2023: North About To ‘Select’ President On Behalf Of The South | By Taoheed Adégbìté

NEWS DIGEST – As expected in every four years, the time has come again. As Nigerians, the psychological effect of our stoicism in the face hardship is back to take on us. No matter how affective it is, no issue dares rent the air for a long time in Nigeria. Regardless of that turbulent situation, Nigerians will make noise, lament for a moment and move on as if not affected again.

As usual, we’ve moved on again. And here we are, ready to prepare for another four-year mistake. Funnily enough, those that shed crocodile tears on protest grounds or in viral recorded videos about killings across the country in the past six years will sheerly become forgetful. Will become unappreciated ‘hallelujah boys and girls’. Perhaps they would come back to regret their actions like they later did with Buhari. Maybe. Maybe not, I guess you have also made up your minds.

Before going deep into this, I crave your indulgence to delist youth from the 2023 presidential race. After 2019 election, every noisemakers recoiled back to their shell. Our men returned to active and political mobilisation of artisans and market women only on twitter. By 2023, we see a case to study in Nigeria universities; of how organising and building formidable party structure with protests and webinars really helped revolution by youth party in Nigeria. In case you’re also living in delusion of any youth party cum 2023, please wake up.

Different personalities have been declaring ambitions to lock horns for president by next year. We know who is truly ambitious. We know whose ambitions won’t fly beyond their living room. Some ambition can’t even get an ordinary standing ‘ovation’ in a beer parlour meeting. Interestingly, there had been much ado about political zoning, especially in the ruling party. With this recent subsided dust and regional threats against power-shift on the pages of newspapers, it seems North has finally bulged to at least for now, carpet their ‘born-to-rule’ mantra.

It is however important to note that Buhari’s presidency is just a disastrous decoy. Tinubu has had his gaze firmly fixed on becoming Nigeria’s president for a long time. A political kingmaker from one of Buhari’s so-called dots in a circle. His gestures and body language show he understands North chooses whoever becomes Nigeria president. Not only has he become their friend, he’s also stylishly ‘tiptoeing’ for support from his northern foot-soldiers. Perhaps as a reminder to them that refusal to pay this biggest tithe is betrayal to the god.

Matter of factly, the rumoured plan of Jonathan’s return as president is never new. That’s even one of the interesting parts in the build-up to the 2023 general election. It’s about to be a power-duel between Tinubu’s foot-soldiers and the northern power bloc. About to erupt is a power-play between northern sentiment and a chance for South to breath presidency for eight years. The cabals will never want to give power a distance shot.

The power bloc within the North pushing Jonathan’s ambitions are living their firmness to return into power in earnest. Even at the expense of killings and insecurity ravaging the region. Jonathan, a Southern man, can’t use more than a single term again if allowed back in power. So, by the end of his tenure, it will automatically becomes North’s turn so soon to use another eight years. But with Tinubu’s candidacy, power is much likely not to shift zone until 2031.

This doesn’t amount to right off the chance of the only seemingly opposition party (PDP) at the poll. Even though they’ve not been a reasonable opposition since the inception of Buhari’s photogenic failure. Their past still fiercely haunt them. Should APC make mistake in their selection of another packaged evil, there won’t be hesitation for emergence of a polished ‘angel’ from PDP, probably from the North. Did you just say Yahaya Bello is that APC subsequent mistake? Mbah, Kogi people should rather endure his third term. All in all, Nigerians will still have to make a choice between two evils.

In a 2018 report published by TheNation online, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was quoted in an interview saying his failure to secure Pa Adesanya’s endorsement cost him Yoruba support during 1999 general election. “And of course, as the results of the election turned out, I was not supported by the Yoruba in the Southwest for the 1999 election,” Obasanjo said.

Even though history is non-linear. But like Obasanjo, Tinubu is likely not to be popularly supported by his people. 1999 was a time in Nigerian political history when the ball was handsomely left in the court of southwest to play. However, the North never failed to play a decisive role. Yes, at the poll and politically – they decided who got the win.

Seems we’re back to have a replica of the political scenario between PDP’s Olusegun Obasanjo from Southwest Nigeria, and Olu Falae of then Alliance for Democracy (AD), also from Southwest. While a good population of Yoruba people supported Olu Falae, the North effortlessly ‘selected’ Obasanjo on their behalf.

In the long run, should Buhari and the North mistakenly drum support for Tinubu’s ambition, whoever emerge elsewhere might be taking a ride on the back of a tiger. With his political wits and permutations, surely; they can’t escape ending in its stomach. But should it be Jonathan or your overnight angelic ‘Starboy’ instead, winning at the primary, that’s a rich, chilly but sandy Garri for the bourdillon kingmaker to calm his political nerve. By then, we may have to see a test of political relevance by a demigod and benefactor getting dragged in the mud of power mongering.

This opinion piece has been published on NEWS DIGEST with very minimal editing to preserve the original voice of the author. NEWS DIGEST does not bear any responsibility for the content of this opinion as all views belong to the author.