Amidst growing calls for him to throw his hat into the ring with others interested in the 2023 presidential race, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, appears undecided and says he is being distracted by a support group with a website: supportosinbajo.ng that is calling on Nigerians to join a volunteer group mobilising support for him ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
He did not categorically say if he was interested or not, even as his political godfather, and South-West chieftain, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, continues to work assiduously for the same office.
Former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo, is believed to be pulling strings locally and internationally to get golden boy at the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, to contest the office. Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state has been mentioned, while there are quiet whispers about former Lagos Governor and Minister of Works, Me. Babatunde Fashola.
Meantime, south-easterners believe it is their turn to produce the president, though no word has been heard from any prominent Igbo citizen as an interested party.
Those being touted from the geopolitical zone include former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi; former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; and sitting Ebonyi Governor, Mr. Dave Umahi.
The name of former President Goodluck Jonathanhas been touted; while Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Aminu Tambuwal are said to be contemplating a joint ticket.
Among other northerners whose names are featuring prominently is the serial contender and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and Kaduna Governor, Mr. Nair el Rufai.
Meantime, Osinbajo’s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, says in his statement:”The Office of the Vice President is not in any way connected to this website or the group behind it and considers such an enterprise an unnecessary distraction. Prof. Osinbajo has not declared any interest whatsoever in the 2023 election, but he is rather focused on working in his capacity as Vice President in the current administration to address all the compelling issues in the country and concerns of Nigerians, including finding effective and lasting solutions to the security challenges.”
A prominent contender on Monday deflected an enquiry from Everyday.ng, citing the nation’s security challenges as more important than the pursuit of an ambition.
Osinbajo noted that though details of the website and the solicitation of the group are currently trending on WhatsApp with a suggestion that Prof. Osinbajo has “quietly” declared interest in the 2023 election, they should be ignored.
The Vice President urged people desist from such unhelpful permutations while the administration and people deal together with the challenges confronting the nation, “and resolve them for the benefit of our people, peace, and prosperity in the land.”