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#Project-2023: APC Northern governors and nation building

By Martins Oloja
12 June 2022   |   3:14 am
The oracle, yes, the teacher is saying to me, “everything is meaningless.”I am beginning to see some sense in what the Son of David says when he asks rhetorically

…Just as the Ecclesiastes declares: “everything is becoming ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!” The King James version in my head says all one can see around is “vanity upon vanity!” A new version says, politics and politicking for a new Nigeria many desire will be “utterly meaningless.”

The oracle, yes, the teacher is saying to me, “everything is meaningless.”I am beginning to see some sense in what the Son of David says when he asks rhetorically: what do people gain from all their labours under the sun in Africa’s most populous nation? I am learning from the teacher that “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.” I am beginning to learn that the generation of politicians that has been ruling Nigeria since 1991-3 political concoction may still be in charge from 2023. I ask why this setback, sorry, recycling. I am told by Ecclesiastes: “The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises…

The political wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course…all streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full…To the place the streams come from, there they return again…” I ask again what these auguries mean. I am told: “All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.

What I am seeing in the crystal ball before me is making me to ask these questions: despite all our strong editorials nurtured by robust investigative reports on political corruption and what the ruling party, the APC has made of Nigeria they took majestically from the PDP in 2015, can we get purpose driven and dynamic Movements like the #EndSARS-2020 that can prevent either the PDP or APC from forming the next Government in Nigeria? In other words, can we ever find men and women who would have bigger chests than Atiku and Tinubu for #Project-2023? I mean, the next President of Nigeria is quite likely to emerge from either the APC or the PDP. Is there any likelihood that the APC will not field Tinubu? And if the CPC wing of the APC dribbles Tinubu out of the race, will anyone else be strong enough to stop power from remaining in the North in 2023? All told, who is strong enough in PDP to stop the artful politician from Jada, Atiku who was the father to the president’s son when he took a wife from Kano the other day? Where is the robust coalition from the South that can stop power from being retained in the North in 2023…?

(This is an excerpt from this column titled, “#Project-2023: Who Can Stop Atiku Or Tinubu?” Inside Stuff With Martins Oloja, Sunday, April 10, 2022, Back Page.

THE internal-democracy of the two major political parties (APC and PDP) battle has been fought, lost and won by the two major political titans as predicted by oracle behind Inside Stuff. The two juggernauts will slug it out in February next year and if Peter Obi remains the flag bearer of the Labour Party too, that may be another surprise tower of strength from the Office of the Citizen that may threaten foundations of the members of the old set-up, Atiku and Tinubu next year. How do I claim that? The Guardian yesterday (Saturday, June 11 lead story: #2023 Presidency Sparks Rush in Voter Registration, is a pointer. That is an *early warning signal# that the young and the hitherto-complacent citizens are now bracing up to recognise the expediency of participation in public and political affairs. They have just come to themselves remarkably that the power that gives mandates is in the permanent voter cards (PVCs) that they can use to trigger change they earnestly desire. And so the prominent ones on the platforms of the two political parties should not ignore the significant rise and rise of angry and revolutionary political movements that are bent on overthrowing members of the old set-up who to most citizens are not inspiring hope of a better tomorrow, which Ngugi wa Thiong’o says is the only comfort you can give to a weeping child. 

The young ones are now tagging political parties’ flag bearers as ‘the good, the bad and the ugly.’ It is good to note that voter education is becoming more meaningful to our people. 

