Atiku and the odds against APC — Opinion — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
This is not the right time to mourn Nigeria’s dilemma of having to choose between APC and PDP.
By any measure, these are the only two parties that deserve their names in the charade that has been our elections lately.
Now that the PDP has unveiled its candidate and APC will do the same in a few days, we can start thinking about what lies ahead for the country. With Atiku Abubakar, a Northerner, as the PDP candidate, what are the options on the table for APC? The confusion in the party lately suggests that all is not well with APC. Worse still, the options available to the party do not seem to facilitate its task. I will take the options one after the other.
The easiest option is for APC to level up to PDP by fielding a Northerner. It will be a repeat of the 2019 strategy with Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari on the ballot. Given that the North has the numerical strength and APC’s Muhammadu Buhari won in most northern states in 2019, picking a Northerner is an attractive option for APC. However, who to choose from among his Northern aspirants is a problem. In the peloton, Dr. Ahmed Lawan seems like the miracle card that APC could play if they decide to go north like PDP did.
He deserves the award for his dedicated service to the Senate as President of the CPA. But there is a problem with choosing a Northerner. Add two of these northern wannabes to APC’s plate and they are still a featherweight compared to the political heavyweight that is Atiku Abubakar. APC’s Lawans is not Muhammadu Buhari. None of them can boast the support of both the sophisticates and the populace across the country. APC cannot hastily forget that Buhari’s claim to integrity, his large base of bigoted supporters, widespread dissatisfaction with the Jonathan administration and the value brought by the alliance made the magic happen in 2015. .
Without Buhari on the ballot in 2023, APC’s chances are slim and its fate seems unsalvageable. Only if the votes counted would Atiku completely beat whoever APC was.
As a party, APC is not in good shape. He’s too inwardly hurt and disoriented to win a presidential election, even as he wields his federal power to rig in the trenches. No amount of trickery can keep APC in Abuja beyond 2023. The party has already exhausted all its luck. If not, why would some APC members bring Goodluck Jonathan into its fold through the backdoor? Even when the APC was in good shape, it was doubtful that it ever won a free and fair election, not that the PDP ever did too. From all indications, APC was never intended to be a part. It was simply a mob of disgruntled, power-hungry, opportunistic politicians coming together to end Jonathan’s rudderless presidency with jungle justice. With this goal achieved in 2015, the APC has squandered every opportunity to evolve into an ideologically cohesive political party, remaining everything a progressive party is not.
It is even worse for the party that it multiplies daily the tragedies inherited from the PDP. Moreover, no regime has put corruption in the face of the country as APC has done in recent years. Despite its gross incompetence, especially in the areas of economy and security, the muted voices of the Buhari administration, Femi Adesina, Garba Shehu, Lauretta Onochie and the legendary Alhaji Lai Muhammed, have never lost the opportunity to tell us that Buhari is the best thing that has ever happened to Nigeria. Inducements of all kinds can only try, but they cannot atone for the unprecedented evils of the APC-led presidency. They will not be able to buy out the APC and increase its eligibility to the presidential level in 2023.
So what other option is there for APC? If APC considers the odds, the party is likely to risk fielding a southerner, possibly mercenary Goodluck Jonathan or Ogbonnaya Onu, as some speculate. But this option also has its problems. Peter Obi will split the South East votes regardless of which party platform he is running on, but not enough to threaten Atiku’s chances. Atiku is strong in the South. Plus, given the religious tension in the air, these two Southern Christians will be a tough sell in the North. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would do much better on the ballot than the duo, but not well enough to defeat Atiku Abubakar. Beyond his experience overseeing APC’s vote-buying machine, aka TraderMoni, in 2019, Osinbajo’s 7-year walk side-by-side with President Muhammadu Buhari should be a talisman. It is only that right-thinking people cannot excuse Osinbajo for the many tragedies that the Buhari administration has visited the country.
The choice of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to raise a number of concerns, the most important of which is that a Muslim from the South is not Muslim enough for Muslims from the North, especially at a time when a type of Strangely brutal and un-Islamic Islam enjoys wide acceptance. in the north.
The North will prefer its own at this time. Therefore, whichever APC decides to move south, the party will have to contend with Atiku’s towering stature in the region. It’s not easy for APC to forget that Atiku won in 12 of the 17 Southern states in 2019. To put it in plain English, APC lost to Atiku in those 12 Southern states. It’s a big headache that has frustrated APC permutations this whole time.
There is yet another fear for APC and that is the president of INEC. It is alleged that the presiding professor is already in bed with the APC, manipulating the electoral process to give the ruling party undue advantages. Considering what one sees from the outside, one cannot counter the claim without appearing ridiculous. If he considers posterity, Professor Mahmood Yakubu might want to redeem his name by pulling a last-minute surprise on APC, since the current government won’t be able to hurt him much after the election. What’s the surprise? Maintain the little integrity of the presidential election. Especially if Professor Mahmood Yakubu learns anything from the case of his predecessor, Professor Attahiru Jega, he might find that he really has little to lose (and so much to gain in good name) by defending the integrity of the electoral process. .
If he does, he might pull off this surprise. Only APC stands to lose if the integrity of the election is protected. Even the PDP, which has been a lifeless opposition for seven years, has nothing to lose. On its own, the best election in the world can do no good for the sleeping party. The PDP simply does not deserve the presidency, although Atiku does, if you can say to any politician. It’s Atiku’s ambition and determination that will give the life that can wake PDP from its slumber. But can the president of the INEC draw this surprise? It depends on the value he places on integrity, a good name and posterity.
If the INEC president hinted that his conscience would be out of reach even for those who hold the keys to the national vault, APC has an in-house strategy to respond. At the height of desperation, that’s what APC is likely to do. Since by law the president cannot impeach the president of INEC, the APC could use the National Assembly to stage a coup against him and install one of its own in office. Anyone who remembers what the APC government has done in the past with the justice system will have no doubt that it could do worse with the INEC. Good for the party, it has always had the current National Assembly in its pocket. This is the biggest deadly move that APC is capable of retaining the presidency in 2023. Otherwise, 2023 would see APC leave Abuja and the league of political parties in Nigeria. The desperadoes who formed the party are too power-hungry to band together for four years outside of national power.
As bleak as the outlook may seem, this is the best our democracy has to offer in 2023. Those who want something better should join the labor movement, but not in desperation for instant power, to reap where they did not sow. Until then, money and manipulation remain the ideals. The old dogs that can’t learn new tricks are the players. The blood of foolish followers is the seal. And investors will come back for their capital with usurious interest: the billions will continue to disappear like a needle in a haystack. And it will take four years for our anus to fully excrete the crumbs of local and foreign bills that our national delegates have swallowed on our behalf. Hopefully 2027 will be better if workers don’t tire and, as usual, go back to their hiding places until another election is at the door. Whether in the hands of APC or PDP, we will have to do so many things and do them so differently to have a country for another four years. The outcome of the next presidential election will not do that for us.
Oladapo wrote from the University of Ibadan.