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Actors, Likely Alliances And Winner Of Nigeria’s Presidential Election

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Major Presidential candidates Atiku,Obi, Kwankwaso and Tinubu

 

By Hamisu Hadejia

Voters in Africa’s biggest democracy, Nigeria, prepare to go the polls February 2023. They will elect governors, state and federal legislators and the president to lead the biggest African economy when the tenure of the incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari ends on May 29, 2023. Mr Buhari of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) came to power on a wave of populist support with the triple promises to fix Nigeria’s economy, address insecurity and ‘kill corruption before corruption kills Nigeria’. The extent of the success or failure of president Buhari and the ruling APC in fulfilling these promises remain for Nigerians to assess. However, on November 17, the federal government of Nigeria through its statistics bureau (the National Bureau of Statistics) reported that 63% of Nigerians (133 million people) are multidimensionally poor. According to the CIA factbook, Nigeria has a total population size of 225,082,083 million people as of 2022, and most of it consist of young men and women between the age bracket of 18 to 40 years.

Since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999, the high rate of poverty in the oil-rich West African country especially in the rural areas had forced many voters to barter their votes for monetary and or material rewards from power-hungry politicians. However, two recent developments could significantly curb electoral malpractices related to vote buying and results manipulation. First is the insistence by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to deploy the Bimodal Voter Accreditation (BVA) system and to transmit ‘elections results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) in real-time on election day’. On this issue, the INEC chair is backed by section 50 sub-section 2 of the Electoral Act, 2022 which states that ‘voting at an election and transmission of results under this Act shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission.’ If this is done, election rigging which usually manifests in manipulation of results at the local and state collation centres could be greatly curtailed, if not eliminated. Also, the rampant use of ‘incident forms’ by manipulative politicians to transform registered ghost voters into accredited ones will be significantly minimized by the adoption of the BVA system. Secondly, the decision in October by Nigeria’s apex bank (the CBN) to redesign and replace the country’s top three-naira notes (N200, N500 and N1000) within a three-month window (until January 21, 2023) is seen by many analysts as targeting political moneybags. The CBN though maintains that its currency redesign policy was to mop up the excess unbanked N2.7 trillion (85%) of money in circulation out of the total supply of N3.23 trillion. Whether or not and the extent to which currency redesign policy, introduction of the BVA system and new provisions in the electoral act 2022 will help engender free and fair elections remains to be confirmed in the forthcoming 2023 polls.

However, president Buhari’s vow to bequeath a legacy of free and fair elections in 2023 may be a promise Nigerians can hang onto if the president’s apparent neutral posture during his party’s primaries meant his absence of personal stakes in the next elections. The presidential election is of particular interest to Nigerians and to the international community. Of the 18 presidential contenders, four appear to be the most prominent, namely: former Lagos state governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling APC, former vice president Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, former Anambra state governor Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and former Kano state governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP). What are the strengths and weaknesses of these presidential contenders? Who is likely to carry the day?

To address these questions, I should begin with the caveat that Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election scheduled for February 25th has never been this complicated for the political bookmakers to forecast. There is no doubt that two major political parties—the ruling APC and opposition PDP—still remain the dominant parties. However, the emergence and increasing popularity of such third-party candidates as Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso has made the presidential contests unprecedentedly unpredictable. This is even acknowledged by no less a stakeholder than the electoral body, INEC, which stated on November 18 through its commissioner, Mr Festus Okoye, that it prepares for possible presidential run-off. This position is obviously underpinned by certain new dynamics on the political scene in Nigeria.

Since first republic’s Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, no Igbo politician—perhaps not even the Biafra secessionist commander-turned-politician Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu and his All-Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA)—has succeeded in uniting the hitherto politically passive and rudderless mainly Christian south-eastern Igbo voters under one political umbrella (the Labour Party). Thus, effectively, each of Nigeria’s three major ethnic groups—Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo— now has a formidable presidential candidate in Atiku, Tinubu and Obi, respectively. Historically, region (or ethnic group) and religion have exerted huge influence on politics and voting patterns in Nigeria. Against the backdrop of these and other factors which will be highlighted as we go along in our analysis, how could one rate the chances of these four prominent presidential contenders?

