For over three weeks, Nigerians waited with bated breath (Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice”), suspended animation and cryogenics as to who can be the presidential candidate of the PDP. The APC’s presidential candidate, sitting President Muhammadu Buhari, had been recognized for over six months.
I had predicated way back, even earlier than he indicated curiosity, that nobody within the APC would dare contest towards him. It was merely inconceivable that mere mortals would dare contest towards their sacred deity, nay, their “sinless” and “stainless” god, at whose altar they worship and supply sacrifices, atonement and oblation. His cult-like followership conceives him because the lamb of God who taketh away the sins of Nigeria. They argue that he’s imbued with a redemptive messianism. Buhari’s social gathering, the APC, as presently constituted, is a fierce, ruthless amalgam of unusual bedfellows, ensconced in a cabalistic coven that broods no opposition, dissent or plurality of opinions. Any perceived disagreement by a member is handled as excessive treason towards the bacchanalian gods and patriarchs of the social gathering that have to be ruthlessly squashed and vanquished.
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Turning Ambode to no one
When Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State took the weird detour of difficult his godfather and benefactor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, it was merely the hubris and swagger of a person stupidly wrestling together with his private chi. I knew what the result can be, and I stated so loudly. I knew that the Jagaban would scale back Ambode from “somebody” to “nobody.” Tinubu had been bitten twice, in Ondo (Akeredolu’s emergence towards his will and choice for Olusegun Abraham) and in Lagos (Fashola’s three-ministries-in-one cache, simply to humiliate him). He knew that no examined common masses the gun, cocks and lowers it with out capturing, simply due to genuflections and pleas by events. Such a basic would have displayed his Achilles Heel, and his opponents would pierce it with éclat and flourish.
So, Tinubu detonated the “Ogbunigwe” bomb towards Ambode, in an election by which Ambode stood no probability in any respect (by no means thoughts his later “gra gra”, swashbuckling and chivalrous grandstanding). However his name-calling of Jide Sanwo-Olu as a pretend greenback fraudster and psychiatric affected person who went by way of rehabilitation, little-known Sanwo-Olu scored 970,851 humongous votes to silence Ambode’s miserly 72,901. The very APC NWC panel that had been despatched from Abuja to supervise the election, cried blue homicide. Former Cross River State governor, Clement Ebri (a gentleman par excellence), who headed the castrated panel, sulked and actually wept. He cried foul, arguing that the very poll papers and membership slips, which have been to be used for the election, had not even been distributed. However, the APC Lagos State chairman, Tunde Balogun, demurred. He urged Lagosians to go and vote with solely APC membership ID playing cards, a step Ambode had kicked towards, as he argued it will disenfranchise his teeming supporters. In politics, something goes. Truthful is foul and foul is truthful (witches in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, Act 1, scene 1).
Ebri had nonetheless gone forward and invalidated the first, as he posited the NWC by no means authorised the train. He stated it violated laid down modalities, together with the delivering of the record of officers that would supervise the election. What gentleman Ebri didn’t reckon with was that the struggle was properly past him. It was soiled “roforofo” struggle for the soul, coronary heart, pulse and, extra importantly, purse of Lagos State, the richest state in Nigeria; a state whose month-to-month IGR alone is sufficient to cater for the complete annual finances of another states.
It was a battle for energy, affect and, extra considerably, relevance in 2019. So, Ebri was crippled sufficient to eat his phrases, chew the standard pie, and later cajoled to personally declare Sanwo-Olu the winner of the controversial election. The APC management had made it clear to him he was despatched to Lagos to merely “supervise” and never to “organise” the governorship main election. Such is Nigerian politics, sorry, politricks. Such is the intoxicating impact of energy, a stimulant and aphrodisiac (Henry Kissinger). With energy, you possibly can entry low cost cash, fame, wealth and extra energy.
X-raying the APC and PDP primaries
Rewind to Atiku and Buhari. Let’s first inquire into the mode of emergence of Buhari and Atiku as presidential candidates of the APC and PDP, respectfully. The former’s main was vulgar, outrageous, ugly. It insulted the sensibilities and vanity of Nigerians. Buhari, the only candidate, towards whom no critical individual dared contest, allegedly polled 14.eight million votes to emerge the candidate. Even Aisha, his spouse, has since pooh-poohed the APC main, describing it in very robust phrases as “unfair and lacking in integrity.”
Aisha, who in 2016 had cried out a few highly effective cabal holding her husband hostage, and, in 2017, describing the abysmal lack of well being amenities within the Aso Villa Clinic questioned how “such impunity could take place under his (APC chairman’s) watch.” She instantly dissociated herself from “such unfairness, be neutral and speak for the voiceless.” Aisha ought to know higher, even when PMB merely regards her as the lady “in za oza (in the other) room.”
