In an autocratic manner, Senator Abdullah Adamu the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) told members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party that in consultation with President Muhammadu Buhari, a fellow Northerner, Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, had been chosen as a consensus candidate.
The 13 APC governors, most of them Muslims in support of the power shift to the South, refused to join in Adamu’s autocratic move. The northern governors with prominent voices like Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Aminu Masari of Katsina, Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa, and Abubakar Bello of Niger, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi and others stood their ground that the party’s candidate in the 2023 presidential election shall come from the southern part of the country. Equally, members of the National Working Committee of the party, of which Adamu is the leader, rejected his autocratic and tyrannical move.
While the presidency denied that President Muhammadu Buhari had no anointed candidate, his up and down meetings with select stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress, including Adamu, and all APC governors, then Northern APC governors, but not Southern APC governors, leave one guessing as to his true motives.
Especially when Adamu, who was generally imposed as the chairman by Buhari, and by way of consensus, asserted that President Buhari, supports Ahmad Lawan the Senate President, as the consensus candidate.
It did matter to Adamu that out of at least 22 presidential aspirants, a list of 13 presidential aspirants were cleared by the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led Screening Committee, and five aspirants of southern background have been shortlisted for the presidential primary election. These include ex-Lagos governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; and former Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi.
It did not matter to Adamu that it was necessary in the interest of justice, fairness, and equity to let a southerner vie for the presidency this time.
It did not matter to Adamu that former vice president Atiku Abubakar a Muslim from the North, of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is again running to be president.
It did not matter to Adamu, why, for almost eight years, every top security and sensitive appointment by Buhari was a Muslim or Hausa/Fulani Muslim. not a non-northerner, especially an Igbo qualified person.
The announcement by Adamu proclaiming the Senate President Ahmad Lawan as the “consensus candidate” ahead of the APC presidential primary could have been carried out in the silent name of the Islamic doctrine, that says you are your brother’s keeper, but this time fair minded Northern Muslim leaders do not see Southeast and South-south marginal representation in Nigeria’s presidential leadership, especially after eight years of Buhari, as godly and they include the likes of governors; Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, Kano, Umar Ganduje, Plateau, Niger, Sani Bello, Nasarawa, Abdullahi Sule, Borno, Babagana Zulum, Gombe, Mohammad Inuwa Yahaya, among others.
Adamu, who appeared to follow the ethnic religious path of Buhari, tried to exhibit the Trumpian psychology, meaning the use of prejudice, dogmatism, and intolerance, which many progressive Nigerians see as constituting a possible clear and present danger to the continued existence of polity in Nigeria and possibly subverting Nigeria’s democratic processes.
It must not be practiced by any southerner, especially Tinubu if he wins. Fairness, balance, and equity, not ethnicity, religion, and region, are the three main elements of a democratic political system, and Nigeria, after Buhari, can get there.
Prof. Oshodi wrote in via email@example.com