he All Progressives Congress [APC] may really want to replace itself in government, come 2023. It means the political party that had dominated the Nigerian political terrain for the past Seven Years – with one more year to go in completing its tenure of two terms, would want; by all means, and this could be by hook or crook, to continue governing Nigeria. And there is nothing bad with such anticipation. It is the wish and desire of every political party.
So, the APC; boasting of being the largest political party in Africa [the People Democratic Party – PDP, once boasted so], is massively gathering all stones to be able to achieve this great expectation in 2023. It is not leaving any stone unturned to achieve this political noble goal of another APC president being sworn-in to office on May 29, 2023.
The journey could be easy for the political party. It might as well be difficult for the party – the APC. There are too many things to decide this. The performing patterns of the Party in the last number of years would remain a great evaluation factor – all things being equal. Have everything, at any given time, in the political evolution of Nigeria, be equal? Too many Nigerians might want to argue that nothing have ever been equal in this country. That itself – the inequality, might become another factor of evaluation of the APC heading towards 2023.
Of course, there obviously shall remain many perimeters or templates of gauging the reality of the Party [APC] arriving 2023, in continuity. Whatever the number of perimeters that the People of Nigerian might be adopting in this matter, it shall be minus one major template. And this template, that shall be missing this time around, can make or mar the process bringing the expectation of the Party to reality.
The major template is the name of Muhammadu Buhari that shall not be on the ballot paper in the 2023 General Election. Fact remains sacrosanct therefore that the absence of Buhari’s name on the Ballot Papers of 2023 presidential election should be giving the ruling political party [APC] some heartache for now, even before 2023 comes. There is no doubt that the APC is already having one terrible heart palpitation, even as we write this.
What there remains the most challenging assignment for the APC in order for it to overcome this dilemma of replacement? Even in a community where there are many contenders to the replacement of Buhari? It is the name that shall be replacing that of Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential contest of 2023. Who would that contender be in midst of all these hats being thrown into the ring?
Yes, many of these CONTENDERS are people of different characters – some fictitious, some just for lifetime ambition, some nobble pretenders, some most dubious, some with baggage and luggage of fraudulent packages, some with outstanding character of crimes and criminalities, some just stooges being plodded into the race without voyage compass being giving to them, while a very few – extremely few, are genuinely included. Even in the camp of the latter – the genuine few, there is fear, in them, of how to repair a country that has been massively destroyed. Let us fast-track the discussion please.
The APC has declared its stand boldly that it believes in the principle of zoning as enshrined in its Constitution. In furtherance of that belief, it zoned the Party’s Chairmanship to the North – from North/Central precisely. From where the anointed Senator Abdullahi Adamu; former Governor of Nasarawa State, picked it. In continuous adherence to the same principle the Party zoned the presidency to the South – consisting of three geopolitical zones; South-West, South-South and South-East.
Now, we are moving to the point of dilemma to some of the personae dramatis contending to the throne of inheritance.
All over the years, it is not a hidden truth that there is one of the politicians in the South-West who looms larger than his contemporaries, not only within that geopolitical zone but across frontiers. It is also on record that this same man helped very much for Muhammadu Buhari to emerge the democratically elected president of Nigeria in 2015.
It meant that if this man did not agree in that year, Buhari would have been rejected in the Poll as he had been rejected severally in all his previous attempts. The wife of President Muhammadu Buhari – Hajia Aisha Buhari, alluded to this fact in two public gathering.
The name of this man is Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu; the Asiwaju of Lagos and Jagaban of Bogu, in Niger State. Bola Tinubu did not, from onset, hide his desire of becoming the Nigerian President from anybody at all. And when he went to declare his interest in running for the presidency, come 2023, to President Muhammadu Buhari a few months ago, he returned to tell the Media that “it is my lifetime ambition”. Too often, too many people regarded him as the “Kingmaker waiting to be crown a King”.
So when the APC zoned the presidency to the South-West all eyes were on Tinubu, saying the Plane flying the APC political ambition, having taken off from the Villa in Abuja, should be landing in the South-West, where the “anointed” kingmaker is waiting to be crowned”.
However, while the plane is still airborne, there entered some twists and these twists are looking like concrete instruments of destabilizing smooth landing of any aircraft. First is to look at these destabilizing concrete instruments before any attempt in checking the flight-plan of the plane to know if it is landing in the South-West or not.
When the name of a none political entity – Godwin Emefiene, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, suddenly came out of the Nigerian political drum beaters so resolute, and the music carried authority of Principalities and Powers of the Nigerian Powers of Darkness, there came a great suspicion amongst the People that something is happening to navigational program of the flight coming from Abuja.
While this jigsaw was being decoded, Honourable Rotimi Amaechi; a former two-times Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, two-times Governor of Rivers State, two-times Director General of Buhari Campaign Organisation and now two-times Minister of Transport, name thundered out as running for the Nigerian presidency in 2023. There are other jigsaws to be fixed.
Then in the South-West; which has hitherto considered an exclusive comfortable zone of Bola Tinubu, arose a name heading to the contest of the presidency in 2023. And the name of this entrant is Professor Yemi Osinbajo, a Professor of Law, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and now, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – a man described as having served President Muhammadu Buhari very faithfully for these past Seven Years.
His entrance into the race of contestants jolted every Nigerian that has interest in the South-West’s assured presidential ticket holder. It jolted the Bola Tinubu Camp; a Camp that spread throughout Nigeria. Who wouldn’t be worried about the arrival of Yemi Osinbajo?
The men; Yemi Osinbajo and Rotimi Amaechi are competent Nigerians and they have their rights to contest for the Nigerian presidency. Ahmed Bola Tinubu has his right of contesting too, ditto many other Nigerians that are contesting.
However, if the plane carrying the 2023 Presidency Product is heading towards the South-South, say to consult with another new entrant – this time former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan [or have you not heard the latest news?], Rotimi Amaechi, or even Godwin Emefiene [which is not likely], can the same plane be landing in the South-West?
Or, if the same plane is heading South-East, for the sake of Rotimi Amaechi; who has declared recently that he is a fully Igbo man, or for any other candidates [but none other is politically visible] can the same plane be landing in the South-West?
Let us push the last question forward please. Should this precious plane be landing in the South-West, who shall the Product be handed over to – Bola Tinubu, Yemi Osinbajo or even Tunde Bakare [a man who has anointed himself as “16th President of Nigeria after Muhammadu Buhari” – or is he a spiritual joker?]?
The reality of this political Abracadabra is giving political aviation experts’ tough headache of decoding if the plane may be overflying the South-West, and if so, where of the remaining two Southern Nigerian zones it may be landing.
Yours Sincerely – The Guru himself, is a bona-fide member of this worried community, thinking that the Plane might be overflying the South-West on this expected and assuredly most expensive flight of destiny.
Godwin Etakibuebu; a veteran Journalist, wrote from Lagos.
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