Last weekend the APC presidential Flagbearer, Aswiaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu choose the former Borno State Governor and a present Senator, Kashim Shettima as his running mate, sparking huge mixed feelings amongst Nigerians on a Muslim-Muslim ticket. Nigerians have since reacted to the pair with many especially from the Christian and Southern flanks denouncing the moves as highly insensitive.
Today, we will consider the implications of Tinubu’s selection of a Muslim running mate and Atiku’s selection as the PDP’s presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential elections in relation to Peter Obi’s rising popularity.
Currently, the political equation is divided into three major strata: political elites, political parties, and the general public, which comprises the electorates.
The current crop of leaders are the political elites, who are more concerned with gaining votes than with the general interest of the populace in insisting on competence.
Because they rely so heavily on their personal structure to deliver them, the emphasis here is primarily on alliances with other politicians to actualize their self-interest.
Political parties, like political elites, believe they have enough structure on the ground to deliver their candidates and humble any politician, regardless of popularity; in this case, they believe their structure is what is required to seize control of power at the center.
The general public, which is made up of the electorates, has a real say in that they are the deciding factor on who emerges as the elected representatives, and they are the ones with the real numbers, and these numbers do not care where you come from but are tired of the way Nigeria has been governed and administered over the years, and they are frustrated that the country is not making progress despite having a lot of manpower and massive financial resources.
A trip to the north by our reporters revealed a schism between the lines of thought of political parties/political elites and the current trending feelings of the general masses.
According to closely watched reports, the populace is fully aware that they own the STRUCTURE that these politicians and political parties claim as their own. In their own minds, the upcoming election represents a clear indication that Nigerians have had enough and are voting accordingly.
Funny enough, the North believes that the nation’s current woes—which include high levels of insecurity, a failing healthcare system, a deteriorating educational system with persistent strikes by lecturers, and a host of other problems—are caused by the recycling of old political figures who have served the nation over the years.
They see Tinubu’s nomination as a continuation of the same hopeless situation, and to make matters worse, they see the APC’s presentation of a Muslim-Muslim ticket as the pinnacle of insensitivity to other Nigerians in an effort to win over votes from the North in order to defeat the PDP’s candidate, Atiku Abubarkar, whom the APC sees as a threat rather than the impoverished Nigerians in whose hearts they should be winning.
This is what a Northern cleric who sought anonymity due to his revered religious status had to say about Tinubu’s choice of running mate and PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
” I can categorically state that the selection of Tinubu as the APC’s presidential flagbearer, combined with the nomination of Atiku for the PDP, has demonstrated that the ruling class is out of touch with reality on the ground; they have only demonstrated that the most coveted transformation that we seek is nothing more than a mirage with the two political parties. These are the same leaders who are to blame for our current national disaster.
To make matters worse, the APC chose a Muslim-Muslim ticket because, according to them, elections are about numbers, and because the PDP failed to zone its presidency to the South, they had to settle for a Muslim vice in order to counteract Atiku’s influence.
If they were sensitive enough, they would have reasoned the electorates into their equation, but all they see is another political party that has derailed us for 16 years as opposed to we the masses who are feeling the pains. It is unfortunate that they do not consider the high rate of out-of-school children in the North, the underdevelopment we have in the North, the poor state of our girl child, and only care about muscling the same set of people just because they want POWER and nothing more.
We’ll tell them this time that we have the numbers, not they. According to the most recent electoral statistics, fewer than 40% of Nigerians participated in the voting process. Fortunately, this time around, things have changed. We who are still undecided have committed to using our THUMBs to vote out both the APC and the PDP. We have the numbers, and as you can see, we’ve significantly increased those numbers.
Let us all be vineyard laborers; we chose Peter Obi over insecurity and a battered economy. Obi is the people’s choice, and we support him; he has demonstrated the ability to unite the country and restore it to its rightful place among the comity of nations.”
Other states monitored in the North East and North West have shown that the Labour Party’s presidential candidate is indeed gaining popularity in comparison to traditional political parties. People are chanting “Dan Kudu” in support of Peter Obi, saying, “Let us stand by the South.”
The North Central appears to be an Obi ground already, as Benue, Nassarawa, and Plateau State appear to be “Obidient,” as Peter Obi supporters are known.
If the recent zeal shown in the electoral process by 80 per cent of registered voters is sustained, the APC and the PDP will face a difficult battle. The average Northerner believes that a new era is required in Nigeria today and that if millions of Nigerians dissatisfied with the hopeless state of our nation’s affairs actively participate in the electoral process, Nigeria will be set for a rebirth.
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