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Senator Rufai Hanga, founder and pioneer national chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has claimed that there was an agreement that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state, would take over from President Muhammadu Buhari when he completes his second term in office in 2023.
President Muhammadu Buhari contested for the Presidency under the umbrella of the CPC in 2011 but the party was later merged with two other parties to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014.
Tinubu was the national leader of one of these merger parties; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). It has been reported that replacing Buhari after the expiry tenure was a motivation for the partnership to kick then President Goodluck Jonathan out of office in 2015.
Confirming the reported deal, Hanga told Daily Trust: “This is an open secret. There was an implied agreement. Even in law, there is an implied and expressed act. If something is expressed, there are no two ways about it.”
“There was an implied agreement that he would take over. That is why he didn’t back out after the first tenure. If Tinubu knew that he would not benefit, he would have backed out during Buhari’s first tenure. But he knows there was an agreement.”
Hanga however expressed doubt that the APC will give its ticket to Tinubu, predicting a fight ahead, with power blocs among governors and some forces in the Presidency.