By Dr Paul John,firstname.lastname@example.org,08083658038
I will start by specially thanking the Turaki Adamawa for giving a detailed reason for his resignation from APC. We, the political observers, were not surprised since we knew it would happen someday. Since Nigerian Independence, the only citizen from the northeast that has come closer to Nigeria’s number one seat was late Alhaji Abubarkar Tafawa Balewa. He was painfully killed in the coup of January 15th, 1966 and since then nobody from that geopolitical zone has occupied that seat. That is too bad a story for 57 years of Nigeria’s existence after independence. Although zoning of the presidency is not recognised by Nigeria’s constitution, however, s13 (3) clearly states that : The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.
Northwest has ruled Nigeria more than any other geopolitical region of this country. From independence till date Nigeria has had 15 citizens occupying the number one seat as follows:
- Sir Abubarkar Tafawa Balewa, October 1st,1960-January 15th,1966( Northeast)
- General Aguiyi Ironsi, January 15th,1966-July 29th,1966( Southeast)
- General Yakubu Gowon, July 29th,1966 – July 29th 1975 ( North central)
- General Murtala Ramat Mohammed, July 29th ,1975-February 13th,1976 (Northwest)
- General Olusegun Obasanjo, February 13th,1976-October 1st,1979( Southwest)
- Alhaji Shegu Shagari October, 1st,1979-December 31st,1983(Northwest)
- General Muhammadu Buhari, December 31st,1983-August 27th,1985 (Northwest)
- General Ibrahim B. Babangida, August 27th,1985-August 26th ,1993 ( Northwest)
- Chief Ernest Shonekan, August 26th,1993- November 17th,1993 (Southwest)
- General Sani Abacha, November 17th,1993-June 8th,1998 (Northwest)
- General Abdulsalam Abubarkar, June 8th,1998- May 29th,1999 (Northwest)
- Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, May 29th,1999-May 29th,2007 (Southwest)
- Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua, May 29th,2007- May 5th,2010 (Northwest)
- Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, May 5th,2010-May 29th,2015 ( Southsouth)
- Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari, May 29th,2015 till date (Northwest)
Against this backdrop, it is clear that out of the 15 Nigerian leaders, Northwest has taken 8 shots at the number one seat; Southwest has taken 3 shots; and the remaining four geopolitical zones of the country have individually had one shot at the presidency. It is no more news that the major political parties have zoned the presidency to the north, if northwest produces the next presidency that means that northeast and north-central are marginalised and not considered in political calculations in the north. Considering the level of terrorism in the Northeast, I think this is the time for somebody from that part of the country to mount the number one seat of the country because he who wears the shoe knows where it pinches him. The militancy in the South-south was at the lowest ebb when Jonathan occupied the number one seat at least he was able to address the agitations in the region and not sending in soldiers to maim and kill the militants.
Also, Igbo vice presidency at this time will go a long way to assuage the belief that Igbos are marginalised .Any political party that fields a presidential candidate from the northeast and vice presidential candidate from the southeast will garner the highest vote in 2019. Northeast and north-central will vote massively for any north-eastern presidential candidate while Southeast and south-south will vote massively because of the south-eastern vice presidential candidate. That means votes of the four out of six geopolitical zones have been secured; then the votes from the southwest and northwest will be divided. Some people in the Northwest and Southwest are not happy with the current administration’s vindictive handling of certain cases;non-obedience to court orders as seen in Nnamdi Kanu and Sambo Dasuki’s cases will of course work against the ruling party in 2019.
Rushing down to the court to declare IPOB as terrorist group while Fulani herdsmen are on the rampage, sacking villages, killing and maiming unabatedly, will of course work against this administration in 2019 polls. The same way a court convicted late Nelson Mandela and other freedom fighters in South Africa is exactly the same way our court has labelled IPOB agitators as terrorists under the watch and supervision of this current administration .No administration has polarised the citizens more than this current administration, at least it is in this administration that Igbos in the north were issued quit notice and no arrest was made but if a similar quit notice was made from the southeast or south-south it would be described as ‘red-line’ by Mr president. Increasing the petrol pump price of PMS will of course work against this ruling party, same with their trial-and-error economic policy, which has grounded a lot of companies and retrenched many Nigerians citizens from many multinational companies. Branding Nigerians as corrupt people before international community, when it is the system and not the people that are corrupt, will of course work against this current administration in 2019. Allowing the wife of Mr President to call the Ekiti state governor, who represents the good people of Ekiti state, an unchained mad dog , will of course work against the ruling party. Not appointing more women and young people by the ruling party will work against the ruling party come 2019. The selectivity of the so-called anti-corruption is proverbial and many Nigerians are now aware that APC Is now a safe haven for corrupt politicians .
The people should not be afraid of 2019, if they like let them send all the military tanks to the voting centres, our votes must count.The outcomes of gubernatorial elections in Southern Ijaw,Bayelsa state and Anambra state will assure Nigerians that voice of the people is voice of God( vox populum vox dei) . I enjoin everybody to get voter’s cards today. Time has come when we shall be politically conscious. The professors and members of the academia, who use the day of presidential election as the day for studies and research, should know that your salaries and all ASUU and ASUP demands are dependent on the outcome of the presidential election. Nigerians do not know that the price of one cup of garri in the market is dependent on what transpires on the day of presidential election. Nobody is against the so-called fight for corruption but there is no way you can violate somebody’s fundamental human rights on the guise of fighting corruption. To me, there is no corruption that is bigger than electoral fraud; using instruments of the state against political opponents or refusing to obey court orders in order to pursue personal vendetta. Is there any corruption that is bigger than refusing to pay workers their salaries at month end or deceiving Nigerians that the economic hardship we are currently experiencing is caused by the past administration?