There are hush tones within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, that the immediate-past Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, is President Muhammadu Buhari’s anointed successor, .
This is after revealed this a few days ago in this report.
Nwajiuba, 54, a Lawyer, from Imo State, is reportedly known to be a staunch loyalist of President Buhari, since their days in the defunct All Peoples Party, APP.
Nwajiuba’s 2023 Presidential aspiration is still a shock to many political watchers, but those in the know say he is a wild card in the APC political chess game.
While other Presidential Aspirants in the APC have been making a lot of noise in the Media, and going from State to State, North, South, East and West, seeking for support, Nwajiuba has gone on with his ambition quite silently.
The former Minister was the first among his former colleagues to buy the Presidential forms of the APC, and he is not known to have had any Media engagement since his Presidential ambition became public knowledge.
He also collected his Presidential forms without the usual fanfare Politicians are known for, and he has not invested any funds on billboards or other forms of Media campaigns like other Aspirants.
Recall, that Nwajiuba was the first Minister to resign from the Federal Executive Council, FEC, before President Buhari’s directive that all his appointees with 2023 political ambitions should step down became public knowledge.
The President had singled him out for praises while dishing out the order. A report from Vanguard newspaper indicated that Nwajiuba resigned on Thursday, April 28.
Despite the permutations suggesting that he is the President’s favourite 2023 Presidential Aspirant, Nwajiuba is no pushover in politics. He was elected a Member of the House of Representatives in 1999, where he served as the House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Land, Housing and Works.
He was a Founding member of the APC and Secretary of the Constitution Drafting Committee that produced the Constitution that gave birth to the party in 2013. From 2017 to 2019, Nwajiuba was the Chairman of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund. He was re-elected member of the Okigwe North Federal House of Representatives in 2019, under Accord Party, AP, and later nominated for a Ministerial role that same year.
Interestingly, Nwajiuba’s silent moves are reminiscent of the pattern in which Senator Abdullahi Adamu emerged as the new APC National Chairman recently. While other Aspirants for the National Chairmanship position went across the country consulting, Adamu, a former Governor of Nasarawa State, was largely out of the picture in the Media frenzy.
He was drafted in at the last minute, after the party zoned the Chairmanship position to the North Central and President Buhari’s last-minute order to the APC Governors to support his ambition.
Senator Adamu never had giant billboards in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, like some of the Contestants, but got the backing of the President and emerged winner.
Also worthy of note is the Nwajiuba’s seemingly closeness to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai. Among all the APC Governors, Governor El-Rufai is no doubt the closest to the President.
A source in the APC who pleaded anonymity said: “He is the President’s choice. Those close to the Villa know the other aspirants are simply wasting their time. Nwajiuba will clinch the ticket. The insinuation suggesting that Buhari will not back a South East politician is false.
“Buhari knows Nwajiuba well. Both of them have been in opposition politics before the President assumed office in 2015. He is commonly referred to as ‘Buhari’s boy’ in the core north. Just wait and see. I can tell you categorically that he is the chosen one. He knows it, that is why he has been going about this whole thing quietly so as not to attract any attention to himself.
“Remember that the President had himself said he won’t reveal his favourite so as not to protect the person from desperate politicians who might want to harm him.”
However, another source in the APC says the suggestion that the ex-minister has the backing of the president is a ruse.
The APC Chieftain, who also doesn’t want to be named said:
“It’s a ruse. It is also a well-planned distraction by the powers that be. Nwajiuba has no political structure anywhere in the country. Even in his home state of Imo, he can’t rub shoulders with Governor Hope Uzodimma.
“Of course, people will push out various narratives to distract party members, but trust me, it is all a ruse like I said. He is not even in the top five Presidential Aspirants in our party. He can’t even flex his muscles in Imo not to talk of the South Sast.
“Even this talk about him being close to the President is an exaggeration. Is He close to the President than Chief Ogbonnaya Onu or VON DG, Osita Okechukwu, or even Senator Chris Ngige who always leads South East elders to the President? We still have Ken Nnamani there who has become closer to the President than any other southeast politician in recent times.
“There is also a sitting Governor from Ebonyi, Umahi, you think the president will bypass these big names for Nwajiuba? It is not possible.”