Tinubu/Ribadu feud deepens:
The struggle for political supremacy between former Governor of Lagos State, Ahmed Bola Tinubu and former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, (EFCC), and Presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, is threatening the ACN chances at the April presidential polls.
Tinubu and National Chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande are particularly upset with Ribadu, accusing him of alleged disrespect of party leaders.
Pointblanknews.com gathered from highly placed sources within the ACN that while former Governor Tinubu wants to pick the running mate for Ribadu, the former EFCC boss is insisting that “no one can impose a running mate on me', preferring Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the current Managing Director of the World Bank. However, it was learnt that since Okonjo-Iweala is yet to accept the offer, a United States based Nigerian, Dr Sunny Ugochukwu is also preferred by Ribadu, the Tinubu flank view Ugochukwu and political neophyte with no electoral value.
Tinubu had campaigned vigorously for a merger between his( AC N) and the Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC) led by General Muhamadu Buhari, but the dream went up in smoke due what sources attributed to Ribadu's insistence not to step down for Buhari should the merger plan sail through.
After the merger talk which would have seen Tinubu emerge as running mate to Buhari failed, he( Tinubu) was said to have decided to pick the running mate for Ribadu ahead of the April Presidential elections.
A source hinted Pointblanknews.com that a recent meeting to discuss the issue of running mate for Ribadu ended in disarray as both the Tinubu, and Ribadu side of the aisle openly went for broke.
The source who would not want to be named said that, “at that meeting, Tinubu was short of declaring that ACN will be defeated at the April polls by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. It was gathered that Tinubu warned that while Ugochukwu has no political base, Okonjo-Iweala is a technocrat with no political followership that can deliver votes for the party.”
“Tinubu is not happy at this time. He believes Ribadu is going to make a big political mistake by insisting on picking his running mate and the last meeting was very charged because he insisted that Ribadu cannot win with the names he is brandishing as running mate. Asiwaju is not happy at all, that I can tell you,” the source said.
Sources hinted that while Tinubu believes that he has not been accorded his due respect as the leader of the party, Ribadu believes that while he brought credibility to the ACN, he is the party's Presidential candidate and should be respected and allowed to determine who he can work with as President if elected.
Sources hinted that some members of the party hierarchy are regretting the sudden collapse of the merger talk between the ACN and the CPC , saying the party may have saved itself from its current crises if all had gone well with the CPC.
“I believe if we had allowed the merger to go through, we won't be dealing with this kind of problems at this time we should be in the field campaigning and telling Nigerians what and how we intend to fix this country,” a senior party official told Pointblanknews.com.
National Secretary, Senator Lawan Shuaibu and former National Secretary, Dr Usman Bugaje were mandated to broker a truce between the Tinubu and Ribadu. But sources said it is very unlikely anything will come out of any peace meeting.