Senator Rufai Hanga, former Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) says there was an agreement that the National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu would succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Hanga said the purported agreement is the reason why Tinubu remains in the ruling party after Buhari’s first term.
It would be recalled that during the build-up to the 2015 general election, CPC was one of the parties that collapsed to form the APC in 2014.
Hanga, who was the chair of CPC at the time said the implied agreement that Tinubu would take over from Buhari is an open secret.
“This is an open secret. There was an implied agreement. Even in law, there is implied and expressed act. If something is expressed, there are no two ways about it. There was an implied agreement that he would take over. That is why he didn’t back out after the first tenure. If Tinubu knew that he would not benefit, he would have backed out during Buhari’s first tenure. But he knows there was an agreement,” he said.
The former lawmaker, however, believes that Tinubu may not get the ruling party’s presidential ticket on a platter.
Hanga predicted there would be fights among governors and some forces in the Presidency over the 2023 presidential ticket.
He concluded that Nigerians may in the end prefer the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) because of what he described as a woeful performance of the APC government under Buhari, Daily Trust reports.
However, the presidency is not willing to react to Hanga’s claim on the implied agreement over President Buhari’s successor.
According to Daily Trust, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, declined comment when contacted.
The secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, and the party’s deputy national publicity secretary, Yekini Nabena, also did not respond to phone calls.
While former Senate president, Ken Nnamani in his reaction simply said he was not in the party when the agreement was made.
But a chieftain of the APC and associate of the president, Osita Okechukwu believes the president couldn’t have made any agreement with Tinubu, saying the president hardly entered into any written agreement with people.
Okechukwu said, “I can reasonably confirm that he appreciates the contribution of Asiwaju Tinubu to his victory.
“But I am not sure of any formal agreement. I am not aware of that. Mr. President doesn’t enter into any agreement with anybody, but he appreciates good deeds.
“Most importantly, don’t forget that Mr. President said he had become a democrat, and under democratic tenets, there is no way he can help anybody.”
On his part, former presidential candidate and APC chieftain, Chief Chekwas Okorie said whatever agreement Buhari had with Tinubu does not exist in the APC constitution or any democratic norm.
“If there was such agreement, it was gentlemanly. It does not exist in the APC constitution or any democratic norm. It does not exist in the Nigerian constitution.
“If there was such agreement, it wouldn’t have been when Buhari was sworn in as president. And it wouldn’t have been written,’’ he said.
Okorie said it would be undemocratic for Buhari to foist Tinubu on the ruling party, adding that such a move would lead to the party’s defeat in 2023.