‘’2023 Elections, A Turning Point In Nigeria’’ – Obasanjo

By Lateef Adegbite

Politicians seeking elective office for the 2023 general elections at the Federal level from the ruling All Progressive  Congress, APC, and the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, who were said to have  turned former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s residence in Abeokuta , the Ogun state Capital as their home,   would be disappointed. This is because the former Nigerian Pesident wants change of the country’s political narrative.

 When the Leadership of the foremost socio-cultural group in Tiv Land in Benue state recently paid him a visit, the former president , who was could not hide his feelings,  hadremarked that the “2023 general elections should be a turning point in Nigeria,” He had urged Nigerians to “view the country as being for all and not for a particular region to save it and restore what God has made it to be” .He had urged the people not ‘‘to vote based on their emotion that would further damage the country’’ but on competence and the Candidate’s ability to deliver on his electioneering Campaign promises.

He would want power to shift from the north to the south, as the current President Muhammadu Buhari, of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, elapses in the next six months.

 He has urged the people of the Middle-Belt to keep pushing for a rotational presidency in the country to get to their turn.  In spite of the fact that the former Nigerian President wants a shift of power from the north to the south, of the 18 political parties registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, under the close watch of Prof, Mahmood Yakubu, to participate in the 223, general elections, the Former President appears to have a soft spotfor Peter Obi, the former Anambra state governor and LP, Presidential Candidate,.

   His body language show that he will not want Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and the presidential candid ate of the ruling APC or Atiku, who had served as his Vice, in his eight years tenure and now Presidential Candidate of the Opposition PDP, to emerge as the next President of Nigeria because they have nothing to offer. Already had said that he will ‘’continue with the Legacy of President Buhari if elected the next president of Nigeria, which is associated with ‘’suffering’’.

.The octogenarian may have alluded to the fact   that the south west geopolitical region had ruled the country, and the current Nigerian Vice Presiden, Yemi Osibanjo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria is also from the region  while Goodluck Jonathan, a former Nigeria Vice President, from the south-south,,  who had transformed to become Nigerian President with the death of Prsident Umaru Yar’Adua, from Katsina state, in 202010, had ruled the country, leaving out the south east which was not fair enough.

For President Jonathan, ought to have stepped down for another northern Candidate to contest the 2011 Presidential elections after the expiration of the late President Yar’Adua first term tenure, which he had completed by the pecks of office could not allow him to do so.

. He was said to have used his political powers to win the support of the party Leadership to contest the 2011 general elections which he had won and still wanted to contest 2015, elections.This may n have angered Atiku, Bukola Saraki, a former governor of Kwara state and immediate past Senate President and other prominent  PDP Chieftains from the north who were said to have decamped to the APC.

Wike: Governor Of Rivers state, Draws Eng Umahi, Governor Of Eboyi state , Close

 Wike had said that former President Jonathan was asked by ‘’the Atiku’s camp to withdraw from seeking reelection in 2015. He had said that that the former Nigerian President , who many believe  had  made a mockery of the party rotational presidency policy by contesting and winning the party 2015, presidential primary,   had gone to  London, where he had met  Atiku and his allies at  Dorchester Hotel, to seek their support but was rebuffed. The Adamawa state born politician and his allies thrown their weight on the Katsina state born politician who had defeated President Jonathan in the 2015, general elections

Political analysts believe that Nyensom Wike, governor of Rivers state who had declared that the oil-rich state is a ‘’no –go area for other parties, including the ruling APC’’, as he may have planned to pay back to Atiku, the PDP, Presidential Candidate for the 2023, general elections in his own coins.

 His anger against Atiku, may not be unconnected to the process that led to his emergence as the party Flag bearer which he had described as‘’unfair’’. He demanded for the resignation of Senator Iyorchia Ayu, the party National Chairman from the north to ensure a balance in the Leadership of the party at the National level.

