In yet another twist to the on-going cloak-and-dagger relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and V.P Yemi Osinbajo, there are indications that ambition ignited the spark of enmity flying about in Aso Rock lately.
Those involved are however actively denying the stories about their interests, actions, and inactions in the matter.
The most recent denial is coming from APC’s national leader Bola Tinubu who was reported by a newspaper to have nodded an approval at Buhari’s intention to hammer down Osinbajo whose 2023 ambition seems to have slipped into auto-drive.
According to the report, the president intimated Tinubu and Bisi Akande, the APC former interim chair, with some of Osinbajo’s moves that smacked of disloyalty.
Which was why, many believe, Buhari recently clipped his veepee’s wings by stripping him of many presidential responsibilities and authority, including the Economic Management Team, the Social Investment Programme, and others, delegated to him.
Osinbajo, the report added, might soon be asked to resign.
And Tinubu, who claims he’s under pressure to contest the 2023 presidency, was said to have told Buhari nothing is bad in freezing out the vice president if it is true he made those ambitious moves.
But Akande reportedly opposed resignation.
The party’s national leader, who’s also Osinbajo’s godfather, has, however, denied approving Buhari’s intention to sack the vice president.
In a press release on the weekend, Tinubu’s media aide said there’s no problem at all between the former Lagos governor and Osinbajo.
“There is nothing stopping the Vice President from nursing a presidential ambition. If he wants to run, let him run,” said Tunde Rahman on behalf of Tinubu.
“It is all a bundle of lies that Asiwaju Tinubu is unhappy about that. People are just politicising the situation. Tinubu cannot muzzle his own boy in any way.”
Blaming a fifth column, Osinbajo himself has been explaining to those who care to listen—that no bad blood flows between him and his boss Buhari.
The professor also talks down the series of withdrawal—of delegated responsibilities— Buhari made. Osinbajo insists there’s nothing unusual about it.
In Nigeria’s politics, succession has always been a problem between the president and his vice president towards the end of their tenure.
Former V.P Atiku Abubakar and his former boss Olusegun Obasanjo were all red in claw and tooth fighting the succession battle after the first eight-year rule of the then-ruling PDP.