Significance Of APC Northern Governors’ Intervention 
A LOT of plaudits have been gone to some political actors who contributed to the victory of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Eagle Square last Wednesday.  There have been revelations on the consistency of the First Lady, Aisha Buhari who clapped uncontrollably when Governor Kayode Fayemi stepped down for Asiwaju Tinubu. Confirmed reports said the First Lady was somewhat instrumental in the ‘politricking’ that defeated the plots, shenanigans and peccadillos of a cabal that wanted to impose a candidate of northern extraction on the governing Party. The First Lady once blasted the same cabal that prevented her husband from rewarding the faces that were seen around him when they were campaigning seriously in 2014/2015 to defeat the then ruling party, PDP. 
But then as we brace up for the election in February 2023, let’s deconstruct the role of the G-12 members (of the APC Northern Governors) who took the party back from our President, who is generally believed to be the world’s most enthusiastic believer in consensus arrangement even in electing a president. He was an aficionado of consensus in the defunct ANPP. He was an apostle of consensus in the defunct CPC. He brought one-man consensus mechanism to even the APC when he one day went to the Headquarters without any statement, announced the sack of elected Adams Oshiomhole and his NWC and NEC, announced installation of an interim governance system that lasted almost two years. The same President exploited the stratagem of consensus to impose a Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, who curiously announced a strange consensus presidential candidate for the APC a day to the convention last week. So, there is a sense in which one can claim here that the G-12 Governors’ insistence on zoning of the presidency (2023-2027) to the South should be seen for what it is: a master stroke that has threatened to safe Nigeria from the brink that John Campbell, a former U.S envoy to Nigeria wrote a book about in 2010. 

Doubtless, our President has in seven years pushed the nation to the brink by what most people have seen as mismanagement of the country’s diversity and fault lines – religion and ethnicity, which June 12 election outcome had also threatened to fine-tune before the then soldiers of fortune in power, sorry the ‘militricians’ struck and dragged us further into darkness they contrived in 1966 when they intervened in Nigeria’s politics. Evidence of deep divisions in the polity is at the moment staring us in the face. One of the presidential candidates, Asiwaju Tinubu is facing a ticklish dilemma that can make or mar his campaign so far – choosing a running mate. That should not have been a political challenge from the array of qualified political figures in the North. But the nightmare is: should he try a Muslim-Muslim ticket with Atiku’s Muslim-Christian ticket in a remarkably divided country along ethnic and religious lines? If the outgoing president had deftly managed our diversity in a way that all citizens from different religious and ethnic backgrounds have felt protected, this would not have arisen as the organic “Hope 93” of MKO Abiola paraded a Muslim-Muslim ticket that wasn’t protested then because there was a country we then believed in. The 1993 ticket transparently defeated even the Abiola’s opponent, Bashir Tofa in his Kano electoral ward. It is today a sad commentary on Buhari’s Nigeria that a contemplation of Muslim-Muslim ticket, or Christian-Christian ticket has become a political bugbear, a fearful proposition. That is a clear indication that the main priority before any leader of Nigeria today is ‘Nation Building.’ At a meeting organised inside the presidential Villa, Abuja by a senior presidency official to bounce issues off select media executives on Saturday, March 20, 2021 (yours sincerely was there), a major deliverable to the president’s men was a talking point by Comrade Kayode Komolafe (KK) – the expediency of ‘Nation Building,’ which they took very seriously given the state of the nation and widespread perception that our president had given all the strategic jobs from Nigeria to even the United Nations to all his people. That too hasn’t been helped by what is generally believed by most citizens from the South that the president’s action has been protecting so many criminal gangs linked to his tribe and religion. 

In other words, what the G-12 APC Governors did last week was to take back our country from a cabal through a bold political process that has made the president a certified lame duck. Or so it seems. I wish I had a time here to write on a member of the G-12, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who can be generally regarded as quintessence of loyalty from Kwankwaso to Asiwaju Tinubu. Even in good and bad times with his principal Kwankwaso (1999-2003; 2011-2019) as Deputy Governor he remained stubbornly loyal and his loyalty to Asiwaju Tinubu even to the point of possible death in politics has also shown the Governor of Kano State as a politician whose politics can’t be tested anymore. So, the power of courage of conviction, loyalty and consistency even in politics should be a big lesson to our politicians in the South who always appear wobbly when loyalty counts.

Finally, the Governors of the ruling APC should be consistent in ensuring that #Project-2023 presidential politics remains a platform to assure the Office of the Citizen in Nigeria that the country belongs to all of us irrespective of tribe and religion. That is how to complete the nation-building process they began last week when they pulled down a presidential stronghold and a cabal that was bent on destroying a rickety bridge that has held us together. May their loyalty to the nation never be tested again!