The South West Agenda 2023 group has said that the National Leader of All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, already has 12 million votes in the bag ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
The chairman of the pro-Tinubu group, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, made this known on Friday as a guest on Channels TV’s ‘Politics Today’ programme monitored.
Though Tinubu has yet to declare his intention to contest any office in 2023, there have been reports and veiled indications that he might be interested in the exalted seat.
Tinubu, who celebrated his 69th birthday in March 2021 and command an arguably large following of political loyalists, has been reported to nurse presidential ambition in 2023, even as political debates get intense for a Southern President after the eight-year regime of the incumbent, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who is from Katsina State, North-West Nigeria.
Speaking on the television programme on Friday, Adeyeye, a former Minister of State for Works and Housing, boasted that just like Buhari who raked 12 million votes from the North before the 2015 elections, Tinubu also has at least 12 million votes from the South-West.
He said traditional rulers in the South-West are also in support of Tinubu’s 2023 presidential bid.
The SWAGA chairman, however, said his group was not commissioned by Tinubu but they are prodding the ex-Lagos governor to run for President in 2023.
Adeyeye said, “When this movement started, we wanted our candidate who some people particularly in Abuja and some circles have been saying have no home base; he is no longer popular and all that. We wanted to prove to them that the man is very acceptable, not only in his home base but throughout the country.
“We want everybody in the South-West to rally around this man and support him and so far we have been very successful.
“We have moved round the palaces to see most of our top traditional rulers who have endorsed him.
“Charity begins at home; we wanted to solidify the Home-base. Once the home base is solidified, I believe other Nigerians, particular in our party, will feel more comfortable to field this candidate, knowing that he can win the election for them.”
Speaking on the chances of Tinubu in the 2023 elections, the APC chieftain said, “Don’t forget that one of the selling points for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 was that he already had 12 million votes in his pocket (in previous elections) particularly in the North-West and North-East. So, it was easy with support from a few other places for him to win the presidency.
“We are also saying that come 2023, the man we are projecting already has at least 12 to 13 million votes in his pocket and so it will be easy.”
Asked how sure he was about his statistics, Adeyeye said, “I am giving it (figure) based on what I have seen on ground having to transverse the length and breadth of the South-West and having seen people from political parties saying that when it comes to the issue of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, they will shed their partisan toga and embrace him and vote for him. I have seen that in the palaces of the Obas, amongst artisans and market women.
“When it comes to the issue of the Presidency in 2023, all of these people in unison, they will shed every differences and vote for this man.
“The votes in the South-West is more than 20 million votes. I am only saying 12 to 13 million votes is already assured and I say it with all sense of responsibility without fear of contradiction that those 12 to 13 votes are already in the bag.”