Any doubts as to the rumoured presidential ambition of Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of the 2023 general elections, may have been cleared as a manifesto traced to his political camp gained wide circulation over the weekend.
A source who prefers to remain anonymous said that, with the leaked manifesto, it is clear that Tinubu’s presidential ambition is no longer a matter of speculation but when the APC chieftain will formally announce his decision.
“It is no longer a secret. Jagaban will throw his hat in the ring. The proclamation will come sooner than you can imagine. The 7-point manifesto says it all. Nigerians must get ready for the big news,” the insider said with a measure of authority.
A copy of the manifesto sighted by NewsBeatng gave a sneak preview of Tinubu’s programme of action. Titled, “7 POINT AGENDA: THE REBIRTH MANIFESTO, the document read as follows:
Provide transformational leadership that has the ability to unify all of Nigeria and lead us to the attainment of shared goals and vision.
Leverage modern technology for digital transformation and economic growth.
Create conditions that allow citizens move and transact freely across the Nation.
Commence extensive infrastructural development by building basic foundational services (24 hrs access to electricity, roads, bridges e.t.c) that connect (power) people and businesses ultimately improving the quality of living.
5. Homegrown business
Build platforms that enable and empower homegrown businesses to scale and compete favourably in the global market.
Deploy initiatives targeted at promoting knowledge and equipping learners of all age groups with the skills and values needed to address modern-day challenges globally. Propagate and activate strategies that also promote a sense of pride and awakening amongst all Nigerian citizens to the extent that people feel extremely patriotic and ecstatic to be Nigerians.
7. True federalism and democratic processes
Promote democracy, realize human potential and create conditions for prosperity and progress.
Though Tinubu has kept sealed lips about his rumoured presidential ambition, his foot soldiers, especially under the auspices of the South-West Agenda (SWAGA), led by Senator Dayo Adeyeye, have continued to push his candidacy across the country.
Tinubu himself is also not relenting. He has been reported shuttling and networking with other political heavy weights in the country.
On Saturday, November 20, he visited Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, at his residence in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Speaking with journalists after the event, Tinubu said the meeting with the lawmaker centred on the development of the country. He added that they were both concerned about unity and security in the country.
“We discussed the way forward for the country and this country is important and greater than anyone’s personal ambition,” Tinubu was quoted as saying.
In the run-up to the visit, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, during a recent interview with a national television also intimated that Tinubu might disclose his presidential bid in January 2022.
“I saw him last week; he didn’t tell me he is running for office and to the best of my knowledge, the last statement he made about it was that people would know in January,” Fashola said.
Regarded as very influential, Tinubu is largely remembered for the strategic role he played in the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 when he helped birth APC.
His dominance in the politics of South-West Nigeria can be seen in the array of his protégés currently occupying strategic positions in the Buhari-led administration.
While the APC leader keeps sealed lips, it is becoming increasingly clear that the series of events around him only seem to confirm what is the worst-kept secret in political circles, his desire to become Nigeria’s president in 2023.