2023: Who Is Fit To Lead Nigeria (IV)

2023: Who Is Fit To Lead Nigeria (IV)

We are back again after a week break during which we have witnessed several horse-trading in the political scene of the country. Yes, we have been running and preparing for elections, the 2023 election is no doubt a special one as it informs the level of participation and interest the whole process is taking from the populace.

We discussed the top four aspirants of the PDP based on a common factor last week, the analysis is still intact with one dropping off the list to seek alliance elsewhere and another dropped at the primary venue even though we didn’t include him as a serious contender. A winner had emerged from the three as the Conversation rightly projected in its analysis after the weekend special presidential convention. We still need to watch out for the alliance Peter Obi will eventually work with after he won the Labour Party Presidential ticket yesterday.

This week conversation will be on the APC aspirants even as the party was adjudged confused by political watchers. The party and IPAC mounted pressure on the INEC and got an extension that enabled the presidential screening yesterday. Out of 23, we will pick the first four leading aspirants among the lots. The whole idea before was that the party will zone its presidency to the South, but it suddenly developed cold feet following the position of the PDP on zoning.

The party has been waiting all along for the PDP, as several factors are not really adding up. Going by those to watch among the fleet of contestants are the recently cleared former President Goodluck Jonathan, Senator Ahmad Lawan, Rotimi Amaechi and Dimeji Bankole. The Conversation gives their chances and where their strength lies exactly in the scheme of things within the party. Don’t forget that, the party leadership will ultimately decide and give direction as they seem to have more cohesive power as we can see in the withdrawal acceptance form all aspirants were made to sign under oath. Ominous signs show that the supposed front-runner, Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not in the good book of the powers’ that be, thus limiting his chances despite his popularity and acclaimed preparedness.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, although initially denied intention of contesting and defecting to the APC after his infamous tenure, it is still vague why he wants to come back to office. He obtained the nomination form by proxy, in disguise, though his name wasn’t among the aspirants to be screened yesterday and today. His chances are clearly that of the party cabal and some northern governors, but will other party masquerades accept him? On his eligibility, the Court ruled in his favour and unattributed news from the presidency denied Buhari’s endorsement, tomorrow will determine. Ahmed Lawan, his sudden emergence and, pushed the amendment of an already signed electoral act is a pointer that he might be the dark horse. That knocked out the statutory delegates that would have taken decisive stands, made of egg heads but only 774 adhoc delegates, of whom the North has more LGAs; he has more reach from the North than his counterparts in the South. With Atiku’s victory, the APC may align with Lawan from the same zone.

Rotimi Amaechi has what it takes to clinch the ticket, based on his newly established relationship with a section of the North and even having served twice as Director General of Buhari’s campaign. One expects a reward for him based on his contribution when he abandoned the South-south people. His chances are wider even though the Supreme Court ruled that he has a case of N96 Billion alleged fraud to answer in Rivers State.

The last on the list is the unassuming former Speaker Dimeji Bankole. His sudden re-surfacing to pick nomination form through former Zamfara Governor, Mahmud Shinkafi is signaling to the fact that there has been discussion in some places of higher interest. He is not known for frivolities. His chances remain his close rapport with the northern structures, a relationship he has maintained right from his tenure as Speaker. His Dad, Chief Alani Bankole has a strong affinity with the North. The coast is not yet clear within the party, but it is sacrosanct that the party leadership has a major role to play.

Dimeji Bankole
* Rt. Hon. Bankole

The Conversation rightly projected the PDP presidential primary, that of the APC would largely be determined by the North, as the aspirants from South are more in number than the North. Also the North understands themselves more and can drop ambition at the eleventh hour except the South aspirants would learn lessons from the PDP convention, the odds favour the North because of sentiments and the North has more adhoc delegates than the South.

 The question begging for an answer is: who among them is fit to lead the country?

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