Guardian News – Houston, TX – Complexities behind an alleged cold war between the presidential candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), and his running mate, Dr. Yemi Osinbajo are getting worse, and have divided the campaign train into two combative segments, International Guardian reliably gathered. A campaign senior officer who spoke to our field reporters on strict anonymity confirmed the tension, and indicated that Dr. Osinbajo and some of his close campaign allies have been excluded in several major stakeholder meetings lately.
The war between the two presidential partners started shortly after Buhari presented Osinbajo, the professor of law and former attorney general and commissioner for Justice in Lagos state, as his running mate mid-December. Dr. Osibanjo had expressed regrets that Buhari did not trust him but had no choice selecting him because he was pressured by the party chieftains, including former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, and a cohort of south west governors, Bisi Akande.
Another bitter moment soon emerged in the same month when Buhari was speaking during a campaign rally in Owerri, Imo State and wrongly introduced his running mate as “Professor Yemi Osinbade.” The news permeated the social media fuelling speculations that the ex-war lord may be battling age-related heath issues. To worsen the situation, the speculation that Buhari’s may not make it through a four-year term if he won because of a visibly deteriorating health made it to the media and fuelled a suspicious relationship between General Buhari’s camp and Dr. Osibanjo. Buhari had allegedly accused the Tinubi/Osibanjo camp of praying for his death – a situation similar to the late President Shehu Musa Yar’Adua when critics accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of nominating a sick candidate to jeopardize chances allotted to the Northern zone in the party.
Less than 10 days to the election, issues of lack of trust and collaboration between General Buhari and Dr. Osibanjo has become even more noticeable. It was alleged that Buhari’s camp secretly trails and records all campaign appearances by Dr. Osibanjo to micromanage his strategies, speaking lines and comments. Consequently, the General it was alleged had summoned Dr. Osibanjo several times over comments and stories attributed to him in the media, International Guardian reliably gathered.
The last straw over a strained relationship occurred a few days ago after a secret meeting between General Buhari and Chief Tinubu was revealed in the media. Tinubu, it was gathered had purportedly negotiated with the General over allocation of oil wells in the Niger Delta as compensation for electioneering support and huge financial investment in the party from the stage of negotiations for merger and registration as a political party to the entire campaign engagements. Party stalwarts allied to Dr. Osibanjo were furious that they were excluded from the meeting. Tinubu’s camp were also furious about the outcome of the meeting which resulted in lengthy hours of horse-trading and arguments. Buhari, it was alleged, had not been transparent with the group over his collaboration and agreement with key members of the Northern Leaders Political Forum. “Buhari has not invested a kobo in this campaign from the word go and should not even talk in this meeting,” an aggrieved member from Tinubu’s camp said.
As of press time, Buhari’s campaign is reported to be in tatters, pitting two major groups in a cold war over pre and post-election allocation of power and resources. Key party members contacted by International Guardian’s campaign reporters declined any categorical comments. “Parties do have issues – yes we have issues just like other campaigns, but those will not stop our victory come February 14” a member said. .