President Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu, the former Lagos State governor and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) major powerbroker are said to be barely on speaking terms over the way the country is being governed by Buhari and a possible second term for the president in 2019.
A source close to Tinubu informed Naijiant.com that most of the major figures in the APC “want Buhari out”. They would even prefer he doesn’t see out his first term, but at the very least, the president should “return to Daura [his hometown] in 2019.”
Tinubu was never a big fan of Buhari’s and this much was revealed in Wikileaks cables in 2003, in which then governor Tinubu suggested that Buhari was an “agent of destabilisation”. Both men would later enter a marriage of convenience in 2013 in order to win against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 (s)elections. But the honeymoon didn’t last long due to disagreement and endless infighting over the spoils of office.
Tinubu has been recently using his The Nation newspaper as a launch-pad for attacks against the president. The source claims that the beef is mainly about Buhari’s inner circle “chopping themselves” (cornering all the loot for themselves )and not sharing with Tinubu and the rest of the APC chieftains that contributed towards Buhari’s (s)election victory last year.
The Buhari inner circle is led by his cousin Mamman Daura, who has handpicked the majority of key staff around the president, such as his Chief of Staff and the Secretary to the Federal Government. The source informed us that it wasn’t clear whether the president wants to run again in 2019 (there are question marks around his health). But regardless of the president’s wishes, the inner circle is pushing him to contest a second term because they have no intention of taking their snouts out of the trough after just four years.
The machinations of the inner circle, which include “blocking people from seeing Buhari”, have frustrated Tinubu into fighting a virtual “cold war” with the president. The source said Buhari “doesn’t listen to anybody” apart from his inner circle. This tussle is likely to blow out in the open if or when Buhari decides that he wants to stay on beyond 2019.