👤 By Danjuma Aliyu and Abdul Tukur, DENISAURUS News
Ideally, the past is seen as old and those who look forward paint a bright future, but recent events show that Nigeria is bound up in its past and can’t leave the old for the bright new future.
The 2019 elections and the constant call by a select few to President Muhammadu Buhari, PMB to seek re-election takes us back to the past and dingy details of the 2015 elections which brought the former General in as head of state.
There have been various stories about PMB’s selection as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC. However, a very reliable source, who is a very close associate of a popular leader in the South West has spoken to this newspaper on the part he played in the scheme that helped the 75-year-old secure the party nomination ticket in 2015.
2015: Behind The Scenes
DENISAURUS News learned that before finally concluding if the popular politician would support the Presidential candidature of General Buhari, some power play and sordid activities took place.
A senior APC member, who spoke exclusively to DENISAURUS News confessed to receiving N5 million from a leader in Lagos in order to convince and persuade another prime candidate to back down his presidential ambition.
In a behind the scene interview, the man from the north-west, explained that he went to Sokoto State – all the way to the village of Wamako Local Government, to meet with the then Governor, Aliyu Wamako.
The official stated that the APC Lagos chief organised the trip to Sokoto State, where Aminu Tambuwal, the former Speaker of House of Representatives, now Governor of Sokoto State was told to back down from the contest in 2015.
The source further revealed that Alhaji Tambuwal was made to withdraw, after giving him the impression that it was late for him to declare and thereafter embark on presidential campaigns.
DENISAURUS News gathered from that source that he had a meeting with the APC Chieftain in his Bourdillion Ikoyi Residence, wherein only three to five persons could be accommodated in the room
This politician who did not want his name in print, further revealed that he was assigned by the former Senator to also appeal to the then Governor Aliyu Wamako to handover to Alhaji Tambuwal, considering the withdrawal of the latter from the presidential race for General Buhari.
In the candid talk with this newspaper, the source stated that due to the success of the assignment, upon arrival at Lagos State, the Party Chieftain hugged him happily for doing a good job inconvincing Alhaji Tambuwal to withdraw from the Presidential race.
He was then given the sum of five million Naira for having achieved this very important task.
Senior government sources informed DENISAURUS News that the leader from the South West had infact purchased the party presidential election form which cost thirty million Naira N30M, for His Excellency Alhaji Tambuwal
However, he later requested that Alhaji Tambuwal drop his ambition after the health status of the former General – who became Presidential flag-bearer of the APC, was discovered.
The source further narrated to our news reporter, that after meeting with the medical doctor, South West APC camp was given the assurance that from available records, General Buhari would hardly survive his health condition beyond three years in power from 2015.
This newspaper gathered that it was after this bargain that South West APC caucus threw its support behind General Buhari, hoping that with the assurances from the certified UK Doctor, the ‘Power Game’ would swing in a direction most suited and desirable.
Details of the alleged plot comes days after President Buhari gave the most indicative sign that he might seeking re-election in 2019.
And it seems the same dynamics that played in the 2015 elections is being deployed again. However, the only change of cicumstance is the trouble within the APC structure. Since the last election, various leaders of the ruling party have been at loggerhead.
Aside that, there are fresh plans to support Alhaji Tambuwal in the next election.
It should be noted that in 2015, for the APC to defeat the then incumbent Ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, an alliance was established between a few political gladiators and powers.
The wake of alliances geared towards dislodging the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, from Aso Rock in 2015, many scheming took place.
First and foremost, there were different camps from the various Political Parties seeking to form alliance; Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; Congress for Progressive Change, CPC; New People’s Democratic Party, nPDP; All Peoples Party, APP and a few from All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA.
Each camp of these political parties had their major Chieftains to negotiate for the alliance. ACN had the likes of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu; CPC had General Muhammadu Buhari, the nPDP was represented by Abubakar Atiku and APGA had Rochas Okorocha among others.
However, in all of this warming up for alliance, the main Chieftains were; General Buhari, Senator Tinubu and Alhaji Atiku. They were the backbone that led to the formation of the All Progressive Congress, APC.
For Senator Tinubu, he was known for his ‘political sagacity’. General Buhari on the other hand, was firm in ‘pulling the Northern crowd’. While Alhaji Atiku was believed by many to provide the ‘financial support’, even though it’s been contested that the former Vice President didn’t spend money for the APC emergence and triumphant win.
With all of these, DENISAURUS News gathered that, there was a ‘gentle man agreement’ among the aligning forces. Where the CPC would take the Presidency, ACN to be given the Vice Presidency, and the nPDP settled for the Senate President.
Upon the victory of the party, our source revealed that Senator Tinubu felt that he may not get much influence as envisaged; hence he decided to alter the power play by trying to support a different person outside nPDP for the Senate President.
Insiders say the sordid move by the Party Chieftain, is the cause of the whole impasse bedevilling the Executive and Legislature relationship.
Insiders say that the South West which is controlled by Senator Tinubu’s camp of the APC, supported General Buhari in 2015, .
The hope of Senator Tinubu was that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would eventually emerge the substantive President.
Then it would led to better control of Government and a he’d subsequently emerge, when an election is to be conducted in future, the source stated.
Unfortunately, this scheming was exposed by a former Political Office Holder and one time protégé of Senator Tinubu, whom now has been rewarded with appointment of heading more than one Political Public Office.
In another development, DENISAURUS News gathered from the source, that due to the leaked information about the scheming, the relationship between President Buhari and Senator Tinubu got sour at the early stage of the administration.
At that time, the Party Chieftain had left for France, where he intends to stay back until the whole situation and tension was doused, the source noted.
While still at France, a Traditional Ruler and very close associate of Senator Tinubu took ill. As a result, the Party Chieftain asked that the traditional ruler who is the Emir of Borgu in Niger State be flown to France for treatment.
DENISAURUS News gathered that the said Emir was to return to Abuja, Nigeria after recuperating, so as to settle the rancour between President Buhari and Senator Tinubu.
Unfortunately, the Emir met his untimely death a few weeks upon his return to Nigeria.
But, the source revealed to this Newspaper, that President Buhari had made effort to reach out to Senator Tinubu in order to fix issues.
One of such time was when Mr President called the Party Chieftain, only for the latter to feign ignorance of the caller.