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Published On: Thu, Dec 18th, 2014

A Buhari- Sambo ticket, why Not?

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BuhariBy Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi

The responsibility of the Vice President is to be ready at a moment’s notice to accept the Presidency if the President is unable to perform his duties for any objective reason, and NamadiSambo, certainly can fulfill this responsibility, having been in his current position since 2010. The All Progressives Congress (APC) has chosen the 71-year-old retired army general, MuhammaduBuhari, the iron fisted and no-nonsense disciplinarian, to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan for the presidency next year.

Buhari, as we know, ran in 2003, 2007, and in 2011 unsuccessfully; now he wants to kick out President Jonathan, who has been in power since 2010, along with vice president, Sambo. Buhari, as we all know, is an honesty-driven man, a fierce fighter of corruption, and has been known to very quickly silence drug dealers, punish white collar criminals, chastise compromise-minded media, and display the fear of God in him on behalf of the people.

Buhari, given his unique personality and style, should go ahead and select his running mate from an oppositional party, like the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Yes , it sounds odd, but under a country like Nigeria, with its unusual circumstances as it relates to our current state of polity, there is apparently no constitutional law that would prohibit Buhari, as a presidential candidate, from selecting a running mate from the opposition, the PDP or any other party. In practice, of course, it’s extremely unlikely that a PDP-type would consent to run on an APC ticket, or vice versa.

However, should Buhari move boldly and select the current deputy to Jonathan, he, Sambo, would be seen as a traitor among partisan allies, especially Jonathan, to the point where he would be forced to switch party affiliation. Although the odds are slim to none that Buhari would be willing to invite vicious ridicule from his political associates, it should be remembered that to a man like Buhari what matters most is putting the people and Nigeria first. It is also possible that some in APC ‘s rank-and-file would coordinate a revolt and try to work to subvert the presidential nominee’s unusual choice.

Yes, we know that a vice presidential nomination is supposed to be affirmed by the stakeholders of a party like the APC, but today in our young democracy, we live in a bitter time and in one of the worst moments in our nation. As such, let’s do the unusual during this extraordinary time.

A conflict-time coalition between an APC and a PDP against the swelling problem image of the current ruling party would provide a sigh of relief to the people who are yearning for a major offensive against the present powers that be. But silently, are they in fear of the all-powerful PDP with their super military back up?

We should not be perturbed about Vice-President NamadiSambo being a Northerner, a Muslim, and a long standing devotee of PDP. Sambo, an architect by background, is a silent political heavyweight, who may even harbor his own presidential ambitions.

As a possible vice president to the aging Buhari, he is well positioned to be President in the future, if not sooner. Perhaps in private, he may be experiencing mixed feelings that President Jonathan did not keep his reported oral promise to leave office in 2015. As governor of Kaduna state, Sambo implemented an 11-point agenda that was focused on empowering the youth and women of the community, and his full attention in addressing the issue of insecurity for his state.

Sambo, by appearance and history, is not too partisan; he is more a man of the center, and already has the finesse for a vice-presidential relationship, as he has a very warming face with the public. He is anti-indiscipline and a serious person when it comes to the people’s priorities. He is grounded in a mind of independency. He is all about reality rather than wide open fantasy. He is a man of character. He is not an ultra-Muslim, but certainly a man of tolerance.

Sambo, if truth be told, would take off in speed from the PDP, based on PDP’s soiled name locally and globally. But for now, he must continue to grapple with this type of problem as he is generally deemed to be a loyalist. Why would Nigeria not welcome and bring in such a man to a new Nigeria, if Buhari boldly asked him to join the APC , especially when we know Sambo as one of the most passionate advocates for the youths, lay people, the elderly, and a friend of the professional and business world?

By appearance, it is quite easy to see a personal chemistry between Buhari and Sambo, as it relates to a mindset for a disciplined and healthy political atmosphere. Above all, Sambo is bathed in confidence, truthfulness, and selflessness. He is a strikingly different Nigerian from Jonathan, who reportedly ruminates on a notoriously close relationship with some questionable political and religious associates.

Like every great story, the opinion here may be an exercise in fantasy, but if the party elders in the APC really want the best for Nigeria, let them allow Buhari to secretly reach out to Sambo as a possible vice presidential candidate and, should both of them agree, the non-ending embarrassment that the PDP and the APC have created in the eyes of the people will be lessened, as we will be repositioning Nigeria with two good men from the so-called oppositional parties.

Dr. John EgbeazienOshodi via jos5930458@aol.com

 

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