A Yoruba, Muslim and former governor of Lagos, Tinubu hails from the south-western zone which accounts for the second highest number of registered voters (18.3 million out of the total 96.3 million i.e., 19%) in the country. As a candidate of the ruling APC, Tinubu should enjoy the incumbency advantage. However, the circumstances of his winning the party’s primaries—without the overt support of the incumbent president whom he had earlier publicly lampooned in the build up to the primaries when he allegedly got wind of him not being the preferred presidency choice—meant that the incumbency factor may not yet be assured for Asiwaju. Also, the choice of a Muslim vice-presidential candidate in former Borno state governor Kashim Shettima, has pitted Tinubu against the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN)—the umbrella body for Nigerian Christians which, justifiably or not, feels threatened by the APC’s same faith ticket. Tinubu’s choice of a northern Muslim (rather than a northern Christian) candidate as running mate can hardly be faulted on tactical ground; for although a choice of a northern Christian vice would have indeed balanced the APC ticket on both the regional and religious fault lines, that choice would have alienated the majority of voters in three predominantly Muslim northern geopolitical zones—NW, NE and NC (see figure 1)—which collectively account for 53.1% of total registered Nigerian voters. However, although sentiment of religion—as opposed to that of region (or ethnic group)— is the main thing that makes the average northern Muslim voter tick, it is highly unlikely if APC/Tinubu’s same-faith ticket will confer any extra electoral advantage on Tinubu for two reasons. First, the mood currently in the Muslim-dominated north is that of deep and widespread resentment with the ruling APC and, surprisingly, with Buhari himself who was, before coming to power, almost deified in the region. This dramatic change is attributed to worsening multi-dimensional poverty and pervasive insecurity which seem to have now thrown the average northern (and of course Nigerian) voter in to such a despondency and disillusionment that they have now effectively surrendered the choice of the next president to God—since they, without deferring to His omniscience, voted for Buhari and the result was not as expected or, for many, even catastrophic. Secondly, the PDP’s candidate, Atiku, is also Muslim, which means that both candidates cannot weaponize what Lewis (2007) rightly identifies as the most potent instrument for collective action in the Muslim north—i.e. religion. However, the apparently neutral impact of Tinubu’s same-faith ticket on the majority Muslim northern voters contrasts sharply with the protest it elicited from CAN and other prominent Christian figures and followers.

But Tinubu is a politician with vast “political logistics” (a euphemism for money required to win elections in Nigeria) and astute organizational capabilities. He also appears to have understood the rudiments of patron-clientelist politics that typifies Nigeria. At the inauguration of his campaign in Jos, Tinubu was able to assemble all 20 APC governors, ministers, and president Buhari to flag off his campaign. He also has significant political capital to make from the rebellion of a group of five (G5) PDP governors who have, since the end of PDP primaries, appeared unwilling to support the candidate of their own party—Atiku. Moreover, northern APC governors’ open support to Tinubu before, during, and after the APC primaries will, if sincere, see them deploy institutional and monetary ‘resources’ to help Asiwaju sweep substantial amounts of the bloc northern votes. I use the conditional ‘if sincere’ to underscore the growing unease among influential northern elites/powerbrokers and electorates with the treatment Atiku is subjected to at the hands of the G-5—a group made up of all Christian governors and all (but one) southern governors. It remains to be seen whether the rebellion of G-5 governors would be an un-disguised blessing for Tinubu or one in disguise for Atiku—if the seeming G-5’s attempt to play the regional/religious cards triggers an equal and opposite reaction up north. For now, two major uncertainties face the APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu: One, uncertainty about the commitment of the presidency and northern governors/elites whose apparent stakes in Tinubu’s candidacy appear to be limited to the fear of post-tenure probe—something they can risk negotiating with Atiku on if the current general disenchantment with APC lingers on and INEC insists on the use of BVA system which will severely curtail governors’ influence to swing their states to their favourite presidential candidate as they used to. Two, uncertainty about the real electoral consequences of the Christian community’s protests against his Muslim-Muslim ticket. Based on weight to 6 variables (political logistics, home advantage, away (dis)advantage, party popularity, ticket sensitivity, and internal/external networks)—which I codenamed Phaptien Presidential Election Predictor (PPEP)— Tinubu/APC has 35.0% probability of winning the next presidential election.

