By Joseph Atainyang & Abasifreke Effiong
The search for the next president of Nigeria has begun. Nigerians, the political elites have begun consultations, political advocacies, and regional alignments; the masses on the other hand are making their permutations as usual towards the famed year 2023.
The search for a successor for President Muhammadu Buhari is everyone’s interest. The South has started a voracious agenda-setting for the zoning of the presidency to the area. Late last year there was a loud agitation by the Igbos (South-East) that they should be allowed to produce the president in 2023; their voices are however spiraling out because a number of the Igbo leaders in the two leading political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are waiting on their parties to decide the zone which the next president would come from. However, some leaders from the region while waiting have outrightly joined the growing train of canvassers for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, (BAT) presidency.
The radar for the presidency in 2023 has beamed closely on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT), the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, former Governor of Lagos State, the Jagaban of Borgu and many communities are feeling his presence already. BAT has been tipped by many top-brass politicians as the man who has the wit, courage, national acceptance, leadership experience, political will and connection to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
Individuals and groups across the country are talking about BAT, they want him to contest for Nigeria’s president in 2023. In Kano State for instance, the Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero has registered his contentment in the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT). In a special meeting held in his palace, the Royal monarch said Tinubu is one Nigerian who has worked hard to unite the country on all fronts. Emir Bayero described Asiwaju Tinubu as a true nationalist.
Apart from the Emir, stakeholders in Kano State who came out in number to grace the occasion of the 12th Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s colloquium urged the iconic former governor of Lagos State to run for the presidency, stressing that Asiwaju Tinubu has all the desired qualities that would attract support across the country.
Earlier that week, conference of Northwest Speakers issued a statement, calling on Asiwaju Tinubu to prepare his mind for the race. This came weeks after the Southwest Speakers and former Speakers endorsed Asiwaju Tinubu for the top job. Among those who spoke in both declarations were the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; former speaker of Kano State House of Assembly, Yau Abdullahi Yanshana; and former Deputy Speaker of the Jigawa State House of Assembly, Abu Dauda. They said Nigeria needs a man with vast experience to pilot her affairs, and tipped Asiwaju Tinubu as the person with the leadership mien to clinch the APC ticket. The group had pledged to mobilize grassroots support for him.
In the South-South, Akwa Ibom State, the call on Asiwaju Tinubu to contest for the presidency is resonating. Groups have started taking Asiwaju Tinubu into communities and hamlets. A lead canvasser for Asiwaju Tinubu is, Akwa Ibom Stakeholders for Asiwaju Tinubu, AKISAT, championed by a former spokesman of the House of Representatives, Mr. Eseme Eyibio.
At the inauguration of State Working Committee of AKISAT, which cuts across all the political wards in the Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Eyibio, Dean of AKISAT’23, said the group is a voluntary private vehicle dedicated to propagate the ‘message of one man, Asiwaju Tinubu’.
Mr. Eyiboh said, ‘as the days were rolling by, it was glaring that the next election year was approaching and there is need to begin the search for a perfect successor for President Muhammadu Buhari. Our keen eyes have spotted a man who has the political will, the charisma and worthy character to provide effective leadership for a united Nigeria. That man is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’.
AKISAT is an amalgam of political thinkers and professionals across political parties in the state. The former national lawmaker said they chose to pitch their tent with Asiwaju Tinubu because he is a multi-versatile leader whose sense of nationality promises security and economic stability to Nigerians.
A fortnight ago at the inauguration of its leadership structures – state, senatorial districts, federal constituencies, local government areas and wards – AKISAT had the honour of hosting the leadership of a prominent Asiwaju Tinubu group, South-West Agenda for Asiwaju, SWAGA, led by a former Minister of State for Works, Senator Dayo Adeyeye.
Senator Adeyeye who was spokesman for the M.K.O Abiola campaign organisation and publicity secretary of Afenifere, was accompanied by Senator Adesoji Akanbi, former House of Reps member, Mr. Oyetunde Oladimeji Ojo, the Iyaloja General Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, among other personalities.
Senator Adeyeye said at the inauguration in Uyo that he hopes for a prosperous Nigeria, and he believes that Asiwaju Tinubu was well equipped to lead a secure and economically viable Nigeria.
‘Asiwaju Tinubu is a charismatic, selfless and detribalised Nigerian. He is a Muslim with one wife who is not just a Christian but a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Tinubu has the experience, the capacity and the political will to lead Nigeria into prosperity’.
Senator Adeyeye commended AKISAT’23 for joining other political movements across the 36 states and the FCT in mobilizing support for Tinubu ’23 presidency.
On his part, Senator Adesoji Akanbi, thanked Akwa Ibom stakeholders for promoting Mr Tinubu’s leadership brand for a better Nigeria. Akanbi submitted that Asiwaju Tinubu represents a united Nigeria where every part is given equal rights to development and progress.
‘A lot of people are talking about separation, while others are talking about restructuring and one united Nigeria, Tinubu stands for oneness of this country’, he stated.
Vanguards of Asiwaju Tinubu for president in 2023 are winning grounds, AKISAT is working enthusiastically through its multi-level structures to engage communities, small groups and individuals in Akwa Ibom State for Asiwaju Tinubu. AKISAT is creating the presence of Asiwaju Tinubu in my community.