Sights from history and smiles of victory.

By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.

Hope 93 was loved by all, and Nigerians deeply and truly believed that the 93 Presidential election is still the freest and fairest, and mother of all elections in the country’s most recent history. Nobody mulled the religious denominations of the flagbearers of the SDP that won the elections, and neither were their ethnicities a thing that mattered. MKO pulled crowds from all over the very populous North, especially from Kano metropolis, the heart and nerve centre of Nigerian politics. In a recent medical reveal, 1000 births are recorded in Kano on a daily! Lagos is listed as the most populous, but I stand to be corrrected, that the largest politically active population is Kano city’s ever vibrant and committed voting populace.

Tinubu’s campaign, christened Renewed hope, by the APC, is just so apt, and the humongous crowds he pulled in Kano, is reminiscent of the MKO Abiola victory of 1993, under the SDP, as created by the IBB military regime. That idea, that conceived the NRC and SDP political parties, where both Northern and Southern interests, as well as Christian and Muslim theologies, were accommodated in both parties evenly; is manifesting in today’s multi-party 4th Republic, where even an independent candidature is not being considered as an element of surprise. Is our political process devolving from an ethnically antagonistic model, to a more accommodating style? MKO, a Yoruba man, was embraced by the masses of Kano, over a Bashir Tofa, who hails from the same Kano State! The crowd pulled in Kano by Asiwaju, cannot even be rivaled by Kwankwaso, of legendary love from the people of Kano.

The style, brand and momentum of Abiola and Tinubu’s campaigns are not too dissimilar. They both nursed the ambitions for long, built the brand over a long period, and spread their love and identity over diverse political spaces across the country. They both wined and dined with the Hausas, Igbos, Kanuris, Itsekiris and Fulanis. Abiola was in virtually every mosque launching in the North, and Tinubu goes as far as supporting a House of Representatives aspirant from the far North Eastern State of Yobe. You simply cannot castigate them for being Islamic fundamentalists, because they housed Christianity in their very own abodes. Their associates, partners and proteges were also Christian. Tinubu’s nominee for VP was a pastor, and he turned out to be the most brilliant Vice-President yet. His wife too is one.

The sights from the Kano turnout registered brilliant smiles of contentment on the faces of Asiwaju and Kashim Shettima. The event was comfortably successful and more than indicative of election success come February 25th, 2023. The crowd was massive and it must have restored a lot of confidence in the hearts of the APC faithful. Marvy Olu, ‘Pator Who’, enthused that, “APC controls 5 of 6 North Central States, 6 of 7 North Western States, 5 of 6 South Western States, 2 of 5 South Eastern States, and 1 of 6 South Southern States. This translates to 61.1% national spread. There is no universe/ multiverse that a widely accepted man like Tinubu, won’t emerge President, with a structure like this!” Rumors of cracks in the party have since been silenced by murmurs of victory, from the successes recorded in the turnouts of the Asiwaju campaign train.

Victory is on the horizon and you can almost just reach out and touch it with your gaze. Non of the aspirants is as active, prolific, and hardworking as the Dakare of Birnin Gwari, aka Jagaban. He may have started building his ambition right about the same time as Atiku, but he has made more progress, taking the more politically correct decisions and actions. He built his base from the corner of the South West, and consolidated it with a maverick partnership with Baba Buhari. He built foot soldiers along the way, creating technocrats, politicians and wonderful administrators. He sponsored politicians from different backgrounds. He had a blueprint for the consolidation of Lagos, which is a brilliant model for all the States across the country. All these have assembled in the final analysis to say ese Baba. Rome was not built in a day and certainly, the next President of the most populous black nation will not be built by the sheer machinations of a handful of elements in the corridors of power.

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

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