The immediate past Governor of Ogun State and the incumbent lawmaker representing Ogun Central Senatorial District, Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s declaration to contest to become the Presidential flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has continued to raise brows in some quarters and also unsettled some political heavyweights ahead of the party’s presidential primary election of the party.
While Amosun remain a major contender in the race, it is very glaring that the APC candidates has more pretenders than contenders, given unfolding developments ahead of the party’s primary election.
Despite the array of politicians in the race, most of them with huge financial war chest, the former two term governor believes that he stands a better chance of picking the ticket of the ruling party because he has what it takes to turn around the fortunes of Nigeria. While it has been a season of promises by presidential aspirants, who have been criss-crossing the country, consulting with delegates and other stakeholders ahead of the primaries, many who listened to Amosun’s presentation during his formal declaration for the Office of the President on May 5, had no option than to agree that he has one of the best programmes for an average Nigerian.
The former Ogun State governor, who addressed APC faithful as well as supporters, who thronged the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, not only declared his readiness for the job but unveiled an eight-point agenda, which according to him, will transform the country within the shortest possible time. Noting that his wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors has prepared him well to lead Nigeria, the former governor reeled out his campaign manifesto to include improving the nation security architecture in order to tackle insecurity, creating enabling environment for businesses to thrive and grow the economy, and provision of infrastructural facilities for the teeming Nigerian populace.
However, the questions begging for answers from observers remain, “Who’s Afraid of Amosun”, some cynics are of the view that the former governor is among the presidential aspirants who would give other candidate a run for their money I the coming weeks and he should be taken serious
While some belief that Amosun is using the presidential contest to negotiate his return to the Senate. They also claimed he had already secretly purchased the senatorial form to return to the Senate and even attended the screening for senatorial aspirants last weekend. There are members of another political school that claimed that the former governor will soon collapse his structures in order to form an alliance with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, another presidential aspirant on APC platform.
However, Amosun has not only dismissed these claims, but declared that he is in the race to secure the APC presidential ticket.
He maintained that alignment with any other presidential aspirant is not part of his plan.
According to his media aide, Bola Adeyemi, Amosun urged Nigerians to disregard the report that he attended the screening exercise for senatorial aspirants. He said he was never at the screening exercise because he didn’t purchase nomination and expression of interest forms for the senatorial election. The statement read in part: “The attention of Senator Ibikunle Amosun has been drawn to two news stories trending in the social media.
The first falsely claims that Senator Amosun has been cleared to contest for the Senate. “The second claims that Senator Amosun is set to align with a named presidential aspirant for the presidential contest. The two news stories are false.
Not stopping at that, some faceless group under the APC told the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, that the former Governor of the State has “documented history of violence”.
With the unstoppable barrage of negativity thrown at him, its obvious that Ibikunle Amosun still remains a man to beat in the forthcoming presidential primary election as he has also played a key role in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s economic transformation policy which gives him an advantage over other presidential aspirants.