Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has informed President Muhammadu Buhari of his intention to run for president in 2023, according to reports.
It is understood that Osinbajo made the move when he met with Mr Buhari on New Year’s Day.
An Aso Villa source said, “The Vice-President did not want to go into the election year by hiding a plan which the president had probably already known about.
“He knew that an immediate endorsement of the president, on the other hand, may not be so easy to come by.”
Mr Osinbajo said he was not looking to ambush and railroad the president into endorsing him and has long acknowledged that it might take uncommon fortitude to tilt the president’s support towards himself, according to the official who was present at the meeting.
“But he would continue to make efforts to see if he could get the president’s backing nonetheless,” the source added. “It is inherently crucial.”
It remained unclear when Mr Osinbajo first decided to contest for president, but sources said his chances of getting his principal’s support became complicated after he was allegedly recorded discussing how Mr Buhari was not likely to make it through his presidency and gloated about how he would succeed him.
“The president has been in possession of an audio recording of the vice-president talking about how he will gain power in the manner similar to Goodluck Jonathan’s fluke,” another senior presidency official said.
“That is why most of us loyal to the president are not supporting the vice-president’s ambition.”
“The president told some of us to consider our political interest individually,” the source added.
“But we all know his body language since he listened to the tape has been more than clear.”