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More Clarifications Ahead of 2023-Amir Abdul Aziz

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By: Amir Abdulazeez

 

When President Obasanjo carelessly picked Goodluck Jonathan to serve as ‘Yaradua’s potential Vice President in 2007, little did we know that the politics of picking running mates will later become complex and problematic. The death of Ummaru, ascension of Jonathan, surprise emergence of Namadi Sambo and Patrick Yakowa becoming the first Christian Civilian Governor of Kaduna State would all combine to later add more relevance to the politics of running mate selection. In 2014, APC had more headache in picking a presidential running mate than the presidential candidate himself. It took them so much time and effort that one thought they will organize a fresh convention for that purpose.

Today, the Muslim-Muslim ticket debacle is the bane of Nigerian political discourse. While clamouring for fairness and balance which are needed for a fragile system like Nigeria’s, we should also remember that from 1999 to date, no religion can claim any net gain from this Nigerian version of democracy. Ordinary followers of all religions have been victims of bad governance, even pagans. We have suffered so much so that if a pagan/pagan ticket will eradicate insecurity, fix the economy and bring development while being fair to all interests and affiliations, we should allow it. Therefore, the choice is between searching for solutions and satisfying sentiments; we seem to favour the latter.

A section of public commentators and spectators are already suggesting a walkover for Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 polls. That is the biggest complacency I have ever seen in contemporary Nigerian politics. How can you be facing a ruling party with almost 65% of political stakeholdership in the country and be expecting to have a walkover? Atiku is an institution but his successes in the last two PDP primaries is more of financial supremacy than political dominance. That aside, barring a Buhari-like scenario, Atiku will definitely make a good president. He is perhaps the only fully independent candidate with a clear and accessible blueprint since 2007. In 2011, he had a better manifesto and approach than President Goodluck Jonathan; he only lost the PDP primaries to the power of incumbency. By the way, what happened to the Jonathan 2023 candidacy?

2023 Presidential Election Should be Cancelled; It’s Already Predetermined
From 1992, this is Atiku’s 7th attempt at the Presidency with 2019 being his closest to success. Many believe 2023 is his year and so many obvious factors call for optimism in his camp. However, there are two fundamental things that may haunt Waziri; (in)consistency and (un)popularity. Buhari and Tinubu are successfully reaping the harvests of consistency and perseverance; they sticked to opposition politics all their lives. Atiku shouldve remained in opposition when he decamped to Action Congress in 2007 or shouldve remained in the ruling PDP when he decamped back in 2011. Ambition had kept him running from one place to another making him neither establishment nor anti-establishment. The second question is whether there is a single state in Nigeria which Atiku can secure one million votes or more in 2023? I hope we all remember Dr. Rabi’u Kwankwaso’s 3-K States theory?

Tinubu’s boast in Ogun State over his role in the emergence of Buhari as President needs some revisiting and clarification. For the avoidance of doubt, Muhammadu Buhari did not lose the 2003 presidential elections, it was brutally rigged to return Obasanjo for a second term. 2003 will easily enter the list of the worst elections in modern world history. In 2007, the presidential elections results were simply written, so we cant even call that election not to talk of who won or lost. I have never relied on 2003 and 2007 election figures for any research or serious analysis, because they are largely fabricated. The 2011 elections were relatively fair but at least 40% of the vote was rigged, written or simply inflated especially in the South-South and South-East.

In circumstances like these, we cannot comfortably declare Buhari a loser of all the previous elections he contested and only became a winner when he met Tinubu. It is true that 2015 was the weakest version of political Buhari, it was true that he had lost hope and that the APC merger spearheaded by Tinubu was what brought him back to life. But it is also true that so many other factors other than Tinubu contributed crucially to Buhari’s victory, one major one was the abysmal performance of Goodluck Jonathan. One thing that is however certain is that, without Tinubu’s support, it wouldve been near impossible for Buhari to emerge APC flagbearer against the financial powerhouses in Kwankwaso and Atiku.

