✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

Still on APC and Tinubu’s chances in 2023

Following my last article titled ‘’Forget the pretence, APC will swim and sink on Tinubu’’ which received quite an appreciable response, many readers called and…

Following my last article titled ‘’Forget the pretence, APC will swim and sink on Tinubu’’ which received quite an appreciable response, many readers called and wrote to ask me to ‘’finish the job’’.

By this they meant I should not just stop at analysing the issues currently raging in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the place of its national leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the whole conundrum.

They wanted me to go ahead and dissect the chances of Tinubu getting the APC’s presidential ticket and the presidency in 2023 should he elect to run.

While Tinubu has not as yet come out to declare his intention to run for the presidency, it is a sure bet that he will throw his hat into the ring at some point.

From my reading of the situation, Tinubu’s presidential project is not merely his prerogative anymore; it has become the adopted property of a group of Nigerians for a legion of reasons and whose growing number is such that should Tinubu himself decide to back out, I shudder to think what will happen to his political standing going forward.

But then that is not to say it will be merely a walk in the park for him. In the APC there is a formidable, well connected stop-Tinubu-at-all cost force determined to tackle him.

Then there are those especially from the Northwest geo-political zone who want political power to be retained there in 2023. These are the forces currently working towards pulling the rug from Tinubu’s feet in the party and the polity.

However the odds in favour of Tinubu are equally strong. The so-called ‘’young Turks’’ are just that; young, hungry but relatively inexperienced politically to cause a telling dent on Tinubu who has seen many moons in the Nigerian political landscape.

Secondly, the north may want to retain political power but quite frankly there is no political figure of the stature of Muhammadu Buhari who the northwest region not to talk of the entire north could rally around in 2023.

The Buhari emergence of 2014 was a fortuitous political development which was auspicious to that time and will certainly not be repeated in 2023.

And thirdly choosing to retain political power in 2023 will not just be a herculean electoral task for the northwest even with the massive voting numbers it possesses; there is a potential in that to become a blowback on the northwest and the nation at large.

If the APC accedes to the principle of political correctness and zones its 2023 presidential ticket to the south, then none can beat Tinubu to it.

But clinching the APC’s presidential ticket does not in any guarantee Tinubu winning the presidential race in 2023. It merely puts him in a pole position to dominate and hopefully win the 2023 presidential polls subject to certain political imperatives.

The first political imperative Tinubu has to grapple with are the upcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

The two contiguous states belong under the Tinubu sphere of political influence and he must help to deliver them in order to strengthen his now weakened hand in the APC.

Although losing them may not alter fundamentally the pole position he enjoys in the party, it will definitely help his bargaining position if his efforts wins the two states.

Secondly and more fundamentally, Tinubu would probably be sweating now on how to solve the northern question of his presidential quest knowing full well that this is where the key to his ultimate success lies.

This is as the signals from the north do not seem clear enough on whether he could count on the region’s support or not.

The knotty issue here has to do with who becomes his running mate.

Popular sentiment suggests that as a Muslim from the Southwest he should chose a northern Christian to balance the ticket. If he does that, without mincing words he can kiss his presidential quest goodbye.

A northern Christian running mate can only guarantee him at most four northern states of Plateau, Benue, Taraba and Adamawa and bits and pieces of the remaining fifteen states in the north.

This will not be decisive enough to enable him win the north handsomely as he will hope.

A northern Christian running mate would not resonate well with northern Muslims who are in overwhelming majority. The Muslim majority will consider such a ticket as being a two-thirds Christian ticket given the fact that Tinubu’s wife is a Christian as well as his would-be running mate.

In the circumstances, what the opposition would need to do is to raise a strong Muslim candidate from the north to substantially weaken Tinubu’s presidential bid.

The winning sentiment suggests that Tinubu’s running mate should be a Muslim from the north. By virtue of their massive voting populations, the southwest and northwest will always be the epicentres of presidential elections for some time to come.

If the northwest concedes 2023 to the south, they would not want to suffer the double jeopardy of losing the next most important political position in the country as well.

They would not just want the Vice Presidential slot, they would want to dictate to Tinubu who the person should be as well. This is not just to guarantee a win, but also to keep Tinubu on the straight and narrow in defence of northern interests which they will feel should not be left to his whims and caprices.

I see the northwest putting up a shortlist of Rabiu Kwankwaso (if he can be persuaded to return to APC) Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Nasir El Rufai (as an outside candidate).

Kano state will feature strongly in the consideration for the possible running mate for a number of reasons prominent of which is the fact that it has the highest voting numbers.

It will be imprudent politically to choose from Katsina which has produced two presidents, Umaru Yaradua and the incumbent president Buhari.

A northwest running mate for Tinubu will not only guarantee the majority of votes from the zone, it will also draw substantial votes from the northeast and north central as well.

All things being equal then Tinubu will end up having under his kitty, the southwest, northwest, northeast and north central zones enabling him to win the 2023 elections.