2023:As the race to occupy Aso Villa begins systematically

JUBRIN MIACHI in this report notes that the race may have systematically commenced un announced for the 2023 Presidency, as gladiators gear up to succeed President Buhari


Like the past years, 2023 has began the journey and will undoubtedly come to pass. But in the lives of Nigeria and of course, Nigerians, all things being equal, the year will witness another round of general elections into all political offices. At that time, the sitting President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), would have completed his eight years mandatory period of two terms in Aso Rock, the seat of the Federal Government of Nigeria at Abuja, piloting the affairs of the country as enshrined in the constitution.

Buhari, a former Head of State, contested and won the 2015 general election in pursuit of his political ambition after several failed attempts. Many political parties had earlier fielded the former military leader but failed to make it to the Presidency. All the while, his consistence failure had never discouraged him from continue the struggle.  Thus therefore, he entered the race in 2015 using the APC platform as his vehicle, amidst mixed feelings, and he unexpectedly made it to Aso Rock finally.

This Kastina born tooth-gapped professional soldier went into the electoral ritual against the then sitting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who was contesting to succeed himself for his second term tenure in office. At the end of the political exercise, Buhari emerged winner and pulled out Jonathan from Aso Rock. Today, after several years of being a tenant, President Muhammadu Buhari is on his way out of Aso Rock as the quit notice prepared and served him by INEC earlier expires in Year2023. But for who?, This  is the question begging for answers ahead of time.

It would be recalled that The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came into power when the Military Government of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.) decided to return the country back to civil rule. Consequently, political party formations were called for, and ambitious politicians who have been struggling and waiting for the opportunity quickly went into actions. Most political parties of note today were a number of concerned individuals, like minds who were out for a struggle. One of such was G-34, a group that was out to struggle for good governance and enthronement of democracy. It was this group that transformed into full-fledged political party christened “People’s Democratic Party”.

The PDP went into election and won virtually everywhere in the country including the presidency which they held onto for years until year2015 when Buhari came and dislodged the party. Now that Buhari is checking out, can the party, The APC retain power at the centre even though the party has declared and affirmed that there will be no vacancy in Aso Rock come 2023 and beyond despite election is a game of number arising from popularity, putting into considerations the past, present and future performances as it affects the people and of course the country.

In the believes that time does not wait for one but one wait for time, ambitious politicians are now beginning to strategising for the ensuing political war otherwise known as Succession Battle for the exalted sit in Aso Rock. So far, a number of aspirants have indicated interest in who takes over from President Muhammadu Buhari, aka PMB. Most of them are serving state Governors that are on their way out of office.  But against their ambitions, Vice President Osibanjo and Governor Zulun of Borno state’s candidatures have been endorsed by a chieftain of APC and former Senator, Abubakar Girei from Adamawa state, as the possible and likely successor of Buhari as President and Vice President in waiting. Sen. Girei spoke in an interview where he vehemently argued for the suitability of the two leaders which he opined would be beneficial to both APC and Nigerians if given their mandates.

In his reactions, Geri said: “I have somebody who by right and constitutionally too has right to fly the flag of APC come 2023” presidential race “and that person I am talking about is the Vice President of Nigeria and he is from South West geopolitical region of this country. If I may ask, who else is better than him?”, he queried and speaking further he stated: “Even the South West we are talking about is not because they are the most deserving zone in this country. The most deserving as far as I am concerned is the North East followed by the South East.

‘The North East has never produced the president of this country. So ideally they should be the one that we should be talking about their presidency but because of this gentleman agreement and understanding we said the South West played very prominent role in midwife APC and have given 100percent support to emergence of President Muhamodu Buhari as president, therefore morally, we are duty bound to have South West for the next president.

“So if whoever comes out to be the flag bearer of APC from South West, I think he should naturally pick someone from North East as his running mate. We have so many of them in the North East but you will agree with me we have one Governor that has now distinguished himself as the best Governor in the country,  that is Prof. Babagana Zulun of Borno state, the best performing Governor in the country today. If somebody like Prof. Osinbajo can pare up with Babagana Zulun, I have no doubt in my mind that we will win the election hands down”, the former Senator opined.

But against this view and opinion expressed by Senator Abubakar Girei, a onetime Governor of Kano State and of course a Senator from the state, Malam Ibrahim Shekerau has called on the leadership of the ruling party (The APC) to consider quality leadership, fairness and justice in the choice of who will fly the flag of the party during the forthcoming general elections against zoning formula stressing “there is no place in the APC constitution that the issue of zoning is mentioned”. Specifically, the party chieftain enjoined the leadership of APC to base its decision “on the choice of presidential candidate for the 2023 elections on leadership quality, competence and character, and not zoning”.

Also prominent figures who have not hidden their interest in the plum job include incumbent Governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, former Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who kis now a senator representing the trouble turned Imo west (Orlu) Senatorial District, former Governor of Lagos state and APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as well as former Governor of Zamfara state, Sani Yerima, who have all set up machineries in preparation for the big race

From the opposition PDP, it is a known fact that former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who lost to President Buhari in 2019 is planning to stage another attempt at returning to the villa, so also is Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, former Governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido and many others

Politics is a game of interests. Thus therefore, it appears even in the ruling party, what looks like Things Fall Apart is in the making spelling doom for the party, if it is not properly handled with maturity.   

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