2023 polls: Petty opposition and the chicanery of Nigeria’s politicians.

By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi.

A leading opposition figure picks on PMB’s seating position at King Charles The Third’s coronation, in a classless effort to demean Nigeria and denigrate Mr. President. A clever observer pointed out where the US President was seated and it was just as where the other guests were seated. The event hosted virtually all the leading figures in the world, mostly with their spouses and some top government functionaries. Everyone invited to the coronation was at Westminster Abbey, The Royal Church at the centre of London. Was PMB anointing King Charles with holy oil? No. Was he presenting The King with the coronation regalia? No. So why is his seating position of particular interest? What purpose would he have served in close proximity to the stage? Picking on PMB’s seating at The Royal Church, where he was honorably invited as a special guest from one of the member countries of The Commonwealth is just another, of the very many lows Nigerian politics is fast plunging into.

More disheartening is the startling revelation that winning 25% of FCT as ‘part of the minimum criteria for winning The Presidential elections’, is at the fulcrum of the opposition’s case at the tribunal. It cannot be from being daft, or comprehending what the constitution says. It is clearly from mischief, and a concerted effort in misleading gullible Nigerians into thinking that The APC and its Presidential candidate, did not win the 2023 polls. FCT is regarded as a State constitutionally and the 25% clause across 24 States of The Federation, includes the FCT. Section 299 of the constitution is explicit about the status of the FCT. Petty opposition politics is creating a false perception of ambiguity in the intent of the crafters of this particular constitutional clause. There is nothing special in the composition of the FCT that warrants it as a must win (by 25%). It is simply the 37th State, equal to the other 36 States, of which 24 must be won by atleast 25% of the votes in each. Some cheekily argue that all the business stakeholders of an election season have played their parts and had their fortunes out of the politicking, so why obfuscate lawyers from their parts and fortunes?

More chicanery is brought to the fore, as a leading religious figure dabbles into politics and asks that The President elect should not be sworn in until after The Tribunal delivers its verdict. Question is, what if the Appeal Court disagrees with the Tribunal? What if The Supreme Court has other thoughts as against The Appeal Court or Tribunal’s rulings? If the implementation of the results of an election are to be withheld until after all judicial issues are resolved, then that ought to be enshrined in our constitution with a timeline that specifies so. Where were they when constitutional amendments were being made and The Electoral Act was being amended?

The ruling party and its ambassadors lost so many of its strongholds including Lagos, Katsina and Kano. This is a clear attestation to the credibility of the 2023 polls. The opposition parties had stellar performances in pockets of areas, and if only they had consolidated as one force, driven by the same agenda, vehicle and itinerary like the APC came together in 2015 to oust the PDP, they could have won the elections. Simply put, the votes of the PDP, LP and NNPP put together could have outwitted the APC and downed the ruling party. Instead, the politicking process was just a culmination of the fragmentation of the opposition. What if Peter Obi had been Atiku’s running mate? What if Kwankwaso had been Obi’s running mate? They all had the same purpose but they worked independently and that cost them.

From interim government, to interim Nigeria, to hounding the Judiciary, the opposition is pulling all kinds of strings, to stop the swearing in of the President elect. They have even resorted to begging Mr. President to abscond from the swearing in ceremony. Even in their petty opposition tactics and disjointed efforts, they are still at loggerheads with each other. Is it the LP that won or is it the PDP that won? Or even the NNPP? The Chicanery they have plagued the road to the 2023 Presidential swearing in ceremony further unveils how Nigeria dodged a bullet, by not falling into the hands of these desperate and mischievous politicians. As for Baba’s seating position at Westminster Abbey, it is a very special position to be at The Royal Church as such an event has not taken place since the year 1066 in the venue. This is the first of its kind in the 21st century. So the history Baba made is unprecedented. How many Presidents have attended The coronation of a King or Queen of The British Monarchy?

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

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