The race to 2023 political season continues to gather steam, the recurring decimal that has sent the tongues of political observers and commentators on the overdrive is the schism that constitutes a bulwark to the rumoured ambition of the strongman of Southwest politics and national leader of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari.
The cherry that has created the scramble by factions, lobby groups and political wings to align and realign to get the highest political office in our dear nation Nigeria. The meat of this article is to elucidate on the three alleged reasons why Buhari might not support Tinubu’s aspiration come 2023 election cycle.
- Nigeria’s Election is Not for The Highest Bidder
Nigeria’s second attempt at democracy floundered after only four years and three months on 31st December 1983 with the coup death that heralded Major-General Muhammad Buhari as the new leader of the nation. A key player in President Shehu Shagari’s administration was Alhaji Umar Dikko, who was a key adviser to the President and served as Minister of Transportation from 1979 to 1983. The statement that: “Nigeria’s election is not for the highest bidder” was made in his role as campaign manager to Shari in 1979 where money bags were flaunting cash in all directions to influence elections results. This cash factor plays a key role in elections all over the world and Nigeria is not in isolation. Money is the fuel that drives election activities, but since the advent of Nigeria’s nascent democracy in 1999 till date no moneybag has emerged as President of the most populous nation on the African continent. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo emerged as President after a spell in detention under General Sani Abacha’s military junta, then Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’adua then Katsina State Governor succeeded the Otta born General. The Vice-President to Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan mounted the reins of power after the doctrine of necessity was invoked following the indiposition of his principal Yar’adua then demise till date where Muhammad Buhari won the democratic polls in 2015 and 2019. All these candidates did not command the financial arsenal and this factor will haunt Tinubu in the race for the 2023 Presidential elections.
- The Cold Shoulder Treatment Meted to Tinubu is an Early Sign of Things to Come
It is a known fact that Tinubu played a yeoman’s role in the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 and 2019 Presidential elections, but reverse is the case in terms of patronage with the cold shoulder meted out to the former governor of Lagos State. Buhari has not granted audience to the self styled ‘Lion of Bourdillon’. Infact, the President has not paid a visit to the kingmaker at his Ikoyi residence, which is a political Mecca of sorts for politicians seeking favours to foster their political ambitions. All Tinubu’s trips to the Presidential Villa have happened in the company of former APC National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande whom Buhari has a soft spot for. All that is left for all and sundry is to connect the dots, if a heavyweight like Tinubu cannot access the realm of power as he wishes then there’s a problem brewing that would soon explode into monumental proportions.
- The Governors Influence to Weaken Tinubu Is a Clear and Present Danger
This emerging scenario played out when the National Executive Committee (NEC) of APC drew guns against former National Chairman, Adam Oshiomole and all efforts by Tinubu to save the former NLC Chairman failed. The nail on Oshiomole’s coffin was sealed in the Aso Rock Villa where the new caretaker chairman, Governor Mallam Mai Mala Bini emerged. Governors have hijacked the party machinery and the tenure of the caretaker committee has been elongated twice and the earlier scheduled national convention for the month of June is shaky. Northern governors in the mould of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar are bulwarks that could impede Tinubu’s quest for Presidency in 2023. After all said and done, a day is a long time in politics. Time will tell where the pendulum will shift.