Revealed: The Reason Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Visited Orji Uzor Kalu
The visit of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu’ in his Abuja residence on Saturday has provoked more speculations on the 2023 elections.
It has been reported that Tinubu is working to ensure that the APC produces a consensus presidential candidate for the 2023 election.
It was further stated that Tinubu has begun consultations across the country, preparatory to formally declaring his presidential ambition.
He visited Kalu, who has also indicated interest to vie for the APC Presidential ticket in 2022, in his Abuja residence as part of the process to forge consensus among top party leaders across geopolitical zones of the country.
Although Tinubu said his meeting with the former governor of Abia “centred on the development of the country”, it was gathered that it was part of a plan to visit all top politicians that would be instrumental to the emergence of a consensus candidate.
Tinubu, the source further revealed, would hope to benefit as the consensus candidate of his party when the time comes to pick a candidate.
Tinubu said during the surprise visit to Kalu that, “We discussed the way forward for the country and this country is important and greater than any one’s personal ambition.
“We have been together and concerned about the stability, progress, development and security of the country.
“The future of our youth is more critically important than selfish and personal intentions.’’
The source, who was also with him at Kalu’s home, revealed that Kalu is still a voice to be reckoned with in the South East and could be used to pave way for Tinubu’s acceptance in the zone.
Some of the APC members in the South East that have indicated interest to vie for the party’s presidential ticket apart from Kalu are the governor of Ebonyi State, Mr Dave Umahi, and former governor of Imo State, Mr Rochas Okorocha.
While all the candidates from the zone are regarded as paper weight to Tinubu, the source said “Asiwaju (Tinubu) is leaving no stone unturned to emerge as the APC flag bearer.
“And emerging in peaceful and rancour-free manner is also very important. That’s why he has begun to confer with top members of the party.
“You can’t discountenance Orji Uzor Kalu, he still has high political pedigree and a sitting Senator, a former governor and a high ranking member of the APC. His likes would be instrumental to Asiwaju.”
While Tinubu has not declared his interest openly, recent political activities around him suggest his interest.
In March, bags of rice with an embossed pictures of his were distributed across Kano metropolis just as bags of beans carefully branded with his pictures and names are now being distributed.
Over 100 political groups have been advancing his interest, in addition to the inauguration of South West Agenda for Asiwaju, SWAGA, launched by Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu few months ago.
It is expected that he will formally announce his interest to vie for the APC presidential ticket in January.
According to Mr Babatunde Fashola, Tinubu had not spoken to him or anyone that he will run, advising that everyone should wait till January when he will make official declaration.
Fashola who is the Minister of Works and Housing, told Channels tv that, “I saw him (Tinubu) 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,” he said.
“He has issued a statement that he will speak in January, so let’s wait for his speech.”
It’s widely expected that the ruling APC will zone its presidential ticket to the South as against the initial expectation to micro-zone it to South West.
The development is forcing readjustment from presidential hopefuls who are working to get sufficient support from party members in the three zones that make up the South.
Tinubu’s camp believes that if he’s able to get the support of the South East, half of South South could enable him coast home to victory with the presidential ticket.
This, it was revealed, informed the drive to visit top and influential party members like Kalu.