat up the polity and worsen Nigeria’s internal security.

“Recall that former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, in his jaundiced trasition programme days, said, ‘we don’t know those who will succeed us but we know those who will not succeed us’.

“In the long run, he annulled the election of Chief MKO Abiola, the clear winner of the June 12 1993 presidential election.

” So Nigerians are not deceived at all by Buhari’s statement as he looks set to impose his choice of candidate on over 200 million Nigerians.

“Already, we have read his body chemistry well, that he is interested in handing over to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, whereas Nigerians have the right to elect their popular candidate; Buhari, in an ideal society, has only one vote,” Ajidahun complained.

The activist thus asked VP Osinbajo to stop pretending and act like a true pastor by coming out to declare if he is interested in becoming president, or not.

“This is because, we are heading towards another puppetry in presidential leadership,” he lamented.