IBB endorses Osinbajo for 2023 presidency

December 24, 2021
39 Views
  • It’s bad market for VP, Pro-Tinubu group says

  • ‘Babangida backed Buhari in 2015’

From Mohammed Akote (Minna) & Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos)

Former Military President Ibrahim Babangida on Thursday endorsed the candidature of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo ahead of the 2023 presidential elections.

General Babangida said Osinbajo is a good man to lead Nigeria.

He stated this when the Osinbajo Grassroots Organisation (OGO) visited him in his Uphill Residence in Minna, Niger State.

Babangida urged the vice president to stay on cause and be resilient.

He said, “I know the vice president very well. He is a good man. He is a man who has conviction about Nigeria; a man who can communicate with the country and inspire people.

“Such a man is a worthy person to work with. We need a good man to lead Nigeria; a man who has a passion for this country. Nigeria is a good country; the people of Nigeria are good. You must learn to understand people and constant discussion is a key,” he said.

According to the former military president, “I want to convey my best wishes to the vice president through you (the group). And I want you to tell him to stay on the course. I know it is not easy but he has the conviction. I wish him the best.”

The elder statesman also said that he decided to speak to the delegation because the Vice President Osinbajo that he knew had what it took to be a good leader.

Earlier, the National Convener of the Organisation, Mr Ojo Foluso expressed joy over the endorsement of their preferred president of Nigeria come 2023 by the former military leader.

He said, “We came to consult the oracle and the oracle has spoken. General IBB is an oracle because he understands Nigeria”.

He said that the group would continue to mount pressure on Osinbajo to pick interest in contesting for the presidency.

Also, the Team Leader, Chief Emma Ejiofor, in his speech said that members of the Osinbajo Grassroots Organisation were visiting prominent citizens such as Gen. Babangida for wise counsel because of their sound knowledge and understanding of the country.

“At this moment, Nigeria is in dire need of leaders with conviction and passion for her development and growth,” he said.

Daily Trust reports that Osinbajo has been deputising President Muhammadu Buhari since 2015.  They would complete their second and final term on May 29, 2023.

Though he has not officially indicated interest to vie for the presidency, speculations are ripe that the vice president would give it a trial. In the event he does, Osinbajo would slug it out with other contenders in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), among them the National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.

The vice president had served as commissioner for justice when Tinubu was governor of Lagos State.

It’s bad market for VP, Pro-Tinubu group says

Reacting to the latest development, the foremost pro-Tinubu group, the South-West Agenda for Asiwaju (SWAGA) described the purported endorsement of VP Osinbajo by IBB as “a bad market.”

Vice Chairman of SWAGA, Senator Rilwan Akanbi, in a chat with Daily Trust, said IBB’s endorsement of any candidate amounted to “a wrong endorsement.”

He said those rooting for Tinubu were not threatened by the purported endorsement.

According to him, IBB’s endorsement cannot take any candidate anywhere.

He said, “He (IBB) is entitled to his opinion. Where will the endorsement of somebody that annulled the most democratic, the most transparent election place someone?

“He is the person that annulled June 12. So I want to know where such endorsement will lead anybody.

“He is a wrong person to endorse anybody. I won’t take my endorsement to him. We don’t want such a person to endorse Asiwaju. Asiwaju fought against his regime. They stood their ground when it comes to the annulment of the election which he did.

“So how are we now going to take Asiwaju’s endorsement to his door? He is a bad market, a wrong endorsement. How can IBB endorse somebody and you expect to take that far? It’s like OBJ endorsing you.”

Mr Tunde Rahman, media aide to Asiwaju did not respond to our correspondent’s enquiry as of the time of filing this report.

‘IBB endorsed Buhari in 2015’

In January 2015, Babangida had reportedly endorsed Buhari after he emerged as the APC candidate to challenge then President Goodluck Jonathan who was seeking a second term on the platform of the PDP.

Coincidentally, it was Osinbajo, the then presidential running mate of APC, who first claimed in a tweet, saying “General Babangida has thrown his weight behind General Buhari. He says Buhari is the right man to move Nigeria forward.”

Soon after the tweet, Dino Melaye, who was then the APC candidate for the Kogi West Senatorial District, re-echoed Osinbajo’s claims saying,  “IBB endorses Buhari, IBB says ‘We will all support Buhari to be president.’”

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