Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, has urged Nigerians to wait till January 2022 for the former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to declare whether he will be running for president in 2023 or not.
The minister stated this on Channels Television’s ‘Hard Copy’ programme aired on Friday night.
Posters and billboards advertising the rumoured presidential bid of Tinubu have been seen recently in major cities including Lagos and Abuja.
Though Tinubu has yet to declare his intention to contest any office in 2023, there have been reports and veiled indications that he might be interested in the exalted seat.
Some groups and persons have also said aside from Tinubu, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; and Fashola are equally capable to be Nigeria’s President.
When asked whether he is interested in becoming the President of Nigeria, Fashola said, “It is a very tough responsibility, a very tough job; I don’t envy those who have held that office and I don’t envy those who aspire to take it as well.”
Asked whether he is speaking for any aspirant come 2023, the minister said, “As far as I am aware, nobody has said, ‘I want to be Nigeria’s President’. There are people speaking for people. Nobody has come out, we are not at that stage yet.
“I can’t venture out and say that I will speak for X or Y. Let the person come out and say, ‘I want to serve Nigeria’.
“It pains me sometimes when we see that very important job and responsibility to, ‘My people said’. I think the whole sense of it should be that, ‘I am able, I have looked at myself, give me your problem, you go to sleep’.”
On whether he will support Tinubu’s rumoured 2023 presidential bid, the two-term ex-governor of Lagos said, “I saw him (Tinubu) last week, he didn’t tell me he is running for office and to the best of my knowledge, the last statement he made on it is that people will know in January.”
Fashola also said he has not asked Tinubu whether he is interested in the 2023 Presidency or not. “No, I didn’t ask him, I just went to ask how was doing. He has issued a statement that, ‘I will speak in January, so let us wait till January,” he said.