As the preparation for the 2023 general elections continue to gather pace, Former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been touring the Nigerian states since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave the go-ahead to political parties to commence their campaign rallies and related activities ahead of the 2023 general election.
However, while it is a norm for party members to support their candidates at all levels to ensure smooth victory for him or her at the polls, it has been observed that some top All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains have not been attending campaign events with Tinubu, the party’s presidential candidate.
It would be recalled that in June 2022, Tinubu won APC’s presidential primary ticket with 1,271 votes. He defeated the likes of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Minister of Transportation – Rotimi Amaechi, and Senate president Ahmad Lawan.
Other APC presidential aspirants who lost to the two-term governor include Ogbonnaya Onu, Rochas Okorocha, Dave Umahi, Yahaya Bello, Tein Jack-Rich, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Emeka Nwajiuba, Ahmed Sani Yarima, Prof. Ben Ayade and Ikeobasi Mokhelu.
While party stakeholders have been giving different excuses and explainers for their ‘reduced’ public engagement recently, it couldn’t go down without notice that some top party chieftains who contested the APC presidential ticket with Tinubu but lost are still aggrieved over the development or maybe still have further explanations to the Nigerian public ahead of February 25 polls.
It was gathered that out of the thirteen aspirants who contested the APC presidential ticket against Tinubu, only seven have shown public support for the party’s flagbearer.
Seven months after the party’s primary, the body language of six of the other aspirants showed they were still nursing grudges against Tinubu’s victory.
While the APC presidential candidate goes from state to state to meet respected individuals, party supporters and members to woo them into voting for him, the presidential primary losers who are expected to contribute to the victory of the party in their respective states, have obviously not shown much interest, publicly to be precise.
Top APC Chieftains Missing In Tinubu’s Campaign Train
While drawing his presidential campaign council (PCC) plan, Tinubu named some of the APC ticket contenders in his list and excluded others.
However, despite being mentioned in the PCC list, some of the party chieftains have not been seen at several campaign rallies or related events since the electioneering activities started.
The likes of VP Osinbajo, Amaechi, Onu, Okorocha, Pastor Bakare and Nwajiuba are yet to be seen participating in the campaign rallies of Tinubu, three months after the campaign events commenced.
It could be recalled, however, that the ruling party had said Osinbajo’s name was not included in the list on purpose.
It is worthy of note that Amaechi, Onu and Bakare’s names were, however, included in the presidential campaign council of Tinubu while Osinbajo, Okorocha and Nwajiuba were missing from the list.
However, despite their inclusion, Amaechi, Onu and Bakare have been acting cold since the commencement of the electioneering events.
Reports have it that the 2023 general elections, especially the presidential election, are now 50 days less and the actions of party chieftains could either make or mar the chances of their party’s flagbearer winning at the polls.