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Tinubu, Amosun battle for soul of South West

President Buhari

President Buhari

Tinubu battles Amosun, others for soul of South West

…woos Daniel, ahead of 2019




There are strong indications that the All Progressives Congress (APC) leading light, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu may presently have returned to the drawing board to plot out a more befitting path around which to prosecute the forthcoming 2019 polls.

Within this framework, the maverick politician who is still being credited as one of the principal players who plotted the downfall of the Jonathan administration and the installation of the incumbent government led by President Muhammadu Buhari is said to be doing all that he can to ensure that he maintains a solid hold of the South West region in the forthcoming polls.

Recognizing that there have developed, and or remain certain centres of power within the region that he is not fully in control of at the moment, the Jagaban Borgu is presently reaching out across the faultlines to ensure that all such bridges are forded.

One such area of concern and work for Tinubu is in Ogun State where there is strong concern that incumbent Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who had himself rode to power, partly on the platform of the Tinubu machine, may not be the group’s best ally in 2019. This is on account of his reviving and sustaining his initial political machine which had been built somewhat independently of the Tinubu machine. It is this leverage, which has some roots in his earlier involvement with the CPC and President Buhari that saw to his nominee, Ms. Kemi Adeosun, beating Tinubu’s preferred choice of Mr Wale Edun in the tussle for the Minister of Finance job. Instructively also, the only state visit that Buhari has made to the South West since his emergence as president was to Ogun State, where for double measure, he also spent the night there!

According to a source in the know, with a firm understanding of the fact that he literally now has a fight on his hands, Tinubu is currently engaged in an ‘Operation Salvage Ogun Campaign.’ It is within this framework that he is now said to be making plans to lobby the immediate past Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel to support his choice of candidate for the governorship election in Ogun come 2019.

Tinubu who also recently closed ranks with another former Governor of the state, Aremo Olusegun Osoba has put in place his political machinery in the Southwest and majorly in Ogun State to make sure that he not only covers every threatening track in the state but that for double measure, his already anointed choice to succeed Amosun, Senator Solomon Adeola Olamilekan would clinch the APC ticket and also become the next governor of the state.

It was gathered that Tinubu has allotted the responsibility of bringing into his fold, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, to some of his political associates who are as well close to Daniel in the State.

According to a close aide to Tinubu who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, the former Lagos State governor is not taking any chance on possibly losing the state to Amosun, stressing that Amosun had broken the trust which Tinubu had in him during their friendly relationship.

The aide explained that Tinubu had told Olamilekan to continue with his grassroots penetration of the State, adding that Tinubu has planned to invest all that is needed to make sure Olamilekan succeeds Amosun in 2019.

The aide disclosed “Tinubu is not happy with the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun on the ground that he worked against his choice of Mr Wale Edun to be appointed Minister and also as he is currently working against his loyalist from Lagos State and the Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District, Senator Olamilekan Adeola (YAYI), who Tinubu wants to succeed Amosun in 2019.”

He further said after the political associates have been able to succeed in talking to Daniel, the immediate past Governor would be having a close door meeting with Tinubu in his house in Bourdillon to seal the deal and working out means through which YAYI would emerge as governor of Ogun State in 2019. However, the party leader did not disclose the possible terms of agreement that would be involved in the resulting transaction.

He however stressed further that Daniel’s group, which had in the last two elections failed to push their preferred choice of Nasir Isiaka as gubernatorial candidate on the PPP/PDP platforms in the state will be persuaded to work with Osoba’s political machinery to ensure that YAYI emerges as the next governor the state.

The Lagos APC Chieftain further stated that Tinubu is also at the moment as well looking out for ways he could reach out to former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, to also lend his support for YAYI in the Ogun 2019 Governorship tussle.

“Tinubu is seriously mobilizing with all that he has to make sure that YAYI not only gets the APC governorship ticket but also win the state’s governorship election in 2019 as he may any time from this month launch a series of welfare packages and programmes to woo those that are not comfortable with the administrative style of Governor Ibikunle Amosun in the State”, said his aide.

Political observers aver that the unity meeting with Osoba and the moves by Tinubu may however hit brick wall if the Amosun Group continues to hold on to its current level of public support and acceptance by the people of the state.

They explained further that based on the political atmosphere in the state and the interest of most of the major political gladiators, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the alliance between Tinubu, Daniel and Osoba may not hold sway as Amosun is also preparing one of his old time friends who has already gotten the nod of Obasanjo to succeed him in 2019.

Currently, the political atmosphere in the state is charged and some of the loyalists of Amosun have now resulted to going to the grassroots to mobilise people and water the political structures of Amosun for his choice successor.

Another point of note is the fact that with the creation of new Local Council Development Areas in the State, Governor Amosun would conveniently install his loyalists as the Council Chairmen who would handle grassroot mobilization for his choice and preferred platforms in both the governorship election and the re-election of President Muhammodu Buhari in 2019.

Efforts to reach out to the Head of the Media Office of the Bola Tinubu Organisation, Mr Sunday Dare, were abortive as his phone number was not reachable as at the time of filing this report.

Observers however opine that with these developments, the battle ground for the 2019 general elections in the Southwest may have shifted to Ogun State as Amosun may lead the re-election bid of President Buhari and also play a key role in determining who succeeds him in Ogun as governor in 2019.

They stressed that major stakeholders in the State may not throw their support behind YAYI as they perceive him to be Tinubu’s man and his aspiration as simply one more of Tinubu’s political expansion projects.

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