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This isn’t all. A coalition of 5 different APC presidential aspirants has additionally decried Buhari’s victory. Nigerians have been gasping for breath to decipher how Buhari might have single-handedly harvested a bumper 14,842,072 votes at an APC main alone, which was merely affirmed by solely 7,000 delegates at Eagle Sq., Abuja. Nigerians are questioning how Buhari polled a colossal 2,931,235 votes from solely 484 wards of the 44 LGAs of Kano State alone. Governor Ganduje of Kano State had advised a bewildered nation that Kano State, which had posted just one.9 million votes for Buhari barely three years in the past, now out of the blue has three,720,000 registered voters, out of which Buhari alone garnered a galactic 2,931,235 votes in an uncontested main! Nigerians marvel how a million voters might have emerged abruptly in solely three years. Nigerians are scratching their heads as a result of, in 2015, your complete votes Buhari scored within the nationwide election have been 15,424,921 (53.95 per cent). And three years later, he’s getting from solely his social gathering humongous votes which are a mere 582,849 lower than his 2015 nationwide haul? Many Nigerians are contending that the rigging of the 2019 election has truly commenced and is being fast-tracked.
Allow us to now go to the primary bowl of the Adokie Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt. At a keenly contested election, whose transparency, integrity, freeness and equity have been extensively applauded, even by PDP critics, Atiku garnered 1,532 votes to mud his challengers – Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State (693); Senate President Bukola Saraki (317); former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso (158); former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido (96). The former Minister of Particular Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Kabiru Turaki, SAN, polled 65 votes, Ahmed Makarfi, former caretaker chairman of PDP (74 votes); former Sokoto State Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa (48 votes), former Senate President David Mark (35 votes); former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang (19 votes); and Dr. Datti Ahmed (5 votes). The main was intense, partaking, and had all the trimmings of a serious election. All aspirants had criss-crossed the size and breadth of Nigeria, pleading for votes. It’s usually believed that the winner, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa, is the most effective candidate to problem Buhari’s three years of lackluster efficiency, unfulfilled guarantees, financial stagnation, goodwill mismanagement, enthronement of extra insecurity and worry (Boko Hurt and the day by day orgy by herdsmen throughout Nigeria), and the geometrical escalation of corruption (second most corrupt nation in West Africa and 148th least corrupt nation on the planet, courtesy 2017 Transparency Worldwide Corruption Notion Index).
Nigerians thus yearn for a candidate that may boldly and courageously interrogate Buhari’s opaque credentials as to why, underneath his very watch, Nigeria has overtaken India because the world’s poverty capital (Brookings Establishment report), when in precise reality he met a Nigeria that was the most important financial system in Africa (over $500 billion, rebased financial system, having overtaken South Africa). At this time, Nigeria, with a inhabitants of barely 200 million individuals, has crushed India, with a staggering inhabitants of 1.324 billion individuals, as a the poverty capital of the world, with the very best variety of extraordinarily poor individuals. The quantity of poor individuals will increase by six individuals per minute. Nigerians seem uninterested in the worn-out sing-song mantra about so-called integrity, alleged struggle towards corruption and a simulated false defeat of nonetheless very potent Boko Haram. They’ve since realised that these are mere propaganda stunts, having heard it time and again, for over three years, like a caught document. They behold their lives taking place the drain of wretchedness, in strangulating and asphyxiating financial quagmire.
The nationwide euphoria about Atiku shouldn’t be with out basis. In 2015, Nigerians had queued up behind Buhari, anticipating a momentous and apocalyptic rebirth, financial ressurgimento and earth-shaking lifestyle, with their welfare and safety firmly protected greater than ever earlier than. They argued then, upon Buhari’s alleged lack of educational qualification (mere WAEC certificates) being questioned, that they have been prepared and prepared to vote for Buhari, even with an Agege bread paper or NEPA invoice. Such was the nationwide inebriation and political insobriety that when he gained the presidential election, a Nigerian trekked all the best way from Lagos to Abuja in celebration; whereas one other rode a bicycle from Kaduna to Abuja. However, they’ve all since been tremendously disenchanted. Buhari has since displayed unbelievable cluelessness and complete lack of capability to govern and navigate the myriads of issues besetting Nigeria. He has even elevated them, main to mass hopelessness, haplessness, melancholy, dejection, destitution, insecurity, extra corruption (now wholly privatized), abject penury and gnashing of tooth. By no means earlier than, because the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates to discovered the contraption referred to as Nigeria, has there been a lot divisiveness, hatred, nepotism, clannishness, ethnocentrism, cronyism, fascism, favouritism and mediocrity in authorities. It’s, subsequently, clear that Nigerians yearn for a change – a real change to change the change.
Those that had sworn that the PDP aspirants would come out tearing the umbrella aside have been shocked on the spirit of camaraderie, conviviality and concession of defeat by losers. Atiku strolled in, thrown up by future. He would, like Buhari, be having his fourth shot on the Nigerian presidency. However, can he win? Can he defeat Buhari, with the facility of incumbency? Sure, Atiku can. And he’ll. Very simply. Right here is why.
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Subsequent week: How Atiku can beat Buhari.
Ideas for the week
“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire teammates and customers.”
(Robin S. Sharma)
“Every man, every woman who has to take up the service of government must ask themselves two questions: ‘Do I love my people in order to serve them better? Am I humble and do I listen to everybody, to diverse opinions in order to choose the best path?’ If you don’t ask those questions, your governance will not be good.”