A Hausa/Fulani, Muslim, and former Nigeria’s vice president, Atiku hails from Adamawa state in the north-east— a zone which has the second least number of registered voters (12.8 million or 13.3%). Atiku’s major strengths are built on five pillars. First, the northern region he comes from has substantial electoral strength with a combined total of 53.1% of registered voters—and should it go down to the wire, he’ll be the clear favourite to sweep most of these votes . Secondly, his party’s balanced (Muslim-Christian) ticket has attracted no opposition from the Christian community. Thirdly, Atiku is also a man of enormous ‘political logistics’ and experience in political mobilization having contested for the presidency on five previous occasions. Fourthly, although without de jure incumbency advantage, Atiku looks set to gain from the lukewarm attitude of some APC politicians, ministers and other interests not favourably disposed to the Tinubu candidacy. For instance, in an interview in October, the current Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, refused to show open commitment to the presidential candidate of the ruling party. The body language of almost all current federal ministers betrays this palpable nonchalance to Tinubu’s candidacy. Fifthly, connecting some critical dots together, Atiku appears to enjoy the support of one of the two powerful camps of former military officers/rulers i.e., the camp of former General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) consisting of such influential retired Generals as T.Y Danjuma and Aliyu Gusau. The other one-man camp of former General/President Olusegun Obasanjo appears to be somewhat neutral—that is, if we gloss over the surprisingly very warm reception Obasanjo recently accorded the APC candidate Tinubu with whom he has had bitter political bones to pick.

However, the major challenge for Atiku now is the rebellion of the G-5 governors led by Mr Nyesom Wike—the Governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich Rivers state, which also has the fourth highest number of registered voters in the country. The extent to which G-5 rebellion will affect the chances of Atiku in the presidential election will substantially depend on whether or not INEC deploys the BVA system, which, as argued above, will significantly curtail the influence of governors to swing their states as they desire. Also, the open belligerence of G-5 members to Atiku appears to be having the unintended effects of slowly but surely shifting the sympathy of northern elites and electorates in Atiku’s favour. Just the same way the persistently vehement opposition to APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket by some prominent northern Christians (such as the former SGF Babachir Lawal and former HoR speaker Yakubu Dogara) is beginning to shift the sympathy of sections of voters in the north towards the APC candidate. Based on PPEP, Atiku currently has 37.5% probability of wining the presidential election.

An Igbo and Christian, former governor of Anambra state, Mr Peter Gregory Obi, comes from the south-eastern zone which has the least number of registered voters (11.5 million or 11.9%). However, Obi’s strength comes from his passionate youthful supporters (nicknamed Obidients) who appear to be in the majority among the registered voters in the south-eastern and south-southern zones. Being the only prominent Christian candidate, Obi also appears to enjoy the sympathy of some voters from this community across the zones. Like the PDP, Labour Party’s Obi’s ticket is also balanced with his vice-presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmad, being a northern Muslim—although an insignificant figure politically. However, in terms of ‘political logistics’, it is doubtful if Obi or his Labour Party has the potentials to ‘mobilize’ voters on a national scale. I can, on a first thought, project Obi to, hands down, win the majority of votes in the south-east and south-south and, possibly, secure the 25% minimum votes in Lagos and, probably, a few other states—that is, if current opposition against Tinubu’s same-faith ticket is of any real electoral significance. However, I can wager my bottom dollar that Obi cannot garner the minimum required 25% votes in 24 states and a simple majority in the first round just like it is also quite unclear who can actually pull that feat between Tinubu and Atiku. Now who, between Atiku and Tinubu, stands to gain or lose from the Obi phenomenon? I think the fact that the bulk of Obi’s supporters were hitherto traditionally pro-PDP and could have otherwise been supporting the PDP/Atiku would plausibly mean that Atiku has lost one of his strongholds. However, Atiku’s loss is obviously no gain for APC here. In fact, if the presidential polls go down to the wire and a re-run is required as widely speculated, alliances between Obi and Atiku look more likely than between Obi and Tinubu—for albeit sharing the same region (south) and, to a large extent, religion (Christianity), the Igbos and Yorubas do not see eye to eye politically. The two major southern ethno-linguistic groups still struggle with solving the Olsonian collective action problem, unlike the predominantly Muslim north (see Lewis, 2007). This highlights the ambiguity of Obi’s impact on the candidates of the two major parties (APC and PDP). Based on PPEP, Obi has 17.5% probability of winning the presidential elections in February.

