After months of speculation and consultation, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday joined the presidential race ahead of the primary of the All Progressives Congress which comes up next month.
Osinbajo at a dinner he hosted at the Presidential Villa for the breaking of Ramadan fast (Iftar), the Vice-President informed the APC governors of his plan to succeed his boss, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), whose tenure as President ends in 13 months’ time.
It was learnt that no fewer than 12 APC governors out of the 23 were present at the meeting.
Some of the governors present include: Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Babagana Zulum (Borno) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).
“The VP invited all the governors to the meeting and has informed them of his plan to contest. He is also seeking their support ahead of the primary. Of course, the Vice-President has also informed President Buhari of his intention to contest. He will be formally announcing his candidacy on Monday (today),” said a top source.
The Vice-President is expected to release a video of his formal declaration on Monday on all social media platforms wherein he will seek the support of all Nigerians for his ambition.
Already, Osinbajo support groups have opened a campaign and strategy office for him in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja.
Attempts to get a response from the Spokesman for the Vice-President, Laolu Akande, proved abortive as he neither responded to calls nor a text message on Sunday.
Osinbajo, who turned 65 last month, is a senior advocate of Nigeria and a former lecturer at the University of Lagos. He is also a senior pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
He began his public office career in 1988 as an Adviser (legal advice and litigation) to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Bola Ajibola, a position he held for four years.
The Vice-President was appointed Attorney-General of Lagos State in 1999 by then Governor, Bola Tinubu, and held the position till 2007, implementing several judicial reforms.
He was nominated as Buhari’s running mate in 2014 and was elected alongside Buhari in 2015. During his seven-year tenure as Vice-President, Osinbajo served as acting President for more than 120 non-consecutive days while his principal was on medical leave in London between 2016 and 2018
Osinbajo will be contesting the APC Presidential primary against Tinubu, his former boss; the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
Others in the APC who are rumoured to be nursing Presidential ambitions include: Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi; the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige. The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, is also considered a contender.