President Bola Tinubu

Frontline presidential aspirant, Bola Tinubu, says he believes President Muhammadu Buhari is backing his life-long ambition of becoming Nigeria’s next leader.

The former Lagos State governor had in January informed the president of his intention to succeed him in office. After informing Mr Buhari, he declared his intention and has been visiting stakeholders nationwide to secure their blessings.

In an interview with TheNews and PMNews to mark his 70th birthday on March 29, the chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) said he believes the president is supporting his candidacy.

He said the president noticed he was shielding his political ambition from the media and advised him to go public.

“Well, I discussed my ambition with the president that I would like to step into his shoe but not step on his toes,” Mr Tinubu reiterated. “He had no objection. He said we are in a democracy, that I am entitled to aspire and that I should go out to let the public know instead of dilly-dallying, trying to dodge the media, as he had seen on several occasions.

“I didn’t know he was paying attention to that. But I told him that I was dodging the media because I had not told him. He then said ‘‘go ahead.’’ I believe that I have his (Buhari) blessings. It was after our discussion that I made my ambition known to the public,” he added.

Earlier, Mr Buhari had said he prefers to keep the name of his candidate to his chest, saying the beneficiary might be assassinated should he name his preferred successor.

Aside, the former governor, other chieftains of the ruling party that has met with the Nigerian leader to disclose their intention to succeed him are Senator Rochas Okorocha, a former Imo governor and Dave Umahi, governor of Ebonyi State.