This brings us to the argument of access to public funds as the reason why some candidates (not aspirants) are stronger than others. Supporters of a particular presidential candidate even claimed that if their man had equal access to public funds, he would be better than certain candidates. This is laughable; a debate like this will take us nowhere. Just campaign for your candidate and persuade people to vote for him. If we are talking about the abuse of peoples trust and the utilization of our commonwealth for personal political development, none of the major politicians in Nigeria will come out clean. So, let us not deceive ourselves and others.

Where are our smaller political parties who had spent most of their last four years fighting INEC over deregistration? This is a good amount of time they wouldve spent in coming together to form a strong bloc. In case we dont know, 74 of them were deregistered for failing to meet the requirements to continue to exist as political parties. Probably about 10 to 15 of the currently existing will be due for deregistration by this time next year. Instead of them to consider merging to form a decent alternative, theyll rather hang on only to be fighting a legal survival battle with INEC next year. As the strongest and largest intellectual organization in West Africa, I dont even know why ASUU is yet to form a political party or adopt any of the smaller parties to set up a path towards satisfying their own demands all by themselves instead for waiting and hoping for a hopeless Federal Government.

Why is nobody talking about the enormous task ahead of the next president whom credible international reports suggest will have to use 100% of his revenue in servicing (not repaying) debts by 2024? To execute projects or even pay salaries, the next government may have to borrow further. Nigeria is in trouble, we are drowning in the ocean of foreign debts, meanwhile we are concerned over the religion of a presidential candidate more than his ability to bring us out of this mess. Buhari has failed because Jonathan had built a solid foundation for that failure. Now he has built a worse foundation for his successor. Ladies and gentlemen, the possibility and danger of the next president irrespective of his affiliation and preparedness to economically be worse than Buhari is imminent. May God help us.

All of the political dynamics of today are closely related to that of 1999, some a bit earlier. If you have not directly experienced Nigerian political development from 1999 with a mix of some pre-1999 historical knowledge, you will find it difficult if not impossible to connect certain dots that you see today. Extensive and intensive reading may help, but politely interacting with veterans will do better. Social media where most of the political debates occur is dominated by youths who knew little or nothing pre-2011 and dont invest significant time in reading but trying to engage or even confront the same veterans that wouldve been their best opportunity at understanding the genesis of the current situation.
There are some visible changes in Nigeria’s socio-political spaces, although not new but have taken a different twist from the previous. The renewed order is the attempt to criminalize certain political choices against others. Between 2014 to 2018, discourses were dominated by hate, campaigns of calumny, fabrications and outright abuse. Today, political promoters are trying hard to make it appear that only their candidates are good enough and any other choice is treason. This is extremism, lets be careful, everything is a matter of opinion and everyone is entitled to his.

Twitter: @AmirAbdulazeez

Politics

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf Is The Head of All Political Parties in Kano-Dala

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In a surprising turn of events following Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s recent victory at the Supreme Court, Anas Abba Dala, a former APC chieftain and a devoted supporter of the Governor, has declared that Governor Yusuf is now the de facto head of all political parties in Kano. This assertion includes the APC, the NNPP, and the PDP.

Speaking exclusively to Kano based radio station Freedom Radio, Anas Abba Dala expressed his conviction that Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s Supreme Court triumph has positioned him as a unifying figure transcending party lines. Dala, who was once a prominent member of the APC, emphasized the significance of the Governor’s victory in unifying Kano’s political landscape.

In the interview, Dala highlighted the historical context of Governor Yusuf’s political journey, acknowledging the Governor’s ability to garner support across party lines. He commended the Supreme Court’s decision, declaring it a victory for not only the PDP but for all political parties in Kano.

Anas Abba Dala’s statement reflects a shifting political narrative, as Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s leadership is perceived as a unifying force that transcends partisan affiliations. The Supreme Court’s validation of the Governor’s victory serves as a catalyst for a renewed sense of political collaboration and cooperation in Kano.

While this declaration is likely to stir conversations within the political sphere, it underlines the potential for a more inclusive and cooperative political landscape in Kano under Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s leadership. As the news of this assertion spreads, it will be interesting to observe how political dynamics in Kano evolve in response to this declaration of unity across party lines.

