2023: Tinubu May Be Forced To Join SDP Over Buhari’s Silence On His Ambition – Sources

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Indications have emerged that Bola Tinubu, national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), has begun consultations with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), as an alternative platform to actualise his presidential ambition, if his party, the APC, fails to give him ticket.

It was gathered from sources close to the SDP that Tinubu met with some leaders of the political party recently to seek a soft landing for him, in the wake of the recent event that led to the emergence of consensus candidates for the APC chairmanship and some other positions at the national convention of the party in Abuja.

When newsmen visited the Tinubu campaign office in Abuja, a stalwart of the APC said Tinubu “is not leaving anything to chance as the political horse trading continues among the major Presidential aspirants in the ruling APC.”

The APC member who craved anonymity said, “Our leader cannot be railroaded to support any outsider. He has committed too much to making Nigeria what it is today and it will be a disservice to Nigeria for anyone to block Tinubu from taking the Presidential ticket in 2023.”

This position was also buttressed by Tunde Rahman, Tinubu’s media aide, while reacting to BusinessDay’s request for comment on the matter, but he denied that the APC national leader was considering joining SDP.

Rahman, in a text message said, “HE Asíwájú Bola Tinubu has not considered and is not considering moving over to any political party. Not at all; not SDP that you mentioned, and not any other political party for that matter. He has no need for it.

“He has declared his intention to contest for the presidency on the platform of the APC. And he is focused on that.”

He noted that Tinubu “is presently criss-crossing the length and breadth of the country, engaging with critical stakeholders and selling his candidacy. That is what I know of.”

Tinubu’s camp is said to be apprehensive over the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari regarding his choice, thus heightening tension in the party ahead of the primaries set for June.

The President had said during his last nationwide interview that he would not reveal his choice for fear of the individual being killed before the election.

It was learnt that although the Tinubu’s camp is ready to work with the Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC, the group is, however, said to be uncomfortable with the introduction of the consensus approach that produced the members.

“Our national leader is putting all the options on the table. We do not want to be taken unawares, as it is a known fact that they will not work against those who brought them in, in the event that they are asked to follow a particular direction ahead of the June primaries,” the insider source said.

But the SDP stalwart who spoke to BusinessDay in Abuja insisted that the Tinubu had “approached the party,” saying, “We are in talks with him, and his coming to our party will help us strengthen the party.”

He disclosed that the party was ready to receive Tinubu should the APC refuse to give him the ticket.

Tinubu’s ally and current Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo is rumoured to be nursing ambition for 2023 Presidency.

Osinbajo’s silence on his ambition, few weeks to the primaries that will produce the APC presidential flag bearer, is said to be causing uneasy calm in Tinubu’s camp.