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Northern reps meet Tinubu in UK, back 2023 presidential bid

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Amid the rumoured presidential ambition of former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, members of the House of Representatives from the north have endorsed his candidacy for 2023 presidency, according to PUNCH news.

Though Tinubu has yet to declare his intention to contest any office in 2023, there have been rumours and veiled indications that he might be interested in the number one position. A delegation of the northern caucus in the House, led by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, had on Friday visited Tinubu in London where he has been receiving treatment for the last three months.

On the entourage were the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata; Chairman, House Committee on the Army, Abdulrazak Namdas; Blessing Onuh, daughter of former President of the Senate, David Mark; Sada Soli, among others.

A member of the delegation told one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity that the visit was to endorse Tinubu for President. The lawmaker said, “We in the North (House of Representatives caucus) are kind of endorsing his candidature because he is a national leader and you know that he is aspiring (allegedly). Whether you like it or not, he wants to be President of this country. So, we felt that if the northern caucus of the National Assembly – in the House of Reps – would come to see how he is recuperating, we thought that it would mean so much.

“He really appreciated our coming because he said he rated our coming second after the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari. He mentioned that governors and others came but this is a mini Nigeria in the House of Reps, for the entire northern caucus to find time to come and see how he is faring.

“He stood up and walked. I’m sure you have seen the video. I think he has recovered; he is not doing badly at all – this is not politics. I think because of his age, he has to still go for physiotherapy and things like that. These are things that will take time for him to fully do some politicking. He will soon come back to Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, in one of the videos from the visit, which has gone viral on the Internet, the lawmaker representing Guevara/Suleja/Tafa Federal Constituency in Niger State, Lado Suleja, called Tinubu “Mr President.” The lawmakers were seen accompanying Tinubu to a waiting car, during which Suleja said, “Mr President, see you soon,” and the ex-governor replied, “Thank you.”

Speaking on the visit, the source added, “I will not say he is speaking for the caucus. Lado is his loyalist. He has been Tinubu’s loyalist for a long time, we know that. It was Lado that made that statement. All of us – even me – wish he is our President.” When asked to confirm Asiwaju’s endorsement, Ado-Doguwa stated that it was a ‘get-well visit.’

He said, “I am neither the leader of the delegation nor come as the Northern Caucus, perhaps not the right person to answer your question. But on a personal note, I can tell you that I was on this mission to simply pay a ‘get-well visit’ to the National Leader of our party, the APC, like many other Nigerians have done, including Mr President. My religion and tradition allow for such visits to the sick.

“I, therefore, stand bold to say that I wish Bola Ahmed Tinubu well and pray for his fast recovery. I am further glad to say that I met him in an improved and very encouraging health Condition.”

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