Former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola’s current political travails have been linked to his likelihood of being appointed as Chief of Staff (CoS) by President Muhammadu Buhari, a development that has made the Senior Advocate of Nigeria to come under intense political fire in recent times.
It has been reliably gathered that there had been high-level intrigues over the appointment of the Chief of Staff to the President, following the emergence of the former governor as one of those whose names have come up for the top position, which has remained vacant almost three months into the administration of President Buhari despite the fact that the occupant does not need Senate confirmation.
Investigations indicated that the former Lagos governor’s profile had risen before the president in the build-up to the 2015 general election to an extent that Buhari would have considered him for the position of vice-president, if he had to solely make the choice.
It was learnt that the president’s trust for Fashola was demonstrated when he took the former governor on the trip to the G7 meeting in Germany, a development which was said to have angered some leaders of the party who saw Fashola as “arrogant and a threat.”
Informed sources in the APC told Sunday Tribune that one of the sins being counted against Fashola, which led to the corruption campaign against him, is his decision to “challenge the powers that be in Lagos State politics” by seeking to produce his successor in office prior to the 2015 governorship election.
Besides Fashola, those in the reckoning for the CoS post include Ambassador Babagana Kingibe; a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Abdurahman Dambazzau and a former Military Administrator, Colonel Ahmid Ali.
But the anti-Fashola forces, who Sunday Tribune gathered, had vowed to fight the former governor to a standstill to ensure he does not get the top job, which is considered as too strategic and powerful in the scheme of things at the Presidency, were said to have refrained from openly opposing Fashola before the president, resorting to underground tactics and horse-trading, which have brought Fashola under public criticisms for allegations of corruption.
It was learnt that besides the recent publications in the social media, which portrayed the former governor as profligate, details of the petition sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former governor in 2010 by the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) were being reproduced and circulated among the top echelons of the party to “show his true image,” as a source noted.
The moves against Fashola, it was learnt, were targeted at ensuring that the president is forced to reconsider his stance on Fashola, having earlier stated that he would not appoint anyone linked with corruption.
Source: Sunday Tribune
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