19 October 018
A source close to Bola Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos State and All Progressives Candidate (APC) chieftain, has informed Naijiant.com that the self-styled “national leader” of the party is considering the right time to abandon it and its presidential candidate and current president Muhammadu Buhari for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Atiku Abubakar.
Tinubu is said to be disillusioned with the Buhari administration, especially because the president didn’t keep promises he made to the former governor when they came together to form the APC. Tinubu expected to be allowed to handpick nine ministers and in “juicy” portfolios. He ended up with only his protege and vice president Yemi Osinbajo in a senior position in the Buhari government.
The source said that Tinubu would have abandoned ship a long time ago but for fear that Buhari would set the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after him. The former governor has allegedly turned Lagos State into his personal property and continues to handpick its governors.
Tinubu’s romance with the opposition is due to his close relationship with Atiku. The former vice president was the presidential candidate of the Action Congress in 2007. Tinubu was the mainstay of the party. The source also claimed that Tinubu owns a 10% stake in Intels Nigeria Limited, a logistics and facilities services provider in the maritime and oil and gas sectors, co-founded by Gabriele Volpi, an Italian national, and Atiku.
The source said Atiku is “Tinubu’s man” (close friend) and to demonstrate their closeness, the source described how when both were in the APC supporting Buhari’s presidential bid about four years ago the campaign had run out funds. The source said he was in the same room as Tinubu phoned Atiku, explained the dire financial situation and Atiku sent 5bn ($13.7m) to the campaign.
Tinubu wrote in a statement to mark Atiku’s 70th birthday two years ago: “Do not relent because Nigeria needs you and others like you to continue to make life more meaningful. We must continue to explore common grounds towards promoting the common good”. It appears that an Atiku presidency would make Tinubu’s “life more meaningful”. It remains to be seen when the Lagos baron would show his hand.