EXCLUSIVE: Osibanjo-Tambuwal presidency in the making

By Factnews on 05/05/2017

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In the coming weeks Nigeria might witness a change in guard at the presidency as sources in the presidency have suggested that the incumbent, President Muhammad Buhari, is set to voluntarily resign from office to take care of his ailing health.

The meeting by three former military Heads of State, Generals Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalam Abubakar in Minna, Niger state on Tuesday was to consider two strong burning issues before allowing President Buhari to turn in his resignation letter to the National Assembly.

There is currently a consensus among past Nigerian leaders to respect the constitution and allow Vice President Yemi Osibanjo to succeed the president while Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State serve as his deputy. The three former leaders who met in Minna under closed doors considered the former speaker of the House of Representatives and current Sokoto State Governor Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and immediate past Kano State Governor and serving Senator Rabiu Musa Kwamkwaso as possible vice president to Prof Yemi Osinbajo in the event he takes over.

President Buhari had mulled the idea of resignation with the three former leaders in close confidence which necessitated the Niger state impromptu meeting. Another strong issue discussed at the Niger meeting, according to a credible source, was whether Prof Osinbajo should seek re-election after completing the tenure of president Buhari in 2019 and the meeting resolved to meet with the Vice president to seal an agreement in a written document under a witness that he will complete the remaining two years and go, to pave way for the emergence of a Northern President by 2019.

However, political allies of the Vice President are reluctant to see him sign any "unconstitutional deal that will abridge his constitutional right to run for the nation's highest office as a citizen of Nigeria in 2019". They are suggesting that the Vice President hold out and allow issues around the President's health to play out without compromising himself with the type of agreement signed by then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, which later became a political liability, to serve only one term.

A credible source at the Presidential Villa who pleaded anonymity confirmed that president Buhari has made up his mind to resign and he feels fulfilled that his aspiration to rule Nigeria again has been achieved, in addition to the successes recorded with his anti-corruption efforts and the war against Boko Haram in the North East.

“He has also set record as the first Nigerian president to defeat an incumbent and would be happy to be the first president in Africa to resign voluntarily on account of ill health.Apart from the three former leaders, the Vice President, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice and the National Security Adviser are the only officers who are fully aware of the president's plan to turn in his resignation.”

President Buhari returned to the country on March 10th 2017 after spending 49 days and has not been seen in public functions. Also,for three consecutive times,he has not presided over Federal Executive Council meetings where key decisions for the country are taken, which is a clear indication that he is not physically fit to pilot the affairs of the country “PMB is confident that his vice Prof Yemi Osinbajo is capable of transforming the country and continuing with the anti-corruption fight in the country, he demonstrated his ability when PMB was on vacation” the source said

President Buhari, according to the source, gave the three former leaders the opportunity to select a credible Northerner that will deputise Prof Osinbajo and seal a deal with him that he will only complete Buhari's term and leave .

“The assignment will be completed before May 29th,2017 when President Buhari will clock two full years in office. The resignation letter will then be made public while Osinbajo will complete the remaining two years and retire” the source hinted.

Tambuwal is considered for the position of vice president because of his youthful age, performance as House of Representatives Speaker and governor of Sokoto state as well as his acceptability in not only the north but across the country.

Initially, former President Obasanjo pushed for the emergence of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso as incoming Vice President but other national leaders contacted by the former leaders strongly opposed his candidacy as he was seen as being a divisive character nationally.

Suggestions of Senate President Bukola Saraki serving as the Vice President to Osibanjo was shot down by an APC leader from the South West who was contacted by Obasanjo before the Minna meeting.

 

Posted on May, 5 2017

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