BY LAWRENCE ENYOGHASU
Security agencies have launched a surveillance ring around a leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and others, including some members of the National Assembly, over an alleged plot against President Muhammadu Buhari.
The plot, which presidency sources said is not unconnected to the decision of President Buhari to dump several nominees submitted by some party leaders and political godfathers for ministerial appointments, has led to a move to mend fences between the two major contending forces in the Senate.
Intelligence reports had revealed that some state governors, party leaders and political godfathers, whose nominees were dumped by the President for his preferred candidates, have begun to “unleash their goons in a well coordinated media campaigns and groups’ protests against Mr President’s choice of ministerial nominees”
Saturday Sun gathered that of particular interest to some intelligence agencies keeping a tab on the plot “is the decision of an APC leader in the South-West to jet out of the country the moment he realised that he could not push through his ministerial nominees, only to be coordinating attacks against the President from his base outside the country.”
A top official in one of the nation’s intelligence agencies leading investigations into the alleged plot told Saturday Sun on condition of anonymity, “because the investigation is still at the preliminary stage”, that “a particular political godfather who has been spearheading the campaign to remove the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has suddenly turned round to be reaching out to Senators in his (Saraki’s) camp to mend fences so as to form a joint force to launch an attack against the President.”
“We are following all of these clues and leads including promises by the same person to help crush the criminal charges against a leading Senator. This brand of politics will in no way help the ruling party and the nation. One man must not have his way in all cases and in every arrangement”, the source added.
Though the source did not specifically mention Tinubu in the chat, the APC chieftain, however, fits into all the descriptions. It was also gathered that the presidency is already bracing up for the emerging development.
It was not clear as at press time whether the Saraki camp will accept the peace deal being offered by the party leader and support the alleged plot against the President coming at a time when the relationship between Buhari and Saraki appears to be coming on track.
A close associate of Tinubu, who pleaded for anonymity, however, told Saturday Sun that indeed the APC leader was badly hurt by the rejection of his ministerial nominees by Buhari, he would, however, not have a hand in pulling down “a house he almost single-handedly built with his efforts and resources.”
Saturday Sun had in an exclusive report before the release of the ministerial nominees reported the decision by President Buhari to dump over 73 names submitted to him by state governors, APC leaders and political godfathers to draw up a list of his own choice of ministerial nominees.
Indeed, when the list was unveiled last week, many of the party leaders including Tinubu were upset and left in shock. Rather than pick the choice of Tinubu in the South West, Buhari selected former Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), both estranged political godsons of Tinubu.
The party leader could also not get human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), Prof Pat Utomi and his former Commissioners for Information and Finance in Lagos, Messrs Dele Alake and Wale Edun, respectively on the list. Falana had been tipped to emerge as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Alake as Information Minister and Edun as Minister for Finance.
In Osun, while Governor Rauf Aregbesola is pushing the nomination of his immediate predecessor, former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, in deference to an accord leading to the latter’s defection to APC, Tinubu is said to be backing the governor’s Chief of Staff, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, who is his (Tinubu’s) blood relation.