Friday, October 7, 2022

Presidential Ticket: Osinbajo withholds congratulatory message to Tinubu

It was not immediately clear whether Yemi Osinbajo declined to congratulate Bola Tinubu because the former Lagos governor snubbed him at the convention ground Wednesday.

• June 9, 2022
Yemi Osinbajo and Bola Tinubu
Yemi Osinbajo and Bola Tinubu

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has failed to congratulate his rival and estranged political godfather Bola Tinubu over his landslide victory at the primary election of the All Progressives Congress on Wednesday.

Mr Tinubu polled 1,271 votes to defeat Rotimi Amaechi and Mr Osinbajo, who scored 316 and 235 votes, respectively, during the party’s national convention at Eagle Square, Abuja.

Despite the outpouring of messages from all corners of the political spectrum, including other aspirants like Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Mr Amaechi, Mr Osinbajo has yet to issue a congratulatory statement to Mr Tinubu.

President Muhammadu Buhari and opposition leader Atiku Abubakar also sent messages to commend Mr Tinubu for his victory and wish him well ahead of the 2023 presidential elections.

While Mr Tinubu was being announced winner of the primary on Wednesday, he walked round the stage to greet dignitaries, but ignored Mr Osinbajo. Mr Tinubu skipped Mr Osinbajo to shake hands with Mr Buhari and others, and ignored Mr Osinbajo who had stood up in anticipation of a handshake.

Mr Tinubu later returned to the stage to greet Mr Osinbajo after Speaker Femi Gbajabiamiala told him he skipped protocol by not greeting the vice president. It was not immediately clear whether Mr Osinbajo declined congratulating Mr Tinubu because the former Lagos governor snubbed him at the convention ground.

Mr Osinbajo served as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice under Mr Tinubu, the then Lagos state governor. 

It is also widely reported he became President Buhari’s running mate on the recommendation of Mr Tinubu.

The cordial relationship between Mr Osinbajo and Mr Tinubu turned sour after the Vice President declared his intention to contest the presidency, a move seen as a betrayal to his former boss.

The Vice President’s silence is deemed ominous by other party members who are uncertain of his allegiance to the party. His spokesman did not return a request seeking comments.

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