After Several Denial, Osinbajo Joins Presidential Race
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo entered the presidential contest on Sunday, after months of speculation and denial, ahead of the All Progressives Congress primary next month.
At a dinner he hosted at the Presidential Villa for the breaking of the Ramadan fast (Iftar), Osinbajo informed the APC governors of his intention to succeed his boss, Muhammadu Buhari, whose presidency ends in 13 months.
The meeting was attended by no less than 12 APC governors out of a total of 23.
Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Babagana Zulum (Borno), and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) are among the governors present.
“The VP invited all the governors to the meeting and has informed them of his plan to contest. He is also seeking their support ahead of the primary. Of course, the Vice-President has also informed President Buhari of his intention to contest. He will be formally announcing his candidacy on Monday (today),” said a top source.
The Vice-President is expected to release a video of his formal declaration on Monday on all social media platforms wherein he will seek the support of all Nigerians for his ambition.
Already, Osinbajo support groups have opened a campaign and strategy office for him in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja.
Attempts to get a response from the Spokesman for the Vice-President, Laolu Akande, proved abortive as he neither responded to calls nor a text message on Sunday.
Osinbajo, who turned 65 last month, is a senior advocate of Nigeria and a former lecturer at the University of Lagos. He is also a senior pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
He began his public office career in 1988 as an Adviser (legal advice and litigation) to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Bola Ajibola, a position he held for four years.
The Vice-President was appointed Attorney-General of Lagos State in 1999 by then Governor, Bola Tinubu, and held the position till 2007, implementing several judicial reforms.
He was nominated as Buhari’s running mate in 2014 and was elected alongside Buhari in 2015. During his seven-year tenure as Vice-President, Osinbajo served as acting President for more than 120 non-consecutive days while his principal was on medical leave in London between 2016 and 2018.
Osinbajo will be contesting the APC Presidential primary against Tinubu, his former boss; the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
Others in the APC who are rumoured to be nursing Presidential ambitions include: Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi; the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige. The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, is also considered a contender.