Former Kano state Governor and Minister of Defence, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is also a Hausa/Fulani Muslim contesting on the platform of the NNPP. Kwankwaso’s main strength derives from his influence in Kano—a state with the highest number of voters in the north (over 6 million). Kwankwaso’s populist policies have earned him the support of voters among the peasantry in many northern states. However, Kwankwaso’s political reach outside the north is limited mainly to communities of northern migrant workers resident in a coterie of affluent southern states. Like Obi, Kwankwaso is also of limited ‘political logistics’ and looks set to be to Atiku what Obi is to Tinubu. Falling out with the PDP and its top brasses including Atiku, Kwankwaso broke away to form his NNPP apparently on a personal mission to assert his influence or play the spoiler role for PDP/Atiku as some allege. If the presidential election goes down to the wire, it is more likely for Kwankwaso to ally with Tinubu than with Atiku—especially if Kwankwaso is able to weather the storm of multi-faceted pressure currently directed at him by some northern elites/powerbrokers to drop his ambition. Based on PPEP, Kwankwaso 10.0% probability of winning.

To sum up, it is obvious that the emergence of two increasingly popular third-party candidates in Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso have, to an extent, altered what would traditionally have been a two-horse race between two major Nigeria’s political parties—the APC (Tinubu) and PDP (Atiku). However, when the evidence are considered, none of the two third-party candidates has the real potentials to win the presidential contest—although they now look set to, unprecedentedly, have a significant, even indispensable, role to play in who eventually wins the ticket. Other important factors/variables that can influence the outcome of the presidential election pertain to recent amendments in the electoral act especially regarding the use of the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation (BMA) system, and electronic transmission of results from the polling units to the collection centre in real time. Also, depending on dynamics related to the actions, inactions and utterances of political actors, we can expect alignment and re-alignment of forces in both predictable and unpredictable directions going forward. But, in the final analysis, and for now—because time is of the essence in politics—the odds seem to slightly favour the PDP presidential candidate—Atiku Abubakar.

Politics

2023: Media expert counsels politicians, journalists against heating up polity

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Isa Nasidi

 

 

A media expert, Mr Isa Nasidi has counsel politicians and journalists against overheating the polity, but instead promote peaceful conduct and civility in their engagements.

Nasidi made the call on Monday at the unveiling of his three books about legal frameworks for political expressions, media regulation and political campaign strategies and tactics in Kano.

He urged political parties, media houses and political radio actors (Sojojin baka) to do everything possible to sanitize the polity.

“You must stop overheating the polity. You must continue to promote peaceful conduct and civility in political engagements and electioneering. And you must stop your followers from hate speech and attack on personal privacy,” he cautioned.

Nasidi, who is a media and communication consultant and PhD student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, added that the books would help politicians, journalists, activists, and media users both conventional and social media to understand the linkup between media, information and politics.

He said that the books would also help them to grasp how harmful information was circulated and the best mechanism for safe media use, Know the legal frameworks that guide political expression and advertising to avoid trespass.

The media expert further said that the aim of the books was also to promote political information and media literacy, sanitize political expression and promote creativity and professionalism in the production and distribution of political news and advertising.

“The books will help them to master the political communication strategies and tactics used for constructing political news and advertising so as to design attractive and effective media campaigns that would communicate ideas safely and efficiently,” he explained.

Nasidi who called for issue-based campaigns, warns against character assassination.

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Politics

Special Report:2023 And Issues That Shaped The Polity In 2022

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By Ozumi Abdul

Since the Nigeria’s transition to democracy in 1999, when the world black most populous nation retraced her path and signed a new pact with democracy after over 2 decades in the dudgeon of successive military governments from the 1980s, particularly when the then military president, General Muhammadu Buhari (now President Muhammadu Buhari) toppled the then democratically elected government of Shehu Shagari, every election has always come with its peculiar tidal waves of momentary frenzies, issues, narratives and counter narratives, political theatrics and frenetic hysterias.

So far so good, the 2023 general elections has not promised anything different from these eras of our fledgling democratic experiment and voyage, starting from the 4th republic of 1999 till date, as some issues already shaped the polity in the year 2022 preceding the proper election year of 2023; contenders, pretenders, spoilers and deciders are jostling for political positions, political relevance and importance, especially for the coveted seat of presidency as a heir to President Muhammadu Buhari who will by May 29 2023 be vacating the Aso Rock hot seat.

