The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, says he will not reject calls to contest for the Presidency in 2023.
The former Lagos State governor stated this after a closed-door meeting with leaders of the Northern Alliance Committee in Abuja.
While refusing to officially declare his ambition, the 69-year-old politician said political consultations were ongoing.
“I am not going to turn them down but I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly and tell Nigerians.
“But the President is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges he might face today. So, don’t muddle the political waters. Consult, make our program known to the people later. And the intention is clear. So you can keep guessing,” Tinubu added.
Endorsing Tinubu for 2023, the leader of the Northern Alliance Committee, Lawal Munir, said the meeting resolved to work for the actualisation of the ambition of the APC National Leader to the next level.
Munir, who said they had a fruitful meeting with Tinubu, disclosed that the committee resolved to support him come 2023 due to his superlative qualities.
He added, “The meeting ended very well. We are working for him. We are working for him because we know he will win the election when the time comes.”
It had been earlier reported that a founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum and elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, revealed that Tinubu visited his Abuja residence in November to solicit his support for his (Tinubu’s) presidential ambition in the next general elections.
Of recent, posters and billboards advertising the rumoured presidential bid of Tinubu, who was Lagos governor from May 1999 to May 2007, have been seen in major cities, including Lagos and Abuja.
Though Tinubu has yet to declare his intention to contest any office in 2023, there have been reports and veiled indications that he might be interested in the exalted seat.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had in October inaugurated the South-West Agenda 2023, a political movement mobilising support for Tinubu to contest the 2023 presidential election.
Tinubu, who celebrated his 69th birthday in March 2021 and commands an arguably large following of political loyalists, has been reported to nurse presidential ambition in 2023, even as political debates get intense for a southern president after the eight-year regime of the incumbent, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who is from Katsina State, North-West Nigeria.
Between July and October 2021, while Tinubu was in the United Kingdom for a knee surgery and physiotherapy, over 50 politicians, including the President, six governors, dozens of senators and House of Representatives members, visited him at his London home and turned the place to a Mecca of sort.
In October, the Northern Caucus of House of Representatives, led by Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase, had also paid a get-well visit to the APC leader in London and declared support for Tinubu’s reported 2023 presidential ambition.