As the inner circle of President Muhammadu Buhari strategizes towards 2019 Presidential polls, fresh revelations have emerged to the effect that close allies of the President have penciled down Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun as a possible arrow-head of Buhari’s re-election Campaign in Yorubaland, triggering insinuations in high-level political circles that Buhari’s inner team may be plotting to replace Tinubu with Amosun as the President’s ”chief ally in South-West”.
The New Diplomat investigations reveal that as the imminent flag-off of Buhari’s 2019 Presidential re-election bid draws, close allies of the President have made it clear that they ”prefer to work with Amosun more” closely because he is a “trusted loyalist” and that he can handle the South West Project with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”left to handle only Lagos.” Sources reveal that this development has angered many Tinubu supporters within the All Progressives Congress (APC) who are feeling strongly betrayed by those they refer to as “the Cabal” within Buhari’s Presidency, threatening to throw spanners in the works with the possibility of scuttling Buhari’s re-election bid in 2019.
An insider confided in The New Diplomat that this was “one of the main reasons that Tinubu recently re-united with Afenifere, the Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organization to send a strong message to those toying with the “Amosun option” to either perish that thought or face the consequences of Yoruba nation moving en-block against Buhari in 2019.
Said an insider: ”They have to be very careful. They were toying with the idea of using Amosun to checkmate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu but they don’t know that the political equation in Yorubaland is very complex. First, were it not for Tinubu, who moved for Buhari and rallied the entire South West for Buhari, his dream of becoming a civilian President would have consistently crashed. The same Tinubu can also alter the equation. There was nothing Jonathan didn’t promise or offer Tinubu, including Oil block and six key Ministerial slots and Senate Presidency but he rejected them all to back Buhari. Don’t forget Tinubu has a large following in the International community which he cultivated during his days in NADECO and NADECO can be re-invigorated to tackle Buhari…I believe they will retrace their steps and stop hobnobbing with Amosun, who is a political lightweight in Yorubaland.”
As the political permutations gather steam, it is not clear yet how the pendulum would swing but for now, the equation looks hazy for Buhari in South West with this development. Sources told The New Diplomat that Tinubu has been insisting on well-crafted agreement that would not leave the South West politically ”stranded in 2019 and beyond.” The details of this agreement, it was learnt are still being discussed at high-levels