Ortom: Governor Of Benue State

He may have been joined by governors Samuel Ortom, a one-time minister of state, Industries, Trade and Investment, during former Jonathan’s Administration, and governor of Benue state, Ifeanyi Uwuanyi, Enugu, Okezie Ikeazu, Abia and Seyi Makinde, Oyo, to form the G5, with one mindset that Senator Ayu must quit his exalted office for a southerner to replace in the spirit of equity and justice.

 But Atiku, the party Presidential Candidate is not ready to support the moves.  He was said to have informed those that cares to listen that Gov. Wike and his cohorts master-minded the removal of Uche Sendus, the former National Chairman of the party to pave way for Ayu, because of his presidential ambition for the 2023, general elections and therefore cannot support Ayu’s removal.

This may have informed why the G5, christened Integrity group, have withdrawn from participating in the PDP, Presidential Campaign Organisation Council, which has Emmanuel Udom, governor of Akwa Ibom state, as the Chairman and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and governor of Sokoto state, as the Director General.

 Trouble may not be over for Atiku yet  as Ortom, the governor of Benue state, may have shown that the G5 OR Integrity group, are on the same page, when he declared that ‘’any person who  votes for Atiku, the PDP Presidential Candidate for the 2023, general elections is an ‘’enemy of the state’’.

 Senator Ayu, the party National Chairman and Atiku, political ally, had reacted that he bulks stops on his table has the powers ‘’to stop those seeking elective office on the ticket of the party’’ but was quickly challenged by Wike ‘’to dare it’’.

Altough, Ibidapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun state, who was ridiculed recently by Tinubu, the APC, Presidential Flag bearer for the 2023, general elections is not part of the G5, but he appears to share the same political views with them. This is evident going by what happened in the state last September where he had  allowed and provided adequate security for ‘’the two million-man match in Abeokuta, the Ogun state Capital, for Obi’’, the LP, Presidential Candidate, as happened in the PDP states of Benue, Rivers,  Oyo states CCapitals including Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Obi: LP, Presidential Candidate

. The million -man match for Obi, the  LP, Presidential Candidate was said to have been disrupted in Eboyi, an APC state by the Police, on the orders of Eng. Dave Umahi the state governor, in his capacity as the Chief Security officer.

The antagonistic behavior of the Eboyi state governor against Obi, the LP, presidential ambition, may have informed why Wike, the Rivers state governor had drawn him close. The closeness between the duo, may have taken a new dimension as he was said to have  been listed as one of the political gladiators from the opposing political camp  that will join the G5, popular,Integrity group,  and 11 other prominent Nigerians  that would be conferred  with the highest  honour of ‘’Grand  Service Star of Rivers state’’.

The Eboyi state governor who has his Presidential ambition on the ticket of the APC, for the 2023, general election,  truncated with the emergence of Tinubu, had said  that  ‘’Buhari’s  body language  supports  the next PresiDEN OF Nigeria to come  from the south  but lamented that the region is divided.  

He was emphatic that ‘’the Nigerian President’s body language is well disposed toward the next President coming from the south, particular, south east ‘‘for equity, fairness and justice’’.

Eng. Umahi: Governor Of Eboyi Sate

    He insists that ‘‘for fairness, equity and Justice’’, the south east should produce the next President of Nigeria.  Already the Affenifere, the Yoruba socio-political Organisation and Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF and some other prominent Nigerians, across the country may have seen thrown their weight on Obi, the LP, Presidential Candidate, because he has something to offer. This may have informed why former President Olusegun Obasanjo had said that the 2023, general elections would mark a turning in Nigeria political history.

He has his reason.  This is because the old actors who have occupied the political scene since Indepence in 160, would be phased out for the Youths to take over and refocus the country from being a consumption and raw material producing nation to feed the industrialised economies to a production nation.

  The new Leadership, according to Financial analysts may not depend on Loans and aid from the Multilateral Financial Institutions and the Advanced economies of the North American country of the United States, US, United Kingdom and China, to run the country.  

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