We need a president, a solid person with the integrity, wisdom, knowledge, power, capacity, and love of the country to change our nation for good. —Dr. I. D. Onwudiwe
After the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Primary Elections, one presidential aspirant complained bitterly about being “betrayed” by the other governors, hence his second placement for the PDP-nominated flag-bearer’s position. Atiku Abubaker won the tally while governor Nyesom Nwike from Rivers State lost resplendently. The governor’s quixotic cry was a sorry sight.
This governor prematurely celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass for taking over, in his mind, the Imo State oil lands. This governor chastised Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi state, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, and current presidential candidate and ex-governor Peter Obi of Anambra State. Governor Nwike only grows wings when it comes to the South Eastern governors. It’s a shame that, like his predecessors from Rivers State, the tough-talking governor has also mismanaged the government’s funds—expropriating the funds to the north, the state of Sokoto in particular—in the quest for self-promotion and political ordination.
Governor Nwike should inform the good people of Rivers State how much of the peoples’ money that he has expended in the north since he became the governor of Rivers State. On the other hand, Governor Nwike should also inform his bandwagon followers of the money Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state has spent in Rivers State. The hegemon controls the wealth of Nigeria through the prism of allocating more states, and more local governments, wielding total control of the country’s security apparatus and unhinged control of the oil proceeds. In contrast, the little allocated to Rivers State has continually been expropriated and divested back to the north. I believe that the north giggles at these governors who have ignored historical realities in the Nigerian context for overzealous desires.
I submit unequivocally that Nwike and the South-South governors—whatever south-south means crossed the Southeast as usual.
Back to the betrayal enunciation by Nwike — the self-proclaimed dauntless man! He couldn’t even mention the governor of Sokoto by name, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, in his (Nwike’s) characteristic furiousness. The question should be asked pointedly about who betrayed whom this time around. I submit unequivocally that Nwike and the South-South governors—whatever south-south means crossed the Southeast as usual. The Western governors and aspirants also were in the game. According to the Durkheimian dogma, in a utopian society – which we don’t have – these aspirants could have surrendered their ambitions to the Southeast. After all, Alex Ekwueme was bypassed for President Olusegun Obasanjo in the 2003 presidential elections, and the two aspirants (Olu Falae and Olusegun Obasanjo) emanated from the South West. President Buhari’s ticket was also a north-north affair between him and Atiku Abubakar in 2019. Jonathan Goodluck was loved by the east, and easterners have prominently represented and supported his administration from 2010 to 2015.
Out of the blue, Nwike and others argued that the next president should come from the South, not the Southeast specifically, and utilized their oil wealth to harvest influence. The north insisted that competency should be the only yardstick used in determining the next president of our dear country. This is the essence of my random thoughts today.
I acquiesce that Peter Obi and Dave Umahi are highly competent easterners and other Igbos in the race who could have competed favorably in both political parties as their respective presidential candidates. But noting the cardinal sins of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, a military government’s regime decree, it is a herculean task for these leaders to emerge, except through the temperate zoning arrangements. They don’t have the tenable primordial votes. No doubt, at the time of writing this piece, Atiku Abubakar, former vice president of Nigeria, had emerged as the fated PDP Presidential leader. Atiku Abubakar is qualified for the position—there is no argument about that. Yesterday, President Buhari, leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), urged his political allies to allow him to present his successor as the APC governors were allowed in a democracy to mandate their successors or run tangentially for second terms. If Governor Umahi is not the president’s choice, perhaps one can consider Governor Rotimi Amaechi (preferred Rivers State son) or even the rumored former President Goodluck Jonathan, or a hidden political juggernaut.
Whether you like Tinubu or not, he is not a noise-maker, and he has the gravitas to make Nigeria whole again.
What I hope for as a true-born Nigerian is for Alhaji Ahmed Tinubu to emerge as the Presidential aspirant for the APC. My reasons are simple. Whether you like Tinubu or not, he is not a noise-maker, and he has the gravitas to make Nigeria whole again. We need a president, a solid person with the integrity, wisdom, knowledge, power, capacity, and love of the country to change our nation for good. A president who can, indeed, stop the killing in our land. We deserve a country where citizens can travel freely, reside, trade, and worship willingly in any part of the country without fear of being killed. We need a country where students can engage in academic dialogues without the horrid execution of the body. We all deserve a country with a Constitution that treats every federation unit fairly and recognizes everyone as equal citizens. Alhaji Ahmed Tinubu, in my view, can deliver Nigeria from the existential course the country is experiencing. Imagine if Tinubu convinces Obi to be his running mate in a Utopian world since the APC and the PDP stand a better chance of success? In such a situation, Nigeria will excel again in economic production. The youths will be gainfully employed and freed from radicalization that leads to the proclivity to engage in the nexus of crime.
In such a situation, Nigeria will excel again in economic production.
This does not imply that Obi could not win (he is preferred by most Nigerians) as the Labor Party’s presidential aspirant, but I have not seen a go-fund campaign advertisement for Peter Obi. Such an invention may produce the funds and enthusiasm he needs to win in 2023, and it is not impossible.
Finally, individuals who engage in rambunctious speeches would be challenging picks for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a lustrous politician with the stamina, steady hand, and reverence to win. Abubakar deserves no betrayer extraordinaire as a running mate. The Vice President of Nigeria, Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo, has demonstrated the essence of treachery toward Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu in Nigeria today.
■ Dr. Onwudiwe, a Professor of Criminology at the Texas Southern University is on the EDITORIAL BOARD of the WAP
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