For daring to tell Rivers State governor Rotimi Amaechi the truth about his ambition to be All Progressives Congress running mate several months back, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has come under sponsored insidious media attacks and a gang up led by Rotimi and some governors within the party.
The architect of this gang up against Tinubu is Governor Amaechi, whose pleas for Tinubu’s backing did not succeed. In no uncertain terms, Tinubu had told Rotimi, who had bragged he had enough money to shoulder the financial responsibility for the APC presidential candidate in the general elections, that he would not receive his support. Reasons include that on a national level Rotimi’s name recognition and acceptance was below that of another South-South governor. He was also at a disadvantage in terms of electoral appeal to voters. Also his region already has the chairmanship of the party. Moreover, the South West was set to fill the slot of the Vice President after conceding the presidency to the North.
Tinubu, a close source said advised Amaechi to tarry awhile and look for other options. From this point, Amaechi began to regard Tinubu as one of the people plotting against his political ascendency.
With a private jet and loads of cash, Amaechi moved quickly first to get John Oyegun on his side and later assembled a few governors to demand at every meeting that the slot of the Vice President be given to one of the governors. Senator Saraki is one of Amaechi’s chair leaders.
The gang up against Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande and by some extension General Buhari became so powerful that it manifested itself at one of the meetings where one of the governors openly threatened that the governors will withhold financial support for the party unless their interest was accommodated. Oyegun the party chairman was rattled until Tinubu called their bluff and challenged the governors to provide evidence of how much they have invested in the party. Two other members spoke against the governors and said to tie their funding of the party to securing favors is not the way to build a party.
According to investigations, since the April national convention fall out, the governors had formed a block to checkmate Tinubu, Bisi Akande and General Buhari. Gov. Rochas Okorocha soon became a diehard critic of Tinubu and joined Amaechi in using the block to confront the former Lagos governor. The gang up failed. Tinubu prevailed.
And Governor Amaechi never gave up on his ambition. While working to sideline Tinubu, he found a way to ingratiate himself to Buhari whom he promised to fund his presidential campaign if he picks him as his running mate. He eventually got Buhari pick him as the Director General of the Buhari Campaign Organization for the primaries. Driven by ambition, an unrelenting Rotimi has continued to deploy money, propaganda and serial internal revolts against Tinubu.
Tinubu, a close aide said, has watched with amusement, insisting that the platform must be secured and the party will be properly guided. The senior aide to Tinubu also confided that his camp is shocked by how desperate Governor Amaechi has become and how he has singled out Tinubu has a target. Governor Okorocha and others conspired against Lagos hosting the presidential primaries because of the fear of Tinubu.
Shortly after the convention for the presidential primary, Rotimi swung into further action, sensing that the South West will get the running mate slot and Tinubu might be on the ticket with Buhari. The several salacious stories about Tinubu in the legacy and social media point in the direction of the Rotimi camp, though this us yet to be verified.
What is playing out now is not just a revolt against Tinubu but one against the South West. The serial gang up began when they moved against Bisi Akande as chairman of APC. Then, the takeover of the planning of the national convention in Abuja. Then, the gang up against Lagos as a venue for the presidential primary and now the plot to take the vice presidential position away from the South West.
The APC today stands both at the cusp of victory and at the precipice of failure. The overriding ambition of the governors and its intensity is nothing to compared to Tinubu’s ambition which in any case he has every legitimate right to.