Rhetorics, propagandas, colourful slogans and politicking, smear campaigns, name-calling have all been prevalent in the polity, even though most political pundits and observers have often been ceaselessly expressed their worries about the paucity and sparsity of some really important myriad issues of national worries, such as terrorism, banditry, cultism, IPOB secessionists’ agitation, Yoruba Nation agitation, farmer/herders clashes and the ailing Nigeria’s economy from the major gladiators.

To this end, *Nigerian Tracker* take a look at the issues shaping the polity thus far:

*Electoral Act 2022 Was Assented*

The signing of the Electoral Act 2022 into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, February 25 is considered one of the biggest political events of the outgoing year. This is because the new law is widely considered an improvement on the old one in many respects.

It provides a legal framework that empowers the commission to determine the mode of voting and transmission of results, as well as to review the declaration of election results made under duress.

The new act also empowers INEC to review the declaration of election results where it determines it was not made voluntarily or contrary to the law or guidelines. The review must be done within seven days of the declaration. This is to address the problem of the declaration of results made under duress.

However, INEC’s review is subject to judicial review. Section 65(2) also alters the timelines for the conduct of elections and creates new time frames for political parties to fulfil various requirements and activities concerning the nomination of candidates for elections.

*Tinubu Birthed the ‘Emilokan’ Word Into The Nigerian Political Dictionary*

The Yoruba word “Emilokan” which loosely translate to mean “it’s my turn” was birthed at an exultant, auspicious gathering of the APC party activists in Abeokuta on June 3, 2022, with Tinubu on the campaign trail to garner support from the delegates in the party’s primary.

Democracy Under Threat: Why the Security Risks to Nigeria’s 2023 Elections Must Not Be Overlooked

The obviously emotional Tinubu who felt surcharged politically decided to come out swinging, sharing some unpalatable truths with the audience about his role in the emergence of retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari as President. It was a gathering of his kinsmen; an arena of maximum comfort for him. He threw away all pretensions to decorum and political correctness and went ‘native’. He deployed the best of Yoruba idioms laced with biting sarcasm.

Tinubu did not only want his kith and kin to hear him, he wanted them to feel him from their underbellies with nothing lost in translation. He made revelations after revelations concerning the jostling for positions in APC, going back to its roots in the defunct Alliance for Democracy, and how he made personal sacrifices to help nurture and grow the party to become the juggernaut that it is today. In much the same way as he was instrumental in engineering the ‘o to gee’ (enough is enough) movement that toppled the Saraki political dynasty in Kwara State in the 2019 general elections, ‘emi l’okan’ has become Tinubu’s revolutionary rallying cry in his march towards the seat of power in 2023.

*Tinubu Emerges APC Presidential Flag Bearer*

After weeks of political intrigues and horse trading, the APC presidential primary was held on Saturday, June 9. It was an eventful one that was characterized by top contenders who brought in their A-game. Many of the presidential aspirants resisted attempts to shut them out of the primary through subtle pressure in the form of “screening”, “pruning down” and “consensus”.

The high point of the event was when National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu won the hotly contested ticket after weeks of high-wire intrigues and horse trading. He emerged as the party’s flag bearer, after a keenly contested election with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Transport Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Senate President Ahmed Lawan.

*Heightened Rambunctious Antics Of The Obedient Movement*

“Obidient Movement”, is a term coined from the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate’s name to represent a people that have pledged allegiance to his presidential ambition.

The ‘Obidients’ as they identify themselves are mostly young Nigerians, whose its large pool is mostly from the Igbo speaking South Eastern part of the country. They have been reported to be doing outlandish things to project their man in a way that reminds us all of what is called youthful exuberance. Mostly uncouth, aggressive on the social media platforms to dissenting political views and opinions from their own. For instance, One Abuja lady with twitter handle @jojoNitq reportedly dropped her boyfriend for refusing to see the light in Obi and preferring to remain with the ‘old order’.

Some have argued that the ‘Obidient’ uproar is merely social media braggadocio, while others are of the opinion that the movement has what it takes to rock the boats of the APC and PDP come 2023, and even stands a great chance of unseating the ruling party.

