Exclusive! 2019 Calculations: Presidency Moves To Block Tinubu


…Plans to withdraw Tinubu’s Presidential Villa Pass
…Other Punitive Measures To Follow

By The New Diplomat Political Intelligence Desk

With just fifteen  months to the next Presidential elections in 2019, the inner caucus of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has reportedly concluded plans to block former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from exercising any appreciable political clout in the build up to the next presidential elections. Top level Presidency sources confided in The New Diplomat that part of the strategic move by Buhari’s inner caucus to clip Tinubu’s political wings is to deny him access to the seat of power as well as open up some allegedly ”classified and closed files.”

The New Diplomat investigations reveal that the move is already in motion to withdraw Tinubu’s Presidential Villa Pass, which allows him access Presidential Villa, the seat of power. Said an insider:” They want to withdraw Bola’s (Tinubu) Pass and deny him access to the President. These are the men who control power in Abuja and they are displeased with the way Tinubu has been carrying on. They believe he is not sincere with them and some of the things he says behind get filtered back to the President and these are sometimes unpalatable things. Don’t forget there are moles within Tinubu’s camp who constantly fed the inner caucus with whatever is being said and is indeed going on within the Tinubu’s camp. I won’t mention names but there is a former Governor from the South West, mind you, it is not Fashola because Fashola is a very decent man, who has arrogated to himself the task of selling out Tinubu…, running down Tinubu.”      

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Sources revealed that the first revelations that allegedly angered Buhari was when some unpalatable utterances reportedly made by Tinubu in the early days of the administration got to the President. The former Lagos State Governor was unhappy that not only was he not made Vice President but that his nominees for Ministerial seats were jettisoned for others like Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola , Dr Kayode Fayemi, Kemi Adeosun (an Ibikunle Amosun nominee) amongst others. The New Diplomat gathered that when words filtered to the inner caucus  of Buhari’s team, they moved to effectively block Tinubu from any form of access to the President and also denied him any listening ear.

The New Diplomat‘s checks reveal that it took the intervention of Chief Bisi Akande, pioneer Chairman of ACN, former Osun State Governor and a man with enormous integrity whom Buhari has so much respect and likeness for, that the break in communications between Buhari and Tinubu  was  restored. Said an insider: ”Mr President has a lot of respect and likeness for Baba Akande. He is a true leader and a bridge builder. He did a lot of intervention…”

(L-R) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Bisi Akande

Another issue that is said to have angered the Buhari inner circle is the alleged reference to Tinubu as the National Leader of the APC, a position that is said to be non-existent not only in the APC constitution but also within the party’s internal organizational structure. A strong ally of Buhari told The New Diplomat in confidence: ”It is wrong for Bola (Tinubu) to be arrogating to himself the title of the National Leader of the Party. There is no such title in our constitution. In fact, if anyone were to be so addressed, then it should ordinarily be the President, who is the undisputable leader of the APC…”

But Tinubu’s allies believe that these are trump up lies to merely smear the political standing and high and towering integrity of the former Lagos State governor. ” It is a big lie. Asiwaju never for one day said he should be called or addressed as the National leader of the APC. Tell me, if they can show me any document signed by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu where he addressed himself as the National leader of the APC…We know those treacherous characters, one of them a former Governor from South West whom Asiwaju made Governor against the wishes of the people of the State called fountain of knowledge…, are the ones peddling all these lies to discredit Asiwaju.” Asked why Tinubu has not issued a disclaimer to the effect that he is not the National Leader of the APC and that people should stop addressing him so, the APC chief replied: ” If the media, the Press chooses to address somebody as National leader, what is wrong with that? Is he the one that told them to address him so? I think people are just lazy. Do you know there was a time in this country when the media just choose to address the late Chief Gamaliel Onosode as Nigeria’s Boardroom Guru on account of his sterling leadership qualities and impeccable and distinguished reputation as Nigeria’s number one Boardroom mogul or guru…What was wrong with that? people are just engaging in fruitless fishing expedition. Even at that, people forget that were it not for Tinubu’s tenacity, Buhari wouldn’t be President today. Give it to him, he also delivered the South-West and blocked Atiku by moving the APC convention to Lagos…”

It would be recalled that Tinubu recently  said that the All Progressives Congress(APC) has not endorsed  Buhari as its sole candidate for the 2019 presidential election. He had also declared that the party would follow the ”normal democratic processes” in choosing its Presidential candidate for the election. Tinubu who spoke with journalists mid-week in Akure, the Ondo State capital, shortly after a meeting with the leadership of Afenifere presided over by its leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti had argued that states governors  have no power to endorse Buhari  in 2019. This declaration was coming on the heels of endorsement by State governors who believe that Buhari should be the sole presidential candidate of the APC.

Femi Aluko (left ); Chief Bisi Akande ; Afenifere leader , Chief Reuben Fasoranti ; National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC ), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu ; Chief Sehinde Arogbofa; Ondo State governor , Rotimi Akeredolu ; Dr . Tunji Abayomi and Chief Olu Falae during Tinubu ’ s visit to Fasoranti at his residence in Akure, Ondo State Wednesday

The Akure meeting of Afenifere  which was held behind closed doors with the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu; his deputy, Agboola Ajayi; the National Vice Chairman (South-west), Pius Akinyelure; Chief Bisi Akande and Olu Falae in attendance was like a child returning back to his parents after he parted ways with them politically.

Tinubu had parted ways with Afenifere led by late Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu, Chief Reuben Fasonroti, Olu Falae,  amongst others over political differences. Speaking on his visit, Mr. Tinubu had  said he went to pay homage and to acknowledge the leadership of Mr. Fasoranti as one of the leaders of the Yoruba nation and the leader of the Afenifere group.

Fasoranti on his part had said; “It is an indication of great things to come, the coming together of Yoruba leaders, there will be an understanding on major issues affecting Yoruba race. We will consult and move ahead. As it is now, there will be a great understanding among the leaders as Tinubu is a leader in his own right.”

It would be recalled that it was The New Diplomat in its characteristic investigative reporting, first broke the earth-shaking story of President Buhari’s recovery in London and imminent return to Nigeria in a couple of days. The report which jolted Nigerians including Buhari’s cabinet members, came at a time when many had given up on the President’s health status.

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