“No human leader is expected to be personally strong or self-sufficient in all aspects of governance.” The first instalment of this column last Friday ended on the note that General Obasanjo refused to emulate the one-term, stabilizing role played by late President Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
Yet, in his letter he asks a man elected by the most massive popular vote for a single individual in the nations’s history to do a Mandela. And he expects to be so heeded? Haba??!
These thoughts and many more keep swirling in one’s head, leading to the initial anger at Obasanjo that one feels on his Bombing of Buhari.
However there is also a different reading looking at the dynamics of politics since Buhari’s election, an election that the power mongers of the nation couldn’t stop.
No one can deny that when GMB came aboard as elected civilian President the nation was then teetering on the brink of disaster due to Obasanjo and his PDP’s 16 years of gluttonic rape of the national patrimony. Reasonably so, even Obasanjo’s letter extoiled the laudable efforts made by GMB on the corruption front. Even as sickly as GMB has been and as constrained by his famed cabal, by the PDP in APC and by his allies of Yorubaland. That corruption that GMB says we need to kill before it kills Nigeria is the core of our problems. That is the real Legacy of previous governments, upto and through Obasanjo right down to the peak of disaster of Jonathan’s PDP.
All this living history has left PDP in such confusion that since 2015 it has been struggling to remake itself. Despite all the cosmetics it embarked upon, no one can forget the many unresolved atrocities it gave birth to. We still have vivid recall of the contrived civil war in the North East that Boko Haram was before GMB. So too the many startling revelations of grand larceny by the Obasanjo and partners of PDP, by the unbelievable pillage in the Oil sector, in the Security and Military sector, in the aviation sector. And of course the many silly and senseless thefts by Governors and other lead political actors, mainly of the PDP. Plus those in the PDP’s cousins of ANPP, AD/ACN and latterly the PPA and APGA.
The PDP obviously won’t fly in 2019 despite all the efforts of its top cosmetician Senator Ahmad Makarfi in his time as its caretaker chairman. It is obvious only a Third Force can provide a way out for the PDP. And for those who need an alternative, especially in States where the APC political machine is under the stranglehold of Governors the 3rd Force is also the only way out. So too in States where PDP Governors have the party under lock.
Many politicians in the APC edged out by their local party structure may gravitate to the Obasanjo Coalition. It won’t be any really revolutionary outfit. It is likely to culminate into another merger of many parties. In fact it will be another PDP clone like the APC is, with GMB as the only dissonant factor. For all prominent national and sub-national actors on the political terrain, GMB is the safest and most preferred option in 2019, even if all the parties field Northerners. Because he is in his last term, the South West will be happier he finishes his term after all the goodies they have got from his Government such that they have a shot at the Presidency again in 2023. All of the South East and South South would do all they can to also ensure GMB returned in 2019 as it would also afford them a chance to try for the Presidency too with what some feel is the ill advised concept of rotation and zoning that NPN (1979-83) and PDP (1999-2015) introduced to the national political equation.
In conclusion the Obasanjo led Coalition for Nigeria as a 3rd Force would certainly not affect GMB’s elections, in fact it will help his cause by diluting the opposition. Especially now that the National Assembly is reworking the Electoral Act to reorder elections. Governors will have to work on their own merit. National Assembly members too. Bandwagons won’t work. Only merit will, at all levels.
For GMB he is the only candidate with an assured bank of votes. He has the most personal votes despite the disappointment of many who have worked for him over the years. With the Coalition and the PDP as lead opponents and others scattered in various parties he’d sure beat them all hands down.