Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing, has encouraged Nigerians to wait till January 2022 for Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, to announce whether he will run for president in 2023 or not.
He said this on Channels Television’s ‘Hard Copy’ program, which was watched by The PUNCH on Friday night.
Posters and billboards promoting Tinubu’s rumored presidential bid have recently been seen in major cities such as Lagos and Abuja. Tinubu was the governor of Lagos from May 1999 to May 2007.
Despite the fact that Tinubu has not to proclaim his desire to run for any office in 2023, there have been speculations and hints that he may be interested in the elevated position.
The SouthWest Agenda 2023, a political initiative aimed at rallying support for Tinubu’s presidential bid in 2023, was launched in Lagos in October by Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other party leaders, according to the PUNCH.
Tinubu, who turned 69 in March 2021 and has a sizable political following, has been rumored to be eyeing a presidential run in 2023, even as political debates over a Southern President intensify following the eight-year tenure of the incumbent, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) of Katsina State, North-West Nigeria.
Apart from Tinubu, certain groups and individuals have stated that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, and Fashola are all equally capable of becoming Nigeria’s President.
When asked whether he is interested in becoming the President of Nigeria, Fashola said, “It is a very tough responsibility, a very tough job; I don’t envy those who have held that office and I don’t envy those who aspire to take it as well.”
Asked whether he is speaking for any aspirant come 2023, the minister said, “As far as I am aware, nobody has said, ‘I want to be Nigeria’s President’. There are people speaking for people. Nobody has come out, we are not at that stage yet.
“I can venture out and say that I will speak for X or Y. Let the person come out and say, ‘I want to serve Nigeria’.
“It pains me sometimes when we see that very important job and responsibility to, ‘My people said’. I think the whole sense of it should be that I am able, I have look at myself, give me your problem, you go to sleep’.”
On whether he will support Tinubu’s rumoured 2023 presidential bid, the two-term ex-governor of Lagos said, “I saw him last week, he didn’t tell me he is running for office and to the best of my knowledge the last statement he made on it is that people will know in January.”
Fashola also said he has not asked Tinubu whether he is interested in the 2023 President or not. “No, I didn’t ask him, I just went to ask how was doing. He has issued a statement that, ‘I will speak in January, so let us wait till January,” he said.