Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, may not get sufficient backing for his presidential bid from leaders of the South East zone.

Tinubu had lost favour among key leaders of the zone, including some top chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the region, for various reasons.

Among the key reason is his choice of running mate.

Tinubu, a Muslim, had opted for another Muslim, a former Governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, as his running mate. This led to widespread condemnation from Christians in the country, who are dominant in the South East zone.

This singular act is believed to scared away key leaders and elders of the South East zone from the APC presidential candidate.

Vice President, apex Igbo socio political organization, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, Ichie Damian Okeke- Ogene, had said Tinubu’s choice of a Muslim, as his running mate, is ill timed and a total disregard for the diversity of the country.

A group, Advocates for Societal Rebirth and Good Governance, ASRG, in a statement in Enugu and signed by its Coordinator, Ferdinand Ogwo, accused “Tinubu of daring and ignoring over 80 million Christians in the country”

The group argued that Tinubu’s action is unconstitutional, stating that political parties must comply to chapter two of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), to have their presidential and vice presidential candidates from different sectional, (tribal and religious groups) of the nation.

Within the APC, Tinubu’s party, it is uncertain if key leaders of the party are not backing him, judging from recent unfolding developments in the party.

Emeka Nwajiuba, a former Minister of State for Education, who also vied for the APC presidential ticket with Tinubu,  had dragged the former Lagos State Governor to court, on allegations of vote buying during the APC presidential primary.

The former Minister also in his suit  accused  the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar of similar offence.

Aside Nwajiuba, other key leaders of the APC in the South East were conspicuously absent at a recent stakeholders meeting held in Owerri, Imo State capital last month, where the party drummed support for the APC presidential flagbearer.

Among those absent at the meeting include Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi,  former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, former Minister of Education, Emeka Nwajiuba. They all participated in the APC presidential primary.

No reason were given for their absence at the meeting.

Tinubu had visited Okorocha, Onu and some APC presidential aspirants, shortly after the presidential primary where he solicited for their support.

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State had hosted Tinubu in Abuja and was among APC State Governors who escorted Tinubu  to Lagos shortly after his emergence as APC presidential flagbearer.

Tinubu had come under fierce criticisms for shunning the South East when he went round the country for consultations before the APC presidential primary.

His team never gave reasons for his action. However, the sweltering popularity of Peter Obi, the Labour party presidential candidate may have forced leaders of the party to distance from the APC presidential candidate


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