The National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said that it is too early to talk about which section of the country will get the party’s presidential slot in 2023.
Tinubu also said talks about succession plans should be discarded for the purpose of focusing on good governance until time was ripe for it.
He spoke with State House Correspondents on Tuesday after he visited the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for a brief meeting.
The visit came 48 hours after the Serving Overseer, Citadel Global Community Church, formerly the Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, demanded a succession plan from Buhari.
Tinubu told the journalists that the APC’s government just won a second term, adding that the attention should be on governance and how to support Buhari to achieve it.
He said, “That time (zoning of Presidency) is not now. We have just finished one election and Mr President is busy sorting out the (2020) budget, working for the people of this country.
“Of course, the restlessness of politics is going to be there, but any lover of this country will not talk about the succession plan yet.
“That’s the truth. Concentrate on working for the country; help the President to help the country. There is nothing more than that.
“Anybody talking about that now is just completely restless and not focussed on the agenda of nation building and development of our country.”
The former governor of Lagos State is one of the names regularly mentioned as a possible APC presidential candidate in 2023 when power is expected to be zoned to the South.
It is speculated that the South-West geopolitical zone, where Tinubu hails from, may pick the party’s ticket.
Incidentally, the current Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, is also from the South-West.
Bakare, a political associate of Buhari, had also expressed interest in becoming the next President in 2023.
The tele-evangelist had visited Buhari last week
Only on Sunday, he had urged the President to set in motion a succession plan ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
He was Buhari’s running mate in 2011 when the President contested that year’s election on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change.
Reacting to Buhari’s New Year message to Nigerians, Tinubu said, “His New Year message resonated very well.
Tinubu also spoke elaborately on Buhari’s assurance that he would leave office in 2023 on completion of his second and final constitutional term.
He said the President was a keeper of laws.
He added, “Any reasonable politician, who had worked with the President will know that he will not (tamper with the constitution).
“Detractors are always suspicious and will make accusations, but I was in the trenches in the struggle for democracy.
“I was in the trenches and in the opposition with Muhammadu Buhari till the third term agenda of a former leader of this country failed.
“I know he will never (ask for a third term). He has the courage and the character to refuse such a temptation even if offered to him. I believe in him and I believe Nigerians should also believe in him.”
Meanwhile, a group, Disciples of Jagaban, said on Tuesday in Kaduna State that Tinubu deserved to be the Nigeria President in 2023.
This, they said, was because the former Lagos State governor remained a bridge builder between the northern and the southern part of Nigeria.
The National Coordinator of DOJ, Abdulhakeem Alawuje, said, “ We are aware that some northern elders are clamoring for the North to retain the presidency beyond 2023, but let me tell you, they are not the real elders. We know those who are elders in the North and the real elders are in support of Asiwaju.”