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Non-indigenes in Kano Unite in Prayer for Dr Nasir Gawuna’s Success at Supreme Court

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Honourable Seyi Olorunsola, a prominent APC stalwart and Opinion Leader in Kano, has mobilized the non-indigenous Christian community to fervently pray for the success of Dr Nasir Gawuna, the APC candidate, in an impending Supreme Court hearing. This legal battle arises from the NNPC’s appeal, led by Governor Abna Yusuf, challenging the results of the March 18, 2023, Gubernatorial elections in Kano State.

At a prayer conference organized by Honourable Seyi, the non-indigenous Christian community gathered to intercede for Dr Nasir Gawuna, seeking divine intervention in the pursuit of reclaiming his mandate. Honourable Seyi urged attendees to persevere in prayer until victory is secured and cautioned against potential interference, notably mentioning President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, emphasizing the need to remain unaffected by NNPP propaganda aiming to undermine the APC administration.

Expressing gratitude to the judiciary for upholding the rule of law, Honourable Seyi emphasized the crucial role of the judiciary in ensuring justice. He encouraged them to remain vigilant until justice is unequivocally served, highlighting the commitment to a fair and impartial legal process, free from external influences.

Addressing NNPP concerns about the legitimacy of the APC victory, Honourable Seyi reassured the public of the APC’s commitment to the democratic process. The call for prayers from the non-indigenous Christian community not only testifies to their faith but also demonstrates solidarity with Dr Nasir Gawuna.

The prayer conference also included appeals for peace and prosperity in Kano State and Nigeria at large, emphasizing a broader vision for a united and flourishing nation. The collective hopes extend beyond the immediate political context, envisioning a Kano and Nigeria where peace prevails, prosperity thrives, and democratic principles are upheld.

Honourable Seyi Olorunsola’s call for a prayer conference reflects not just the intensity of the political situation in Kano but also underscores the significance of faith and unity during times of uncertainty.

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Nigeria’s Fourth Republic: Politicians Who Accepted Defeat Without Going to Court Since 2003

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Dr,Goodluck Jonathan,Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Dr Kayode Fayemi

 

Abbas Yushau Yusuf, Political Editor

As Nigeria’s Fourth Republic marks 24 years, elections were held in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019, and most recently, in 2023 for the offices of councillors, LG Chairman, State Assemblies, Governors, National Assembly, and the office of the President.

By the time the Independent Electoral Commission concludes the process, litigation follows.

Only in 1999 was there very negligible litigation at the courts. The presidential candidate of the joint defunct APP and AD alliance, Chief Samuel Olu Falae, challenged the victory of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, but the courts dismissed his appeal.

The 1999 General elections were conducted by the military administration of General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

By 2003, civilians started to conduct elections, and litigations continued to follow unabated.

Analysts opined that the election season in Nigeria with the highest number of litigations is the recent 2023 general elections.

It is said that 95 percent of the defeated politicians are still in the courts.

Below are some of the prominent Nigerian politicians who congratulated their opponents without going to court or their political parties in 20 years.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Former Nigeria’s President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is the first Nigerian presidential candidate who did not go to court to challenge his victory after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared his opponent, Muhammad Buhari of the APC, in the March 28 General elections.

Even before the final collation of results, he congratulated former President Muhammadu Buhari. Goodluck Jonathan was Nigeria’s President from May 6, 2010, to May 29, 2015.

Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was Governor of Kano state from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2003. He is the only Kano politician who congratulated his opponent since the 2003 election, even though as an incumbent Governor.

Kwankwaso was defeated by Malam Ibrahim Shekarau of the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party. Kwankwaso did not only stop at that; he visited the Governor-elect at the residence with his cabinet and congratulated Malam Shekarau.

Kwankwaso staged a surprise comeback in 2011 after 8 years; he concluded his second tenure on May 29, 2015.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi

Dr. Kayode Fayemi was Governor of Ekiti state from 2010 to 2014 after the Supreme Court sacked Segun Oni of the People’s Democratic Party.

Ekiti state is one of the Nigerian states where off-season elections take place. During the 2014 Governorship election, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of APC was defeated by Peter Ayodele Fayose of the People’s Democratic Party.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi went ahead to congratulate the winner and did not also go to court. Like Kwankwaso of Kano, Dr. Kayode Fayemi also contested in the 2018 election and won, concluding his second term in the year 2022.”

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