According to a recent article by Dele Momodu, one of the political insiders in the Buhari-led APC administration, Buhari may be forced to replace current Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo with APC leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2019.
In his Thisday column, Pendulum, he wrote:
According to impeccable sources, Buhari may be forced to risk and pick Tinubu as his running-mate if push comes to shove. Tinubu’s protégé, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is the current Vice President, who comes with intimidating credentials but may not have enough political muscle to deliver enough votes to the kitty. The dilemma for Buhari is whether he should buck the trend set by his predecessors, starting from Shehu Shagari, and jettison his Vice President, especially when a cordial and mutually respectful relationship exists between them. In addition, Osinbajo has been doing exceedingly well and he is seen as one of the few shining lights of this Administration.
There is also the fact that Prof Osinbajo is a highly regarded and esteemed senior Christian figure and the President has needed him to silence those detractors that consider him an Islamic fundamentalist.
However, I believe that the controversy that could ensue from a potentially volatile Muslim/Muslim ticket may have been fixed substantially. Firstly, there is a precedent set by Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola the acclaimed winner of the 1993 elections who picked a fellow Muslim, Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe, as his running-mate and still won in Nigeria’s freest and fairest election to date. Secondly, though Tinubu is a devout Muslim, his beloved wife is a hard-core Christian and a top-notch member of the same Redeemed Christian Church of God as the Vice President. Thirdly, there is the fact that Tinubu supported a Christian, Akinwunmi Ambode, as his anointed candidate for Governor of Lagos State, a deft move calculated to pacify those who may wish to foment religious crisis and conflagration then and in the future.
Tinubu is believed by many to have served Nigeria meritoriously and selflessly by suppressing his own personal ambition for that of others and it is believed that the kingmaker deserves a chunky reward the next time around if he so desires. He is acknowledged as being one of the most knowledgeable leaders in Nigeria today and a lot of people feel that his background in business and politics could bail Nigeria out of the economic quagmire of the moment. He is known to be a practical politician who knows how to make the world better for most people.
If the hawks succeed in getting Buhari to snub Tinubu because of his perceived threat to the President himself, the APC may split like PDP did before the collapse of the Jonathan Presidency.
One potential candidate is hovering in the wings and that is the Turaki of Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who has never hidden the fact that he wants the Presidency by all means. My next permutation is that the former Vice President and Tinubu who are two of the three most powerful and influential politicians in APC today (the third is Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki with his firm control of the Senate) may combine forces to thwart a Buhari re-election bid. They have been old allies since the time of Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. If they join forces, it may therefore spell doom for those seeking the re-election of President Buhari.
After the seeming lull in the Buhari-Tinubu love, it seems the recent appointments given to some of Tinubu’s acolytes appear designed to assuage his feeling. But would this be sufficient to bury the combustive ambition of a man who believes he still has so much to give to his country?
The only thing militating against such a scenario coming to reality is the fact that Buhari has shown a preference for choosing Christians as his running mate. This is because of the belief that if he should chose a fellow Muslim as his running mate, a rival Northern Muslim candidate (possibly from the PDP) can then rally the considerable Christian vote by choosing a Christian as running mate.
The biggest argument against this theory is the fact that MKO Abiola chose Babagana Kingibe, a fellow Muslim as his running mate in the aborted Third Republic and won.
So, who will be Buhari’s running mate in 2019, only Buhari knows, but if you take current Vice President Osinbajo’s smooth working relationship with Buhari into consideration, it is clear that he still has a chance. Let’s be watching.
Do you know any other possible combination that Buhari may be faced with? Tell us below.