By Obinwa Nnaji
Barely few weeks from now, 2018 would be ushered in, a most defining year preceding the 2019 General Elections, which no political party worth its salt , can afford to treat with levity in the series of electoral offices, the least the Presidential seat.
Spiritually as the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire Miracles Ministry (MFM),Dr D.K. Olukoya, would simply put in his homilies early this December, that the number 8 or 18 epitomizes bondage.He would however not expatiate but reserve further comments until his pack of New Year predictions nay prophesies, are made public.
Conversely put, only by the political parties and key players doing the right thing and adopting the best winning methodology would they break away from that vicious circle of being caged and out of the siege mentality.
Fresh from the successful outing of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Convention in Abuja few days back where new members of the executive of the party headed by Chef Uche Secondus were elected, the stage seems set for a night of long knives, horse trading and politicking to determine who eventually gets the PDP Presidential Ticket.
History always the best teacher if politicians ever learn from their mistakes. The 2015 failed bid by the then President Goodluck Jonathan to return to power, readily comes to mind. If he had actually taken time to read the political barometer too well, he would have discovered too early in the day that he had no business extending his tenure.It was the one fondly called Chief Servant from Minna, that burst the bubble. He had said in no unmistakable terms that there existed a gentleman’s agreement for Jonathan not to run and for the nod to go to the north after Jonathan had been in power for six years after the unfortunate death of President Musa Yar’Adua. The Oguta maverick politician once told this writer that he had developed a hunch of being on his guard and if he had been asked to go do a dirty and despicable act, he would first look at the eyes and not the lips of the fellow .Jonathan couldn’t look at the eyes of those who hedged and hemmed him in,but believed their lips.
Some Smart Alec bandied conceited and spurious registers of signatures garnered from all the 36 States in the country urging Jonathan to run.By the time the consequences of that calamitous mistake had dawned on the presidency, it was too late to save PDP and the man who flew its flag. He became a piteous spectacle watching a whole president running from pillar to post, the rest now history.
It becomes pertinent therefore that the man Nigerians eagerly await come 2019, is the man who can solve the myriad of problems facing the nation.Hunger, joblessness, disunity and spate of wanton killings and destruction, with the culprits hardly caught or punished..
Never in the annals of this nation have we been so divided than now.
Hatred, distrust and rampant harakiri of Fulani Herdsmen, killing, maiming, raping peoples’ wives and girls with such effrontery, that bewilders. Given the frustrations and the manner the information on the present President’s health was being managed, no less a personality than a chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande had to publicly decry the secrecy surrounding the health of Mr President. Chief Akande seems to have gone into oblivion and is hardly seen or very vocal any more in a party he contributed largely and immensely in its formation.
It took punk musician the likes of British Boy George, our own Charlie Boy with his group ‘Our Mou Mou Don Too Much’, which occupied Abuja for several days and had a running battle with security operatives and had perfected moving the campaign to Nigeria House in London, when suddenly Mr President hurried back home.What a pity! It should not realy be.
Of late most APC leaders and even the Governor Rochas Okorocha lamented that Nigerians were hit by a deluge of hardship and suffering perhaps informing his establishing a new Ministry of Happiness and Well Being. As predictable, leftist and former Kaduna State Governor,
Alhaji Balarabe Musa, wrote off the ruling party APC as a disaster of unimaginable proportion. Given the state of anxiety and expectation by the populace, it is only a more nationalistic and one with the Midas touch that would get their votes in the next General Elections and as such, one believes the PDP needs consider these postulations: Take One: The next duel would not be a tea party. It must get its best man for the job. There should be no sentiments about it. There is no gain-saying that the emergence of the former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, with what he described as home coming, must have upset the apple cart. Of course the permutations must change. Therein lies the arduous task before party stake holders, governors who play deciding roles and top echelon of the party to sink pettiness, personal interest, and go for a man who has a universal national appeal capable at the first ballot to coast home to victory. The overall good should take over primordial gains.
Take Two: A man who has goodwill, friends and associates in all the length and breadth of the nation, one who is not a religious, bigot, one with a clear focus to reunite all Nigerians once more. Endowed by nature with human and natural resources, all what Nigerians demand of their leaders is to give them potable drinking water, employment, food on their tables, sense of belonging and not one that scares the hell out of their lives.In doing so, PDP elected officials and Governor must roll their sleeves for actual work touching the lives of young and old, the rural folks, market women and men, business moguls, students and workers alike. Days of propagandizing and eulogizing now over. Time is for real work, which would invariably rub off on the prospective Presidential Candidate of the party.
Take Three: Can PDP bring back egalitarianism, equity, fairness, justice and inspire the citizenry to walk tall once more by making our nation more habitable thus discouraging our youths from fleeing in droves through the Sahara or the sea to become food for sharks and desert doves and Tuareg.
Take Four: Should the ruling party decide to field the present president, it is only a PDP’S Giant in the sun in the mold of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, with a healthy War Chest of resources, temperate and friendly mien, industry, brain and brawn as demonstrated while in office in the numerous positive activities and programs he enunciated even while he was being hounded from all quarters, seems the likely candidate as resilient and formidable as ever to stand toe to toe with President Buhari.Can Atike be the New Face Nigerians are anxiously waiting for? Howbeit the twosome, Atiku and Buhari, in the arena that would pass for the mother of all contests.
Obinwa Nnaji is a Public Affairs Analyst.