By Our Reporters
Between 1999 and Now, it is no longer news how Nigeria politicians who have ruled the country and are still within the corridors of power are manipulating the political system, defecting from one political party to the other and returning back to the same party again to seek greener pastures.
From president Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of People’s Democratic party, PDP, Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state on the platform of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, and Vice Presidential Candidate of PDP, Donald Duke, a former PDP governor of Cross Rivers state and Presidential Candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, who was said to have been replaced by the Court on the prompting of an aggrieved party Presidential Candidate, the story is the same.
Others on the list Bukola Saraki, former governor of Kwarra state and now Senate President and Chairman of Atiku’s Presidential Campaign Council, Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of House of Representatives, Olusegun Mimiko, former governor of Ondo state on the platform of Labour party, LP, and PDP, at different times, and Presidential Candidate of the LP, Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of Rives state on the platform of the PDP, and now minister of Transportation under the ruling All progressive Congress, APC, government and Aliyu Babangida, former governor of Niger state, on the platform of PDP, to name but a few.
Tanko Yakasai, an elder statesman and one of the founding fathers of the Arewa Consultative forum reportedly described them as” lacking in integrity and no defined ideology”. He reportedly said that any politician worth his salt could not have been jumping from one party to the other to seek political office.
There is no gain saying the fact that only the former military leaders have shown that they are better politicians than their Civilian counterparts. Among them are former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former military President Ibrahim Babangida, rtd Generals Theophilous Danjuma, Zamani lekwot, Nimiel Dongoyaro and Ibrahim Gusau among others. Many had thought that Obasanjo who tore his PDP membership card in anger and endorsed Buhari for the 2015 Presidential election would decamp to APC , but never did so. Instead he resigned from the Party, but still a politician with interest to determine who becomes the next president. The Generals may have remained in the PDP, because of their integrity, military training and discipline.
Inspite of the politicians lack of integrity and defined Ideology, Yakasai may have joined the ranks of the ex-Generals to endorse Atiku, the PDP, Presidential Candidate , to be the next President, going by his recent statement . He had said at the launching of the book, ”Manifesto for Greatness”, written by Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher, that the nomination of Atiku, the Presidential Candidate and Obi, the Vice , Presidential Candidate for the 2019 , Presidential election, would be an opportunity for the north east and south east to have a ” taste of the proverbial national cake”.
The north eastern state of Bauchi had produced , late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the nation’s first Prime minister in the ’60s, which Yakasai said was under a different Constitution. The elder statesman who could not hide his feelings maintained that the two geo-political regions have not produced any president since the return of democracy in the country in 1999 and now. He was right. With the return of democracy in 1999, the ex-Generals and the country’s noted power brokers had thrown their weight on Obasanjo, who was one of them and a former Head of State to take over from Abdulsalam Abubakar, a rtd General and then Head of State instead of late Alex Ekwueme, an Anambra state born politician and , a founding member of the PDP, who could have stood in as the party Presidential Candidate of the party in 1999.
The ex-Generals may have taken the decision to compensate the south west geopolitical region over the annulment of the June 12, 1993 , Presidential election won by Mohshood Kashimawo Olawole Abiola, popular MKO, by Babangida, the then Military President who may have acted under pressure from his ambitious military colleagues who may have wanted to test power. Late general Sani Abacha, was said to be the greatest beneficiary of the 1993 election annulment as he transformed himself from being Secretary of Defense to Head of state, claiming that late Ernest Shonekan, the then Acting President , appointed by the then military ruling class voluntarily handed over power to him.
Yakasai , the elder statesman and the ex-Generals may want Atiku and Obi, of the Opposition PDP, to win the next presidential election, Buhari , the APC, Presidential Candidate and who incidentally is from Kastina state , north west Nigeria , which had produced late Musa Yar ad’ua as a one-time President of Nigeria still want to return for another four years in office. The APC Presidential Candidate has been campaigning vigorously across the nooks and crannies of the country using his foot soldiers, and urging Nigerians not to vote for the same set of politicians that had ruined the nation’s economy in its 16 years in power. He may have had a very strong supporter in the person of Balarabe Musa, a former governor of Kaduna state who believes that voting Atiku and Obi , into power was like bring back the ex-generals to power through the back door.
But Obi, the PDP, Vice, presidential Candidate, appears to have had an answer to Buhari attacks on PDP. In apparent response to Buhari’s anti-corruption policy, he was said to have told him that ”fighting corruption was not an economic policy”.
The PDP, Vice Presidential Candidate said ”peoples businesses that employ thousands who render valuable services to the society have been shut down in the guise that they were established with stole funds”.
He lamented that the country in the last three years had come down from a GDP of $520million to less than $400 million, insisting that ”fighting corruption was not an economic policy but a disaster”. He disclosed that ”knowledge economy is the driver of the world today as nobody is talking about oil economy”.
Political analysts believe that whether Atiku or Buhari Wins the 2019 presidential elections, nothing much would change in the economy as they have no defined ideology as obtained in other democratic societies like the United States, US, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, UK.
Already, Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Central Bank has raised alarm that inflation would bite higher next year as there are no signs of the prices of goods and services going down.
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