Countdown to the 2023 General Elections has begun with people making clandestine and daylight moves for one political office or the other.
Top on the list of the offices to be filled in the year is the office of the President of the Federal Republic.
While people from different divides of the country have been making speculations and some are making moves for the coveted office, it has been revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari, who would be completing his second tenure that is constitutionally permitted for the office, is grooming some individuals from the South Western part of the country to take over from him under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Sources revealed exclusively to Ogun News Express (ONE) that President Buhari has preference for Senator Ibikunle Amosun, a former governor of Ogun State, now representing Ogun Central Senatorial District at the upper chamber.
One other person from the South West, who we were told Buhari is positioning for the office is a former governor of Lagos State and the current Federal Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola.
On the choice of Amosun, sources stated that the president believes that he has built bridges with the north in eight years as Governor and that he is acceptable to the northerners based on his commitment to the Islamic Religion.
Those who know about the matter insisted that Buhari is rooting for Amosun as he believes that he has what it takes to rule the country, which was why all the ministerial and ambassadorial slots from Ogun State were given to Amosun Camp.
Examples were given of the nation’s newly appointed Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Alhaji Sharafadeen Ishola and a top personality at the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC), Mr. Adewolu, who are both allies of Amosun.
It was gathered that the U.K. ambassadorial position was significant as that is where Chatam House, where people speak to world leaders, is situated.
“You will see that Amosun was close to the likes of the late former Chief of Staff (COS) to President Buhari, Alhaji Abba Kyari. Amosun was one of the few Nigerians that attended the man’s last birthday ceremony in the U.K before his death.
“Apart from that, Amosun has close relationship with the inner caucus of Aso Rock. But his shortcoming is that he is not close to any governor in the South South and the South East,” said a source.
It was however, gathered that what mattered is for anyone aspiring to be the President of the country from the South to be close to the northerners and that once he has their support “he is good to go.”
On his part, we were informed that the President was considering Mr. Babatunde Fashola based on his brilliance and credibility.
Fashola’s antecedent as the Governor of Lagos State from 2007 to 2015 was said to be so impressive such that it earned him three ministries in 2015 during the first tenure of Buhari and these include Works, Power and Housing.
A source stated that the President decided to reduce the ministries of Fashola to two; Works and Housing in 2019, “so that he would give the two all it takes and also give some other people opportunity to serve the country.”
Buhari, we were told is impressed by the performances of the former Lagos State Governor, who it was learnt, is being used as the barometer to measure the successes of the government of Buhari from 2015 till date.
Ogun News Express (ONE) was informed by reliable sources that even some people regarded as the boys of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu such as Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who used to represent Lagos East and Senator Ganiu Olanrewaju Solomon that used to represent Lagos West were behind the candidature of Fashola for the exalted office.
However, the only snag in Fashola’s candidature is said to be the fear that he might not be able to penetrate the north.
“Fashola is not so devoted as a Muslim so he might not be able to penetrate the north. But give it to him, he has all the qualities needed in a president, he is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and he is perhaps the most brilliant member of the Federal Executive Council,” a source said.
As the clock ticks for the primaries of the APC in 2022 for the office of the president, it is believed that surprises could happen since some notable individuals have already started campaigning for the office of the president, “but only time will tell where the pendulum would swing.”