The handwriting on the wall shows that Northern Nigerian politicians are plotting to hold on to power come 2023. From all indications, the North is not ready to relinquish power as against the unwritten principle of power rotation that has played out since 1999. THE NORTH BELIEVES THEY ARE PREORDAINED TO RULE NIGERIA. The political
The handwriting on the wall shows that Northern Nigerian politicians are plotting to hold on to power come 2023. From all indications, the North is not ready to relinquish power as against the unwritten principle of power rotation that has played out since 1999.
THE NORTH BELIEVES THEY ARE PREORDAINED TO RULE NIGERIA.
The political class from North believes it is their manifold destiny to rule Nigeria. They believe the rulership of Nigeria is their divine rights. The northerners are cocksure that the right to rule Nigeria perpetually is their exclusive preserve. For about 20 years (1979-1999), all of the country’s Head of State — except Ernest Shonekan that was the Head of the Interim National Government that lasted for less than three months — were from the North.
Here is the breakdown of the how power changed hands in Nigeria for the 20 years period (1979-1999):
Alhaji Shehu Shagari (1979-1983); General Muhammadu Buhari (1983-1985); General Ibrahim Babangida (1985-1993); Chief Ernest Shonekan — a Southerner (only 82 days); General Sanni Abacha (1993-1998) and General Abdusalam Abubakar (1998-1999).
In fact, in the sixty-two years history of Nigeria as an independent country, the North has been in power for forty-two years while the South has only been in power for twenty-two years.
The nation’s political structure is skewed in favour of the North, making the region to have the advantage of political hegemony. The North has 19 states against the South’s 17. The North also has more local government areas and seats at both houses in the National Assembly. In the present political structure, a Northerner can tentatively become president by gathering large votes in the North and securing sufficient votes in just one of the three geopolitical zones in the South. Whereas, no candidate from any part of the South can become president without securing large number of votes from the North — a herculean task at best. Thus, the polity is designed by previous Northern elites to keep the Southern part of the country perpetually tied to its apron string. Southern politicians unfortunately are non the wiser.
THE NORTH WILL NOT VOTE FOR A SOUTHERN CANDIDATE WHEN PRESENTED WITH AN ALTERNATIVE NORTHERN CANDIDATE IRRESPECTIVE OF PARTY AFFILIATION.
The average northern voter is prejudiced and biased against a presidential candidate from the south, irrespective of his sterling qualities, pedigree, competence and track record. Many northerners have been brainwashed by the Northern political class not to vote for a southerner as president.
As a result of this, they will not vote for credible southern candidate(s) when presented with a northern candidate who may not have the requisite qualities to make a good leader. When situation(s) like this present itself, they will not vote according to party lines but by ethnic and tribal sentiments. The only exception is M.K.O Abiola, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the June12, 1993 elections. And that was a man whose
philanthropic largess span over two decades across the length and breath of the country.
The northern elements in the top echelon of the ruling APC understand this political reality. That is why the party is applying delay tactics in the emergence of its flagbearer. This is based on the premise that Atiku Abubakar will clinch the PDP presidential ticket which he already did at the PDP national convention in Abuja on the 28th of May 2022.
This is currently playing out as the two major political parties in the country — the ruling APC and the opposition PDP are playing the game of delay tactics in the selection process of their flagbearer and vice president in the 2023 Presidential Elections. From the look of things, the tickets to the highest and most coveted office in the land will go to two Northerners. This becomes even more certain given Atiku is now the official flag bearer of the PDP. Some have even suggested the APC might pitch a tainted Southern candidate, just so Atiku Abubakar will sail effortlessly for another eight years of Northern rule.
THE SECURITY CHALLENGES IN THE NORTH MAKES IT A BIT TRICKY.
The perennial security challenges in the north makes the situation to be a bit tricky. The top echelon of the nation’s military establishment and the ruling class — mostly from the north — that are benefiting from the status quo will prefer a Northerner to be at the helm of affairs in order to continue to enjoy the largesse that the security situation presents; or actually stop the atrocities and carnage once and for all in the best interest of the North. A southerner thus cannot be trusted with such a task!
Also, the insecurity in different parts of the country presents a dark cloud over the 2023 general elections. Some well-meaning Nigerians and leaders of thoughts like Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), a legal luminary and the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti and Dr Walid Jibril, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have express concerns over the possibility of the 2023 polls not holding because of the insecurity in the country.
THE INHERENT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SOUTHERNERS WILL MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO PRESENT A UNITED FRONT TO WREST POWER FROM THE NORTH.
The inherent diversity among the various ethnic groups in the South will make it difficult for them to speak with one voice when it comes to presenting a sole candidate to wrest power from the North. The case is different in the North where everyone speaks with one voice and vote in the same direction when it comes to the time of presidential election.
Even within the South as a single political bloc, there are mutual suspicions and mistrust. Equally are other centrifugal tendencies that could prevent the various ethnic groups to come together and act as one entity.
In order to remedy the situation, the different ethnic groups in the South must come together and act as a single political bloc in the 2023 general elections. Any form of division will only jeopardize the effort of producing a president of a Southern extraction. The APC with its pro North national chairman will do everything within his power to ensure the interest of the North is protected. And so it ought to be. If those in the South of Nigeria do not come together, they will continue to play second fiddle to those from up yonder.
Without a doubt, the North will do everything it can to hold on to power come 2023. Either through a core Northern or a Southern stooge. It is high time the three geo-political zones in the South form a rallying point to reserve the current narrative. There is no better time for the South to wrest power from the tight grips of the North than now. Or else, come 2031, the same narrative and permutation will suffice — “only a Northerner can win a national election”. We on this side of the divide are just still clueless on the Northern agenda to capture Nigeria. The time to act is now!