A founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, has revealed that the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, wants to run for the presidential race in the 2023 general election.
He said the APC chieftain was at his Abuja residence on Wednesday to solicit support for his presidential ambition in the coming election.
There have been speculations, reports and veiled indications that Tinubu might be interested in the presidential seat but the former Lagos State governor, with several hanging corruption cases on his neck, is yet to formally declare his intention.
Yakasai said, “He (Tinubu) just came to visit me but actually I have two of them (presidential aspirants) that I have earmarked right from the beginning and I made a vow that anyone of them who came to ask for my support first is the person I would support. Tinubu is the first person.”
Yakassai further said that Tinubu did tell him about the Presidential ambition and as well sought his support during the election.
Furthermore, Yakasai said interested aspirants must first scale the hurdles of primary elections in their various political parties “then we will begin to compare them.”
SaharaReporters had in October reported that Tinubu, amidst his ambition for the 2023 presidential race, spent over four months patronising hospitals in France, United States and the United Kingdom where he underwent several surgeries.
He had been flown out of the country some days to Christmas in 2020 to Paris, France.
The APC leader had returned to Nigeria on January 24, 2021, after a month absence from Nigeria.
He also went for a medical check-up on Thursday, June 10 to France and was conspicuously absent from the one-day working visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos State.
“Tinubu is in Paris, France for a medical checkup. His health is deteriorating due to old age," a top source had told SaharaReporters at that time.
Tinubu, amidst death rumours, was forced to return to the country on Tuesday, June 15.
SaharaReporters also reported that Tinubu was hospitalised in Maryland, the United States in July 2021.
On August 9, the APC leader had another knee surgery at the John Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland, the United States.
The APC chieftain, it was learnt, left the US for the United Kingdom on crutches, a few days after the surgery.
Sources close to Tinubu had told SaharaReporters that he wanted the surgery in Paris, France but changed his plan over rumours of his death.
“Tinubu had his second surgery at John Hopkins University in Maryland recently. He was accompanied by a popular Nigerian doctor in Chicago. He had wanted the surgery in Paris but when rumour was rife about his death, he hurriedly left for Nigeria and went to John Hopkins,” one of the sources had said.
"He left the US for the UK on crutches," another source had revealed.
In August, President Muhammadu Buhari paid a visit to Tinubu in London and the latter was seen with a walking stick during Buhari’s visit, confirming SaharaReporters’ story that he underwent a second surgery in the United States.
His London home also became a mecca of sorts as he was visited by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti).