It’s definitely not the best of times for Lagos Billionaire politician and highly revered leader of Southwest politics, Senator, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ‘Jagaban’ whose political empire is currently witnessing a great turmoil.
The crisis being confronted by the astute politician Thepage can reveal, is not unconnected with the grand plan, incidentally, by co political pilots, who are determined to put an end to the political dominance and influence of the ‘Jagaban’ before and after the February 2019 general elections.
Thepage gathered that, Tinubu’s travail started following his unsuccessful lobby to run with President Mohammadu Buhari in 2015 presidential election, on the platform of the All Progressive Congress.(APC).
Buhari, it was gathered, had agreed with the former Lagos Governor to run with him on a Muslim-Muslim ticket before a statement said to have been made against Buhari by Tinubu filtered into the ears of the then presidential aspirant who had to renege on his original promise to run with the ‘Jagaban’.
It was gathered that before the choice of the running mate to Buhari was officially concluded upon, the former Lagos Governor was alleged to have shared his unfavorable discoveries on the health profile of the then Presidential aspirant with some associates while he allegedly registered doubt that the aspirant if elected, may not be able to serve through his term.
The information, it was further gathered, got to the aspirant who later visited the former governor in his Abuja home to inform him that the Muslim -Muslim ticket earlier agreed upon won’t work, hence, the need to shop for a new candidate.
This, it was gathered, angered the former governor who walked the presidential candidate out of his home even with many party members present.
The then Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomole was said to be the only one among the lot present, to walk the humbled presidential candidate out of the presence of the powerful party leader.
The development, it was gathered, made those close to the President labeled Tinubu as too ambitious, hence the reason he was ostracized from the government immediately after the President was sworn since over three years ago until political exigencies recently brought him to the fore in party decision making.
Fears that the Southwest may not be delivered for the re-election of President Buhari without the support of ‘Jagaban’ was raised when preparations commenced for the re-election process of PMB. It was thus decided by the anti Tinubu elements within the system that all would be done to make him irrelevant before the next general elections and some of his aggrieved lieutenants were enlisted for the plot.
To this end, a meeting was held in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, where it was decided that no leader from a state should directly interfere in picking candidates for elective positions in States other than his.
According to sources, the decision was targeted at Tinubu whose influence in determining who occupies a political position in the Southwest states was very obvious.
” This is the party position the anti Tinubu forces explored to play him out in Ondo and Ekiti States where his candidates were frustrated out of gubernatorial elections in the states ” a source privy to the undercurrents in the APC volunteered.
Thepage source further explained that the intention is to ensure that the ‘Jagaban’s firm grip on the Southwest west states are removed and made a no influence in the build up to the eventual reelection of President Buhari.
Indications that forces are out to strip the former Lagos state governor of whatever influence he had in the South-west , first came to the fore in the gang up against his candidate in the Ondo state governorship election in 2017.
His candidate, Segun Abraham, who claimed to have been rigged out of the primary election is still in court against the election of Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu.
While his favoured candidate in the recently held Ekiti state governorship election, Femi Ojudu saw the handwriting of defeat on the wall and withdrew from the final primary election, our source submitted, the coming Osun state governorship election is being perfected to finally nail the huge political figure to irrelevance.
Thepage reliably gathered that it was not for fun that the former Secretary to the Osun state governor, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti decamped from the ruling party to a less popular Action Democratic Party. (ADP) to pick the gubernatorial ticket, ready to square it up with Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, the APC candidate of his former party leader, to fight for the governorship seat.
To ensure Tinubu’s candidate emerge from the Osun state primary election, the ruling All Progressives Congress which is still in the grip of Tinubu, had to deviate from the usual delegate system of primary election and adopted direct method which allowed all party members to vote for the aspirant of their choice at the 332 wards in the state.
The direct mode of primary election was severely criticised by most of the APC governorship aspirants and some of them even boycotted the elections, alleging that the process had been manipulated to favour the eventual winner, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola believed to be related to Asiwaju.
One of the aspirants, Mr. Kunle Adegoke, aka K-Rad, who had made allegation of fraud in the process leading to the conduct of the primary election, said he had written a petition to the Appeal Panel of the party.
He claimed that the Governor Abdulaazeez Yari-led panel did not consult with the appeal panel nor accept his petition.
As part of the fallout of the APC primary election, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, defected to the Action Democratic Party on the last day of submission of candidates’ name to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
He was received at the party secretariat and a primary election was immediately conducted for the sole aspirant, thereby emerging the flag bearer of the ADP.
Sources told Thepage that Adeoti’s confidence to pick the gubernatorial ticket of the ADP to confront the candidate of the ruling party may not have been buoyed by the anti Tinubu forces within the APC, even as it was reliably gathered that, should the Osun election go according to the plans of the anti Tinubu elements who managed the Edo, Ondo and Ekiti elections successfully for the presidency, Adeoti may likely emerge the winner of the election.
“Should this happen, the Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi believed to be the only Governor left in the Southwest representing the interest of Tinubu aside his Osun counterpart, Ogbeni Aregbesila ,won’t think twice before ditching Tinubu to endorse whoever is the President’s candidate for the Oyo state governorship election to succeed him.
” Ogun state is already a no go area for Tinubu and his stronghold which is Lagos is fast being penetrated by the same forces that ensured the Tinubu’s controlled platforms in the state for the first time in the history of Asiwaju Tinubu’s political dynasty has two state party chairmen”
According to a source that should know, the grand plan against Tinubu is being extended to include raising alternative candidates against his candidates within the APC in the coming elections.
Reliable sources told Thepage for instance, that one Mumuni is being prompted to slug it out with Senator Remi Tinubu for the Lagos Central Senatorial ticket.
The sponsors of the said Mumuni are believed to be those of the representatives of the President Buhari’s CPC/ ANPP block of the APC in the state.
It was alleged that, Asiwaju has reneged on the initial agreement that every interest within the Lagos APC shall have the chance to contest elections.
There are also questions on the rationale behind the endorsement of Senators Remi Tinubu and Senator Adeola Olamilekan a.k.a Yayi for the Lagos Central and Lagos West Senatorial districts respectively and the denial of the same gesture to Sen. Gbenga Ashafa of Lagos East Senatorial District.
While it has been alleged that Ashafa is being denied a return ticket by Tinubu to get back at those opposed to his interest in the presidency, It has also been gathered that plans are being perfected to ensure that Tinubu’s Candidate for the Lagos East senatorial election to replace Ashafa does not scale through the primary.
According to sources, the favoured candidate, Hon. Bayo Oshinowo a.k.a Peeper would be stopped on the ground that it is the turn of a Lagosian to represent the district at the senate.
To this end, it is already being bandied that, Senator Gbenga Ashafa whom Tinubu was said to have sworn won’t be allowed to return to the Red Chamber is from Ijebu ode which is the same locality Oshinowo hailed from.
The permutation of the anti Tinubu forces Thepage gathered, is that, once he does not have direct control on any state house in the Southwest as it is being worked out, the political giant would have been reduced to nothingness before the next political dispensation.
-By Femi Adepoju.