By Modibbo Sadique
Until very recently, the discussion around the crass impunity placed by Nigeria’s most widely known cabals in the villa who almost everyone believes that they control the government through manipulation every action that the president takes, people were not aware of the cabal’s strategic plan to install Buhari’s successor in 2023.
We have heard the permutation on Babagana Kingibe as the cabal’s choice and later the insinuation on Abba Kyari as Buhari’s successor begins to unfold. Hitherto, members of the almighty cabals are still shopping for more options, one of them is Ahmed Lawal/Kayode Fayemi joint ticket in case the Abba Kyari or Babagana Kingibe’s ticket cannot be a viable selection.
It was as a result of fear of the unknown that they begin to think of proposing a third term for President Muhammadu Buhari so that they can continue to reap the dividend of democracy from their comfort zone. This assertion might be the reason for dealing severely with all prospective aspirants who can be turbulent object in their path of making another president after General Buhari.
It is glaring that the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has been put on the parking lot since last year due to his potentiality to step into the shoes of his principal, the star boy has lost his fame already through the handy work of the cabals.
Now in the agenda would be the Jagaban, the national leader of the APC who naturally assumed the role of a successor to President Buhari for a reason best known to him and probably the president himself.
Another point is the body language of Speaker of the House of Representative, pointing an indirect expression of interest for the presidency come 2023 in case his political boss Bola Tinubu would encounter trouble in trying to push himself, Femi Gbajabiamila is playing a plan B role for Tinubu to once again be kingmaker and not the king.
Kaduna state governor Nasir El’rufa’I is fast becoming the national noisemaker, losing direction daily for being ambitious to clinch the APC’s ticket, his recent statement supporting the power rotation has further confused his promoters on whether he is gunning for president or the vice president?
In consideration of the current socio-economic hardship in the country and with “I don’t care attitude of Mr President” the chances of the ruling party (APC) retaining power beyond 2023 is getting slimmer every day, people are dropping from the next level train almost every hour, as such the opposition PDP retains the possibility while APC’s hopes shrink.
I am wearing glasses and sipping my tea, looking the stars shining all over the sky and assuming what mechanism can APC deploy to win the presidential election in 2023? Personally I can foresee the Kano rerun or Kogi election strategy as their only way out to victory if at all they must retain power, but in a free and fair election even under a Chairman of an electoral umpire worse than Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, APC would get its shocker at the polls no matter who the candidate is.
On the other side, PDP as the main opposition party was seen like someone’s property, if not for the disclaimer from its BoT chairman Alhaji Walid Jibrin, who openly sought for a level playing ground for all potential candidates, this puts a fraction of the party at loggerheads with the other because the 2019 Atiku/Obi ticket had clearly won election and was allegedly denied victory by INEC and the judiciary.
Be that as it may, Atiku has the cloud in terms of resources, national outlook and international connection to take over the presidency, but the other natural forces against him might be out of control before the election year.
Atiku as an elder statesman should by 2023 join the likes of General Aliyu Muhammad Gusau, who despite massive influence and an excellent understanding of Nigeria’s power corridor decided to play a fatherly role in the political space and not an actor any longer.
We can all vividly recall when General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida renewed his energy in 2011 contested for the presidency, the political leaders unanimously advised him to step down for Atiku, till then, IBB had never again shown interest to stage a comeback to the villa, he remains at his hilltop mansion in Minna, playing the role of a guardian to every politician who needed his mentorship.
One thing that may remain the same between 2019 and 2023, is that the list of aspirants would resurface for the People’s Democratic Party with probably an addition of Rivers State Governor Nweson Wike.
But others who aspired in 2019 such as former Kano state governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, former Senate President Bukola Saraki, Tanimu Turaki and Hakeem Baba Ahmad would likely rejoin the race for 2023.
Wait, to some extent, I don’t care about who becomes Nigeria’s next president, we have tried people with high hopes and they woefully failed us, I am not a partisan politician who could just follow what his party presented, but I agree we would need a paradigm shift, probably trying and trusting some category of people even as they are in our least of expectations for us to prove our mindset wrong.
So let me dwell into PDP as our next platform, what is needed for the party is not really a long list of aspirants but a serious consensus on a candidate with a spread of contact within the country even if he lacks the required resources.
The party shall present a candidate with good name that has no cavity to the public glare, preferably someone who is covered with constitutional immunity throughout the campaigns and elections period, i.e. a sitting governor or deputy governor.
Looking at the aforementioned criteria, PDP among many of its options has only one candidate that fits into the template and can be marketable within no time to avoid the stress of easy blackmail from the ruling party and that is the current Sokoto State, Governor Barr. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, whom I have never met in person, but for me, he remains the only viable option as a presidential material come 2023.
His network and popularity as former Speaker of the House of Representatives spreads across all local governments in the 36 states and the federal capital territory, his age is certainly what is required for a dwindling nation like Nigeria and his level of exposure is moderate for governing a traditionally sophisticated country, we have tried the old ages, lets now try those with the exuberance.
Modibbo Sadique, writes from Abuja.