As campaigns for the presidential race in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) heat up, a fresh and determined group has risen to spearhead campaigns for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, especially in the South-West.
The new civil group out to join in the Osinbajo campaigns is ‘Identify The Right Leader Initiative’.
Various groups have already sprung up for the VP in the North, as they affectionately describe Osinbajo as Khalifa ( heir apparent).
Curiously however, Osinbajo has still to react; a situation described by political analysts as deliberate prompting by his backers in the Presidency, who may be out with a joker at set time.
But Osinbajo’s political godfather and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has thrown his hat into the ring; same with Ebonyi State governor, Dr. Dave Umahi; former Abia State governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, and Kogi State governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello.
The Identify The Right Leader Initiative, on Friday, identified Osinbajo as the next president.
In a press conference organised by the civil group at Ilupeju Recreation Hall, Friday, it’s leader, Dr. Abimbola Oyanuri, highlighted their goals and vision and also unveiled a book based on the assessment report pieced together by the group with the sole purpose of “identifying the right leader”.
Oyanuri stated that the vision of the group was to identify the right leader according to their track records and how they had affected the lives of the citizens in the capacity they once served.
He explained that the first project under the initiative is the “unveiling Osinbajo initiative”.
He said after a thorough research had been done amidst all others, Osinbanjo came out to be the best among all as a result of his great administration while serving as the Attorney General of Lagos State.
He said “We are aware that to fix the structure that we currently work with, we have to start from the top, and that’s why we have looked at the most important variable that changes everything.
“We realised that it is from the top because the way Nigeria’s political structure is fixed, power is concentrated at the centre”.
“You need someone who understands that for the system to work, you have to disseminate power and this was part of the reason we identified this person because from his speeches, from his actions as Attorney General, you realise that he took the Federal Government to court and won all 10 cases.
“You will realise that in the speeches he has made, he has talked about state policing, he has talked about disseminating power to the states, so these are some of the reasons that made us settle for this leader, saying that this man can take us to the next level.”
Mr Dayo Akintobi, the DG of the civil group, clarified that the group “is not politically initiated but a civil group and individually sponsored by the members of the group who want a better Nigeria”.
He however noted that they don’t have the authority to impose on the party, whom to pick as presidential candidate.
“If I was presented with another option during the last election, there is a good possibility that I would have voted for somebody else because I did not appreciate any of the two candidates and many of us probably didn’t but our choices were limited.
“By the time you get to PVC level, the election is done and dusted already. You don’t have much say because you have very limited choices.”
“So part of what we want to do in reawakening this notion in our people that will be part of the democratic process, is to make people understand that they have to be part of the political process beginning at the party level.
Another leader of the group, Mrs Temilade Okesanjo explained that Osinbajo has not declared his interest to contest for the office of the next president and that should be a proof that the group is not politically initiated but a civil group.
Meanwhile, a pro-Tinubu group, Sunshine Liberation Movement, which concentrates on the Ondo-Ekiti axis, has expressed disappointment with top politicians who were raised to leadership position by Tinubu “in the way they are now playing Judas”.
The group in a statement by its coordinator, Elder Dipo Ajidahun, expressed disappointment with VP Osinbajo, Ekiti’s Governor Kayode Fayemi; Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and his Interior counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in the way “they are letting Asiwaju down”.
“These are the people Tinubu sacrificed all for, to ensure that they occupy various strategic positions in Nigeria.
“But now, when it is time for Tinubu to go for president-after several denials, it’s is his ‘boys’ that are out to prevent him. And sadly, these are Yoruba people and it his disgusting that Yoruba politicians are yet to learn from history.
“When Chief Obafemi Awolowo wanted to become president, it was his boys in Yorubaland that betrayed him; same with Chief MKO Abiola.
“When are we going to desist from this attitude of betrayal, of playing Judas?” Ajidahun lamented.