2023: APC and the plot to keep presidency in the North - By: . | Dailytrust

2023: APC and the plot to keep presidency in the North

By  Alhasan Farouk


Unless drastic interventions are made, next year’s general election may prove difficult for our nation as desperate attempts by various sides of the union to ensure that they  wrest power, especially the presidency.

President Muhammadu Buhari from the North West, as incumbent, has received widespread criticism from several segments of the society for what has been termed a lopsided appointment policy in Nigeria’s security architecture and several MDAs where the North has been unduly favoured. With the recent spate of insecurity, banditry, herder-farmer violence, IPOB disruptions, and separatist group agitations it is apparent that the nation has never been more divided.

With a fractious polity where ethnic and religious strife have seen sectional violence come to the fore in the North Central, South East, South West, the South is eager to stake a claim to the presidency to sooth frayed nerves across the country. Nigeria’s fragile unity is indeed at stake.

The dramatic but dangerous tussle is best observed in the country’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress. Formed in 2014 as an alliance between the north and south to oust the PDP which had held power for 16 years prior, President Muhammadu Buhari emerged as its flagbearer, representing the north, and with a promise to surrender power to the south in a high-stake power sharing formula designed to promote inclusion and a sense of belonging.

Political activities this year, including the primaries of the political parties, are meant to set the stage for a change of guard. However, in the APC, several key northern figures, emboldened by their control of the party, particularly with the recent emergence of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, as the chairman of the party, are exploring strategies to keep power and leave the southern region out in the cold.

Multiple sources have alleged a secret plot being orchestrated by  northern power brokers to facilitate the nomination of either Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, the Governor of Jigawa State, or the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, as its presidential candidate, despite the expectation that the Southern bloc of the party should produce its nominee.

The allegation of a northern agenda to retain power is strengthened by the delays and postponements that have characterised the party’s candidate-selection process.

Also alleged is a plot to install Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the PDP president ousted in 2015 and whom the APC famously reviled as incompetent, corrupt, and lacking in leadership. His consideration, according to the sources, should be the next preferred – and fail-safe – option to a northern candidate, considering the constitutional limits, which means the former president, having served another term prior, can only serve another four years before power is promptly returned to the North. But this is shortsighted given the fact that there is a constitutional limitation to the Jonathan project as a recent constitutional amendment prohibits anyone who has sworn to the oath relating to the presidency more than twice from running a third time. The proponents of this Jonathan project are up for a legal tussle.

It’s no different in the opposition PDP where similar patterns are noticed. After the emergence of a Northern chairman, the party, too, has refused to zone its presidential ticket, amplifying fears that a Northerner, Atiku Abubakar, could once again work his way to the top, creating an implosive prospect of an all-Northern affair in 2023. This is what the Northern leadership in APC is putting forward as a justification for its Northern candidate plan.

The reaction of the Southern to this prospect is easily predictable. Sentiments of Nigeria being a colonial administrative project that funneled wealth from the resource-rich South to the desert and trouble-plagued North is still rife in the region, especially among the intellectual who are increasingly revisiting the country’s history and animating secessionist agenda that regained popularity over recent alleged nepotism.

The apparent mismanagement of the party processes, due largely to the greed and megalomania of vested interest in the North, who do not care about the region but their personal aggrandizement and are terrified by the prospect of life without the cover of federal power and immunity, may not augur well for the country.

So far, the political leaders of the southern region, especially in the West, who control the media, have kept their rhetoric from the mainstream, hoping that a change of power in 2023 may help alleviate the fears of the people and rekindle interest in the preservation of the union. But if they get schemed out of the political play by the northern powerbrokers, they too may reconsider their position, and with that reality comes the real threat of Nigeria coming undone. The center of Nigeria is not holding and the APC’s final act, unless it changes course, may be to preside over the country’s disintegration.


 Farouk is an APC chieftain in Bauchi State.

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