Since the 2015, the presidential election has always been a two-horse race between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Several attempts by well-meaning Nigerians to form a ‘Third Force’ political movement that can wrest power from these two never yielded any positive result.

Even former President Olusegun Obasanjo tried to dislodge the APC and PDP through a Third Force movement in the 2019 general elections but failed. In 2018, Obasanjo, gauging the mood of the nation called for the establishment of a third force, which he called the ‘Coalition for Nigeria’.

This coalition, he believed, would wrest power from the two main political parties. In his ‘special statement’, titled ‘The Way Out: A Clarion Call For Coalition For Nigeria Movement,” he dismissed the ability of both the APC and the PDP, under which he became president and ruled for eight years, to change the fortunes of the country for the better. He also averred that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed Nigerians and urged him to honourably “dismount from the horse. The coalition soon collapsed before the 2019 presidential election and Buhari was elected for another term that ends in 2023. Peter Obi’s entry into the presidential race appears to rekindle the hope of the youths who are avidly in dire need of ‘Third Force’ when he announced his resignation from the PDP and joined the Labour Party (PDP). Obi, had earlier picked the PDP Expression of Interest and Nomination forms, and was planning to run on joint ticket with Atiku Abubakar just like they did in 2019 but, was vehemently resisted by PDP governors who demanded that Atiku must pick one of them as running mate if he clinches the ticket.

Obi’s entrance into the race elicited joy and acclaim from many youths who are already began a nationwide mass movement for his presidential ambition. His loyalists who described him as the authentic ‘Third Force’ said they are declaring support for him as the man with the track record to turn around the fortunes of Nigeria. These youths who tagged themselves as ‘Obidient Nigerians’ have vowed to use the power of their votes to enthrone him as president in 2023. To achieve this, they have been creating mass awareness calling on Nigerians to go get their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) so that they can exercise their civic rights in the 2023 presidential election. Many of them have replaced their social media photographs with that of Obi and the Labour Party logo.
Momodu, who appeared on a current affairs programme ‘Your View’ on TVC, had said Obi could not win the 2023 presidency in a local fringed party like Labour.

When asked if Obi would pull the type of votes Trump did in the US, which nobody thought existed or get many youths to vote for him in the general election, Momodu said it’s impossible. According to him, the first thing Obi would face is to fund the party because the party is not financially buoyant, and Nigerians do not make contributions.

He said, “For me, the two of the best in the PDP were myself and Peter Obi, and he had absconded. I was in Labour; I started my journey from Labour; the first thing Obi will face in Labour is to fund the party because the party does not have money, and Nigerians don’t make contributions.

“After I lost the first ten million, I started shaking because they said they were setting up a structure. You cannot win a presidential election from a fringed local party like Labour. Peter Obi has money, unlike me, but can he spend his hard-earned money on fighting Atiku and Tinubu if he emerges the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Party? He can’t.”

However, in his response to Momodu’s claim, Peter, in a series of tweets on Twitter, said that Obi might not have money and structure, but he has the youths and masses behind him, adding that masses will control the election’s outcome.

He tweeted: “With all due respect Sir, Mr Dele Momodu! Yes, Peter Obi might not have the money and structure! But he has the Youths, The Masses and The People now! The truth is that we, the people, are the structure. We are many, and we are powerful. We are Obi-don’t; we cannot be distracted.

You people don’t understand the hardship and abject poverty that will hit us if Peter Obi doesn’t win. It’s not about the North or South here; it’s about who will save us. The country is crumbling in all sectors, people are dying unnecessarily, and all this rubbish must stop. They intentionally create hardship for the people so that they can easily buy people over to support them in a time like this! Are you people not tired of suffering? Is Nigeria today satisfactory for you? Don’t fall for these same mind games again.

“Please, one more thing, Sir, Mr Dele Momodu, with all the money and structure that other political parties have, where has it taken Nigeria to? We need Pure Change! And Peter Obi is that change! And now a Threat to all of them all! Sorosoke.”

February 2023 would however tell if Peter Obi possesses the political clouts or weights to wrestle power from the ruling APC, or he is mere political wannabe, while the “Obidients” are social media nuisances without decorum.

