When you zone the Presidency to the North or to the South, you would be making sense; so would you be, if you further zone it to a segment of the North, i.e North Central or North East, or South West and South East. Federal character is embedded in our constitution and there may as well be zoning clauses in the constitutional arrangements of our two major political parties, the PDP & the APC. However, equity and fairness make it imperative upon us, to seek a working arrangement or formula, that would see Government at the National level, promising to give reasonable representation to all corners and sections of the country; as much as is humanly possible.
The zoning arrangements of the Fourth Republic were first desecrated by the PDP, presenting Pres. Jonathan for a second term, instead of a Northerner, to fill late Pres. Yar’adua’s second term. If that had not been truncated; by now, all major parties atleast, would be routing for a candidate from the same region. In another foul play, the PDP presented a Northerner for the 2023 polls, despite President Buhari’s 8 year tenure as a northerner, just about to come to an end. Understandably, it is a political manoeuvre and it is aimed at winning the Presidency, at whatever cost. On the other hand, the APC, especially the Northern interests, honorably surrendered the seat to the Southern interests, for peace, stability and equity. In the end, Tinubu, the Jagaba, won the ticket and is poised to win the elections. But just like the PDP, Tinubu has to deploy a strategy, whether devoid of fairness or not, which would see him clinch the victory in the general polls.
A religious card has now come to the fore of the Vice Presidential nomination process, for Tinubu’s ticket. However, in the PDP arrangement, those cards, the tribal cards in their case, were thrown out and never discussed again. Why? Victory at the polls is more important than the tribal balancing drive at this material time. In political spheres, it was a master-stroke move, to have not only a northerner, but a colossus of an Atiku on the ticket. Seemingly, they are coasting to victory. Interestingly, Tinubu’s emergence has redesigned their strategies for them automatically, and they’d have to look one more time before they leap again.
So if PDP would go for an arrangement that would guarantee victory for them through Atiku, why shouldn’t Tinubu do the same? Why create even more tricky and treacherous situations for him and the party, that would goad them towards failure? Why a religious card all of a sudden? If picking a lady, a young man or a disabled, would grant him brighter chances at the polls, why not? The choice is his as would be guided by the party, with the prudence of the selection process, using victory as its most vital strategy.
When there is a proliferation of people and interests, coming out guns blazing, fighting tooth and nail, that a nominee must be picked from a particular state, tribe, religion or even dialect, then you know that party or national interests are not at the centre of their minds, nor at the heart of their proclamations. If Tinubu is picking a lady and the polls show him coasting to victory, then so be it. If he picks say a Gov. Lalong from Plateau state and the analysis and forecasts show a good winning margin, then so be it. The South West will vote for Tinubu, not as a Muslim, but as a Yoruba son. They would be wise enough to know that at the end of the day, they are better off, especially after a not too far away OBJ Presidency, and an 8 year Vice Presidency of Osinbajo. The Northern leg of the APC then, would be identifying a son of theirs, who would be popular enough to bless Tinubu’s results and put an icing on the cake. Considering his religion is now secondary unfortunately. Reality bites hard on this one and public debate has shown its willingness to embrace a winning formula, as against a religious agenda. Islamisation is not on the table and neither is Fulanisation, since it’s a Southern/ Yoruba candidate that has been beckoned to serve God willing. So our famous grass cutter should leave this matter to the victorious lot, and not to the bickering lot who have got nothing to lose should the APC lose in 2023.
Tahir writes from Bauchi.