Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has reportedly told President Muhammadu Buhari that he wants to run for the 2023 presidency, despite the alleged presidential ambition of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
Peoples Gazette reported that Osinbajo met with Buhari on New Year’s Day to inform him of his intention to succeed him in the 2023 general election and to sought the blessing of his principal who did not make immediate commitments.
Three administration officials familiar with the development said Osinbajo’s move came when he met with Buhari with the mindset that his ambition will see a gradual but consistent upswing if moored to honesty and uprightness from the beginning.
“The Vice-President did not want to go into the election year by hiding a plan which the president had probably already known about.
“He knew that an immediate endorsement of the president, on the other hand, may not be so easy to come by,” a national security aide told The Gazette on Monday night.
According to officials, Osinbajo told the president that he was not looking to ambush and railroad him into endorsing him.
“But he would continue to make efforts to see if he could get the president’s backing nonetheless,” the source added.
However, VP Osinbajo’s chance of getting the presidential ticket of the APC looks complicated after an audio emerged where he was heard talking about succeeding Buhari.
According to a source, the vice president was allegedly recorded discussing how Buhari was not likely to make it through his presidency, gloating about how he would end up succeeding him.
“The president has been in possession of an audio recording of the vice-president talking about how he will gain power in the manner similar to Goodluck Jonathan’s fluke,” another senior presidency official told Peoples Gazzette. “That is why most of us loyal to the president are not supporting the vice-president’s ambition.”
“The president told some of us to consider our political interest individually,” the source added. “But we all know his body language since he listened to the tape has been more than clear.”
Confirming the existence of the leaked audio, another presidency source denied that the VP wished death on the president so he could take over.
“The vice-president was only complaining about being undermined by key loyalists of the president. He also said some of them will immediately switch to his side should he succeed the president,” the official said. “The vice-president did not pray for the president to die as people are insinuating about that audio.”
This comes a few weeks after Bola Tinubu said he will not disappoint Nigerians who are counting on him to contest for the presidency in the 2023 general election.