*PDP Lingering Crisis And The G5 Umpteenth Demand*

Wahala no dey stop. If there is anything close to this Nigeria local parlance axiomatic expression, it is that of the lingering crisis in the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The ‘wahalas’ in the PDP throughout in 2022, especially after the party’s presidential primaries be in succession and layers, that if one thinks a particular layer of the wound is healed, sooner, the party starts nursing another fresh wound from the next layer to the already healed one. If it’s not the PDP’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar against the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, then it’s Wike versus the former Jigawa state governor, Sule Lamido, or the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu or even the former national chairman of the party, Uch Secondus.

In fact, the ‘wahalas’ are back to back, and already handing the party a short end of the stick in the race for the 2023 presidential election because of how widened the cracks in its walls have become.

An unsettled home of course is an easy target for an enemy or enemies from outside to wreck havoc, and this appeared to be one of the All Progressive Congress (APC)’s tactical jigsaw deducing from the London Safaris between its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Wike in October, as well as the G5’s rumoured ongoing discussion with the APC in view of striking agreement, a rumour the APC’s vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima admitted yesterday would be a “game changer” if the party can get Wike to work for it in 2023.

The crisis in the PDP to which had grown into many layers began since Wike lost the party’s presidential primary in June. After he lost the presidential ticket to Atiku – which he and members of his G5 camp believe was because of a decision by Sokoto governor, Aminu Tambuwal to step down late in the race, Wike accused the party of betraying him and breaching its constitution.

Efforts made by the two men to meet, either in person or through emissaries, were either stalled, deadlocked or not entirely fruitful. The meeting of 25 August did not have a different outcome.

In the interim, there seems to be no clear solution about the party’s in-house problems, looking at the last meeting between Atiku and the Wike camp. This is because while demands were made and resolutions were reached at the meeting, one (Atiku) is still making consultations as to how to meet the demands while the other (Wike) appears to be adding fuel to the fire he started as he dances, literally, and basks in the attention he is getting from political suitors.

One of the G5’s demands is that for the purpose of fairness and internal democracy within the party, Ayu should step down as the party’s national chairman, while a Southerner takes up his position since the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar is from the same northern region (North East, Adamawa) as Ayu (North Central, Benue).

This demand endeared Atiku to promise the Wike camp that he “consult and get revert to them”, even though there was no fixed promised date for Atiku to report back to the group, and it is now over two weeks and there appears to be lack of progress regarding that.

With this demand, the Turaki Adamawa is no doubt has been boxed into a political tight corner, that he is in a limbo of how to sort such difficult puzzle as demanded, to have Mr Ayu – one of his loyalists step down.

In what has the semblance of salt in the already swollen wound, is harsh and rash exchange of words between Ayu and Wike.

In the past months, Nigerians have been needled with the duo’s argument over who is more mature or who is guilty or who uses vocabulary better, among others.

After Wike’s meeting with Atiku, the call by his supporters for Ayu’s resignation did not cease, as a way to broker peace in the party, and in a terse response, Mr Ayu dismissed the people asking him to step down as “children”, maintaining that he was elected for a tenure of four years and had not even completed one.

“I co-founded the PDP in Nigeria and some boys who don’t know how we struggled and what we went through can’t cause problems for the party. When we started the PDP, we did not know those boys, they are children, they don’t know why we founded the party. We will not agree with one person to come and destroy our party,” Ayu said.

Typical of Wike, many Nigerians knew this reply would be responded to and it took him less than 24 hours to prove them right.

In Wike’s response, he called the chairman arrogant and an ingrate. He said the people Mr Ayu had called ‘children’, brought him from nothing and placed him in the position he currently occupies.

“Somebody said those of you who said the right thing must be done are boys; they are children…You can imagine how ingratitude…how people can be ingrates…Dr Ayu said we are children. Yes, the children brought you to be chairman of the party, the children brought you from the gutter to make you chairman. You were impeached and sacked. Arrogance cannot take you anywhere.”

Mr Wike also challenged the PDP chairman to prove himself as a man of honour and fulfil his promise to step down should the northern region produce the presidential candidate.

Although Mr Ayu has said he will no longer comment or respond to Mr Wike, the existing feud between the two men is also being felt by the presidential candidate who, obviously, needs both men – everybody – on board as parties gear up for campaigns.

How Atiku intends to appeal to an already angry Mr Ayu and at the same time, appeal to Mr Wike is a puzzle many Nigerians wait to see how it is solved, as time is fast running out to right all the wrongs in the party if they really want to stage a serious fight to unseat the ruling APC.

