Indications emerged on Sunday why the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) was initially keen on fielding a Muslim/Muslim candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
Despite the fact that its former member and one-time Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode raised an alarm on the issue earlier in 2014, top APC chieftains still tried to sell the idea which was rejected by many Nigerians and even APC members.
APC national leader and former Lagos State governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his successor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the party’s presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (all Muslims) among others, at one time or the other, insisted there was nothing wrong with same-religion ticket.
A point the APC and those who believed in the controversial game plan gave as reference, was that since Nigeria remains an indivisible entity, a Muslim/Muslim ticket was no big deal.
They were also quick to use the 1993 presidential election, where Chief M.K.O. Abiola contested along with Baba Gana Kingibe on the Social Democratic Party (SDP) platform as a reference.
APC and its kingmakers would later bow to pressure and the noise generated by the Muslim/Muslim ticket reduced with the emergence of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, a Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Pastor, as the running mate to Gen. Buhari.
But more reasons on why the APC was desperate to have a Muslim from South-West have surfaced, as a source confided in DAILY POST that the politics that shrouded the insistence by Tinubu to present either himself or a loyal Muslim candidate was more than what was visible to the eyes of Nigerians.
According to him, a major reason behind the Muslim/Muslim ticket was to have Nigeria’s presidency be within the grasp of the South-West region in the event Buhari finds it difficult to carry on as the nation’s leader.
Buhari’s health scare
Our source, knowledgeable of happenings within the corridors of power, Aso Rock, said there is a security report concerning the health of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the APC presidential standard bearer.The report, he told DAILY POST, shows that the 72 year-old former Head of State may not live more than a year or two if he assumes office as Nigeria’s President in 2015.
“Many people think the presidency or the PDP is trying to portray Buhari in a bad light or declare him unfit for the nation’s topmost job but the information I am giving you is authentic”, he alleged.
Asked to provide specifics of the content of the security report to back up his claim, the source said: “A part of it goes thus: Should Buhari win, he may not be able to complete a single four-year tenure due to his health condition; he has continued to manage his health secretly.
“Let me ask you these questions: Why do you think Tinubu was ready to risk a Muslim/Muslim ticket? Why do you think he presented himself at the eleventh hour when talks were on to pick Buhari’s running mate? When he failed in his quest, why do you think he picked his associate of 20 years?”
“The truth is that Tinubu and his cohorts know that the demands of office will tell on Buhari and same will either kill him or weigh him down excessively,” the source added.
North not backing Buhari
The source further told DAILY POST that powers that be in the North are not comfortable with the choice of Buhari.
“Look, many eminent personalities in the North are not supporting Buhari’s candidature because they also know this fact.
“They are aware that Buhari may not see 2019, so they don’t want to gamble. We all know there exists a Northern cabal and these guys will rather wait for President Jonathan to complete his eight years and hand over to them. They want eight years too!
“So, they have agreed not to throw their weight behind Buhari, who may not even see four years through. The North do not want a repetition of the Yar’ Adua saga; they are being very careful.
“This is because if anything happens to Buhari, power will return to the South, South-West for that matter and this may happen less than a decade after Baba Obasanjo left Aso Rock.
“Not just that, power will effectively be in the hands of Bola Tinubu because Osinbajo is his confirmed stooge. Can you now see all these indices? Now, who in his or her right senses would believe that the North are backing Buhari. Certainly, not the North I know”.
The Obasanjo angle
DAILY POST also gathered that former President Olusegun Obasanjo is in the know of the permutation being worked out by Tinubu.
“Some Nigerians are so gullible”, our source said.
“What do you think Tinubu was going to do in Obasanjo’s house in Ota? To eat eba and vegetable soup?” He quipped rhetorically.
“He was part of the grand plan for Buhari to win APC presidential primary because they know he won’t last. He is on a mission, alongside the APC, to retain power in the South.
“They are planning to short-change the North again and the Arewa hierarchy have uncovered the plot. Like I said before, many prominent Northern leaders have taken a decision not to endorse the Buhari’s and an APC presidency because they also have access to the security report on his health.
“Obasanjo is aware of the document; Tinubu too. So they know very well what they are doing.”
DAILY POST had earlier gathered that President Goodluck Jonathan allegedly raised the issue of Buhari candidacy vis-à-vis his age and health during his homage to former Head of State, Ibrahim Badamosi Banagida.
Jonathan had on Saturday visited IBB at his Hilltop mansion in Minna, Niger State.
On his entourage were National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki; his Chief of Staff, Gen. Jones Arogbofa; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Muhammed; former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi and Senator Ahmadu Ali, among others.
Jonathan, who canvassed support for his reelection ambition, was said to have appealed to his host to reach out to influential Northern leaders to back his 2015 bid.
The president also reportedly reiterated his promise to hand over power to a Northerner in 2019.
Efforts to get the reaction of the APC national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, on the purported health report on Buhari were futile.
He did not pick callls to his mobile line on Sunday and Monday.
Written For http://www.globalruns.com