Speakers of states’ houses of assemblies from North-west Nigeria have endorsed the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, for president in the 2023 general election, Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the Lagos Assembly has said.
A statement issued by Mr Obasa’s media office Saturday said the speakers pledged their support at a meeting held at Kano on Friday.
A former speaker from Kano, Abdullahi Yanshana, reportedly said “95 per cent of the votes from Kano in 2023 will be in favour of the national leader of the APC”, the statement said.
Mr Obasa said both the serving speakers and their predecessors in the North-west zone declared their support for Mr Tinubu as the successor to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Mr Tinubu, a former senator and two-term governor of Lagos State, has not officially declared interest to run for office in the next election. But recent moves by forces loyal to him show it’s a matter of time before he makes his intention known.
The APC leader was in Kaduna on Saturday where he chaired the Arewa House 11th annual lecture.
Over the past few months, several ‘youth’ groups have clamoured for Mr Tinubu’s candidacy in 2023.
Mr Obasa said the endorsement by the northern speakers and ex-lawmakers is coming some weeks after speakers in the South-western zone did the same.
“We should now be thinking beyond him being the flagbearer of the APC and concentrate on securing victory for him in the actual election.
“We know that 90 per cent of the structure of the party is built by Tinubu,” Mr Yanshana said.
The lawmakers also reportedly praised Mr Tinubu for being able to unite the South-west, saying that “his leadership qualities are scarce in some other zones of the country and are an advantage for the entire country”.
Some lawmakers who attended the meeting, according to the statement, include Abdu Dauda from Jigawa; Moh’d W. G. from Sokoto; Aliyu Auwal from Kaduna; Aliyu Muduru from Katsina; Ahmad Garba from Jigawa; and Isa Idris from Jigawa.
Others are Shehu Dalhatu from Katsina; Yusuf Ata from Kano; Aliko Shuaibu from Kano; Abdul’Azeez GG from Kano; Bal’arabe Gani from Kano; and Kabiru Alhassan.
Mr Obasa said some of the speakers argued that “with the challenges currently being faced by the country, Nigeria deserves a leader who is detribalised and Mr Tinubu has shown (this) over time”.
Another attendee, Abu Dauda, a former deputy speaker in Jigawa, noted the contributions of Mr Tinubu to the success of the APC and the growth and progress of Nigeria, the Lagos speaker said.
“If not him, then who? If not now, then when?” Mr Dauda reportedly asked.
Also, the host speaker from Kano, Hamisu Ibrahim, reportedly said with 2023 approaching, “there was a need to source for a flagbearer who can stand on his feet and effectively direct people.”
He said Tinubu already has their support and promised that he would win in Kano during the 2023 presidential election.
Meanwhile, Mr Obasa urged his colleagues “to look within for the person that is capable, that has all it takes – the knowledge and capability to deliver, in the person of Mr Tinubu”.
The statement further said the speakers also discussed the Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) Movement, “and how they will use it to garner the support of Nigerians for Mr Tinubu ahead of 2023.”
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