As the polity towards 2023 heats up, former President Olusegun Obasanjo appears to have substituted rustiness for younger professionalism, as the plot to return power to the South West thickens.
Sources close to the two-time former president, revealed that President of the African Development Bank, AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adeshina is now the preferred choice over Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The move reportedly comes after Obasanjo failed to convince Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and former Kano Governor, Rabiu Kwankwanso to work together in order to advance political interest of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the forthcoming presidential election.
It also comes at a time when there is a dire need to clean the mess that politicians have created, with Adeshina having such capacity, given his globally respected pedigree and professionalism.
Hitherto, while it was gathered that both Kwankwaso and Tambuwal are exploring the possibility of running for Presidency under the PDP in 2023, the source said it was part of continuous efforts to reconcile the two influential northerners that actually took the former leader to Sokoto State last week.
“Last week Baba was in Sokoto under the guise of flagging off some projects completed by Tambuwal but the real intention was to reconcile Governor Aminu Tambuwal with Eng. Rabiu Kwankwaso ahead of 2023 because two of them, who are his political sons, are keen on the presidency.
“But it is also clear that Baba is trying hard to put up structures for another political son of his, that is the current African Development Bank President, Adesina, under the Peoples Democratic Party since it is clear to him that the North would not support his candidates for the posts.
“It is obvious to him that the reconciliation that the former leader is pushing is not in the interest of the north and he might jettison his current party and push for the formation of a hybrid party that will weaken both the PDP and the APC and strengthen the new one with a view to winning the presidency in two years’ time.
“Baba’s backing for the AfDB President is predicated on his sound educational, economic and leadership pedigree that he believes can guaranty him easy victory over other recycled politicians with some baggage,” the source said.
Meanwhile, there is the likelihood that Obasanjo’s choice of Adeshina may not suffice, as two former heads of state, who he sold the idea to, are reported to have kicked against the move, which they believe would wreck the political arrangement, which favours Igbo Presidency and the Tinubu project.
Obasanjo is said to have approached the two former colleagues to secure their support for the hosting of a security summit that would involve major ethnic nationalities and political leaders with a view to recommending solutions to the current security challenges in the land.
But the two former heads of state are reported to have told Obasanjo to first confide in the current President Muhammadu Buhari whatever political and security issues he is planning for the country, as he would still be a key factor in the current and future security and political dispensation.
The source further disclosed that Obasanjo is now planning to sell his ideas to another former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, having failed to get the buy-in of two former leaders.