Shugaban vs Jagaban: Can Fayose stand against Tinubu?

by Alexander O. Onukwue

After fighting for so long to be in power, former Lagos State Governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has not exactly had it all his way in the two years of Buhari’s administration.

Tinubu was instrumental in the victory of Buhari at the polls in 2015, and if Yemi Osinbajo has been a bright light in the present administration, Nigerians can thank Tinubu for that. However, those in the know say that it has been a marriage where he has had to give in much more than he bargained for, hence the internal frictions in the leadership of the party. The APC has not held a national convention since its first and only in 2014 and does not have a Board of Trustees, raising fears of a potential collapse.

The ‘Jagaban’, as he is popularly called, is the most recognised political authority in the South West, but that power has been tested and weakened more and more over the last two years. Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, was reportedly not his choice for the elections in the state, and the loss of the APC in the Osun West Senatorial elections was also another blow to the strength and hold of the Jagaban on the affairs of the party and the region.

Will the same happen with Fayose running for 2019?

The Ekiti state Governor is in a different party from Tinubu, making a path to cooperation for regional interests highly unlikely. To become President, Fayose would need to win the North but also gain strong support from his region.  How will he maneuver the influence of Tinubu to rouse popular support with the PDP across the South West region where most states have APC Governors?

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