*Senator Adamu’s Emergence As APC National Chairman*

Another major political events of the year is the emergence of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He emerged at the party’s national convention held at the Eagle Square in Abuja, the nation’s capital, on Saturday, March 26, about a year and nine months after the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) was dissolved.

Adamu, who was a serving member of the Senate representing Nasarawa West then, is President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice for the job. He was returned unopposed. He had gone into the election as the consensus candidate, following the withdrawal of his co-contenders from the contest.
He took over from Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni who had served in an interim capacity. Buni’s headship of the party had generated mixed reactions within the party and beyond.

*Tinubu Emerges APC Presidential Flag Bearer*

After weeks of political intrigues and horse trading, the APC presidential primary was held on Saturday, June 9. It was an eventful one that was characterized by top contenders who brought in their A-game. Many of the presidential aspirants resisted attempts to shut them out of the primary through subtle pressure in the form of “screening”, “pruning down” and “consensus”.

The high point of the event was when National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu won the hotly contested ticket after weeks of high-wire intrigues and horse trading. He emerged as the party’s flag bearer, after a keenly contested election with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Transport Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Senate President Ahmed Lawan.

*Biodun Oyebanji Won Ekiti Governorship Election*

The Ekiti State governorship election was held on June 18. Biodun Oyebanji, the anointed candidate of former Governor Kayode Fayemi won the election. Oyebanji who contested on the platform of the APC secured 187,057 votes to defeat his closest challengers, Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who polled 82,211, and Bisi Kolawole of the PDP who scored 67, 457 votes.

*Adeleke Won Osun Guber Election*

After losing out in 2019, Adeleke Ademola won the Osun gubernatorial election.
The Osun governorship election was held on July 16 in the 30 local government areas of the state. The chief returning officer, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, declared the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke the winner of the election in the early hours of Sunday, July 17.

He won in 17 of the 30 local government areas, while former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola won triumphed in the remaining 13 local governments. Adeleke garnered 389,984 votes in the overall results from local governments, while Oyetola who ran on the platform of the APC polled 360,500.

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Analysis:2023,Why Bola Tinubu May Not Win Kano

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2023 Presidential candidates

 

From our Political Desk

 

With the commitment of President Muhammad Buhari to conduct a free and fair election on 25th February this year ,and with Kano as one of the swing states,The APC presidential candidate may have a hard nut to crack before getting the required 25 percent.

There are many factors that will not favour Nigeria’s ruling party candidate in having an easy ride to the Presidency with Kano’s large chunk of votes being courted by many Presidential candidates.

The factors that may work against the APC candidate are as follows.

Kwankwaso factor

With former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso in the presidential race for 2023 under the NNPP banner and with his cult following in Kano,millions of voters have decided to go for him on February 25 barring any last minute change.

Kwankwaso is regarded as grassroot politician who call the ace in Kano grass root politics ,the youth in Kano and there parents are also after his candidature, in 2019 with unless with the inconclusive arrangement his anointed Governorship candidate was ahead of Governor Ganduje .

The Buhari Factor

Political analysts are of the belief that ,its the first time in 20 years when President Muhammad Buhari will not be in the ballot,since 2003 general elections President Muhammad Buhari has never lost Kano state .

Therefore apart from Kwankwaso who is expected to get a lion share of the state’s votes, other Presidential candidates including Asiwaju Bola Ahmad Tinubu,Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi have to work hard and lure the electorates before campaign closes on February 23 this year.

Ganduje Factor

Another odd that is expected to work against Bola Ahmad Tinubu’s Presidential Election in Kano is the lack of popularity of the state Governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje,since the return to Democracy in 1999 the Governor is not as popular as his predecessors like Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Malam Ibrahim Shekarau,the duo of Shekarau and Kwankwaso pull much political weight than Governor Ganduje,therefore his political structure is not enough to make the APC Presidential candidate have an easy sail.

Undecided Voters

With President Muhammad Buhari preparing to hand over the baton of leadership to his successor on May 29,there are millions of unserious and undecided Voters in Kano,to those millions of Voters there political Ayatullah will not participate,therefore its a moment of vacation,there dream have been fulfilled of because President Buhari has held sway for 8 years.

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