First of all, Hajiya Najaatu Mohammed has an undeniable right to hold an opinion, take that opinion to another level or even change it. She has the right to associate and belong to any political party of her choice. The combined effect of sections 38(1), 39(1) and 40 of the 1999 constitution (as altered) under fundamental rights bestows the right to hold an opinion and associate freely on every citizen of Nigeria. This is expressly guaranteed and a settled matter.
Beyond the constitutional provisions, some reasons are decipherable from the recent cross-carpeting of the highly popular female politician from Kano state Hajiya Najaatu Mohammed. Recall that 2 days ago, the politician resigned from her role as a director of civil societies in the ruling Tinubu/Shettima APC Presidential Campaign council APC PCC and joined the PDP. She was recently seen grinning widely in a photo shoot with the PDP Presidential candidate Waziri Atiku Abubakar.
One key reason that can be figured out is that Hajiya Najaatu felt let down by the Asiwaju campaign and the APC. Having come through this cycle during the Buhari era since 2015 where she has developed some receptors, it is quite understandable that Hajiya Najaatu is not ready to go through another round of political betrayal.
She cannot stomach another round of monkey dey work, baboon dey chop.
The lady is simply not ready to be used and dumped as was her case during Buhari where she did everything for Buhari but watched as those who did virtually nothing corner juicy appointments and call the shots in Buhari’s government.
The precursor to Najaatu’s volte face and ship-jump from the APC to the PDP stems from the account of her meeting with Tinubu in London. She felt that she was let down after she was told to go prepare her position paper on what she wants Asiwaju to do for the North, which she did painstakingly but later denied access to see Tinubu and submit/discuss her proposal for Northern Nigeria. The politician felt that she had made enough sacrifice to have paid for her air fare and arranged her trip to within 24 hours to meet Tinubu in London only for Asiwaju’s inner cycle to deny and block her from a follow-up meeting with Tinubu. Understandably, Hajiya Naja felt that she had made enough sacrifice to travel to Paris from London to meet Emir Sanusi (11) with the consent of Asiwaju to discuss ‘what is in it for the North’ only to be denied access to see Asiwaju. The lady felt that if she can be treated in this manner, then what awaits her in the likelihood of a Tinubu victory in the Presidential election is better imagined. Having come from the recent Buhari disappointment, Najaatu had developed enough white blood cells since 2015 to resist any real or imaginary foreseeable potentials of political disappointment. She simply said to herself ‘let me take the easy way out before I go through another cycle of betrayal by joining Atiku’s train even if as a fall back position.
Forget about Najaatu’s rather groundless claim that Asiwaju cannot hold a tea cup due to acute dementia and Alzheimer, the fact is that Najaatu has grudges with the Tinubu APC campaign council one of which is that she felt Asiwaju has no plan for Northern Nigeria. Although I don’t reckon he doesn’t have one, I personally believe that Asiwaju ought to have a plan for Northern Nigeria even on banditry and terrorism which is gradually eaten up the region and poverty as well. Banditry is growing from the North and spilling over to the South.
Even if to cement his second term, Asiwaju is too clever to play games with the North regarding politics. The man is too experienced to treat the North in a cavalier manner if he wins the election.
Be that as if may, to counter Najaatu’s claim that Asiwaju has no programme for the North, all that the APC PCC needs to do is to say ‘hey Nigerians look, this is our programme for the North.
It is that simple.
In politics, you don’t attack at the first provocation. You keep your tools until after victory at the polls.
The solution is not to attack and disparage Najaatu with heavy English grammar as did the APC PCC yesterday but to counter her with facts and figures. I don’t think it will help the APC campaign to go on a chase with Naja’atu or anyone who decides to jump ship for that matter. Moreover, not all provocations deserve a response. Indeed, silence can be a better response to provocation.
Despite the hype it has created, there are some lessons learnable from Najaatu’s volte-face. One of these is that the Tinubu campaign needs to continue to convince voters, not only in the North but up and down the country regarding what Asiwaju has for them to earn their votes.
The problems of the North are much more than a state police which the Tinubu campaign council has told Najaatu that they have included in the manifesto. The North has the problem of banditry and terrorism.
Today, from Kano to Kebbi, Sokoto to Maiduguri, Benue to Yola, Kaduna to Damaturu, almost every Northerner is patiently waiting either to be kidnapped, displaced or killed by bandits and terrorists. What’s the blueprint on this?
The North is awash with untapped agricultural potentials and solid minerals yet the region is arguably the world’s poverty capital. Highest poverty rate in the North is 90.5% (Sokoto state) while in the South it is 27.2% C (Ondo state). This means there is a poverty gap of 63.3% between the North and the South. How can this very wide gap be bridged?
What’s the way forward for the North from Asiwaju’s perspectives if he wins the election? The North is educationally backward and has the second highest number of out-of-school children in the world. What is the solution?
The housing deficit in the North is ridiculously high and utterly unacceptable. What’s the solution?
These are the questions on the lips of many Northerners who are sitting-by and waiting for answers not only from Asiwaju but Waziri Atiku Abubakar as well.