2023 Presidency: Northern Leaders Optimistic Kwankwaso Will Step Down For Atiku –
You will understand this long read-only if you still have any grey matter left in your skull. That was the headline of confirmation for me published on the front page of the Daily Independent Newspaper on Monday the 30th day of January 2023, after being troubled by the political trajectory of my moment of honour to which I was invited by ACIPA. The angels in the hallowed chamber of the National Headquarters of the ECWA Church in Jos must have been as surprised as I was when ACIPA DAY 2023 took a turn for political marketing engineered by Fulani nation using one from among us. Born to rule is the slogan of Sokoto state, an interpretation of the grip of the oligarchy represented by the throne of the Sultan. Born to rule doesn’t apply to all who were born in Sokoto or northern Nigeria, it speaks of those who by DNA have identified with the throne; as Fulanis.
Please, don’t misunderstand me, I have nothing against the Fulani nation and tribe, my excitement knew no bounds when I saw a thoroughbred Fulani man; Buba Aliyu, President of the Fulani Christian Association of Nigeria, I sacrificed the front seat offered to me by ACIPA’s Chairman Rev Shehu Luke to sit beside this rare Ambassador of the Fulani nation. It was meant to be a day of prayers, awards, investiture and book dedication according to the organizers. A privilege it was for me to be listed for the honour along with persons whose mark of stewardship to God for humanity in ministry has placed me close enough to humbly and gladly unlace their sandals if given the opportunity!
Rt. Rev. Fr. Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah is no mere a man of diplomacy and statesmanship. A seminarian extraordinaire with a speciality in apologetics. His impact in this regard is beyond the borders of our continent having served the Vatican City as a member of the Pontifical Council For Inter-Religious Dialogue under 3 popes, now a member of the Dicastery For the Promotion of Human Integral Development at the Vatican City! The “Calipher” Bishop of Sokoto has elevated his pulpit to global relevance.
Christmases in recent times are incomplete until his homily is heard or read, not just in Nigeria but all over the world. Though he was absent, this took not the glamour of the event. Another man of ministry service listed was Rev Dr Caleb Ahima, a man of quiet disposition, but a silent achiever. Candidate in one of the past CAN elections I worked vigorously against Miyetti Allah’s sponsored candidate, and the choice of Miyetti Allah won! I will conceal the details of drama that made us victims as Christians as a result of our wrong decisions taken as a body in the past. I don’t intend to heat up the church as we go towards the 2023 elections. I hope I won’t have to! Listed for honour on the other divide of religion were Engr Mansur Salihu Nakande, National Secretary, Fityanul Islam of Nigeria, Mallam Nuhu Ibrahim Almasih, a privilege to meet Sheik Muhammad Nuru Khalid, the point blank, “say it as it is” former Imam of Apo Central Mosque.
Politicians were not left out, Dr Daniel Bwala whose wits of words have the capacity to strip an Angel of its angelic form in human minds and make a demon desirable as a replacement for an angel. He couldn’t make it to the event. A star-studded occasion if you will permit me the usage of the word. The political list was led by HE, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, the Executive Governor of Delta State, who was ably represented by HE, Boni Haruna, former Governor of Adamawa state! One of the Awardees, Rt Honourable Yakubu Dogara rested the responsibility to deliver the speech of the occasion, themed; *The Past, Present and Future Roles of Northern Christians In The Development of Nigeria.
Typical of politicians at political seasons, he was far from doing justice to the topic as no single mention was made of the roles of any Christian or groups in the past, the present or the future. No doubt, he stole the opportunity to push his candidate, nevertheless, the speech will be rated “A” in political marketing. Dogara was principally one of the political pillars upon which Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu won his APC ticket. The credit for Osibajo’s defeat at the APC primary goes to the rallying influence of political Christians like him. His submission on Asiwaju will leave only the gullible confused. The meeting ended without an opportunity to ask questions. So he walked away with his answer to the questions on my mind. Could much of the Pablo Escobar-style discovery about Tinubu be between the APC primaries and now?
Atiku, he told us has done so much for the Church in the north. He cited the example of his becoming the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the wings of Atiku, a particular Christian would never have been the Governor of Taraba, he stated. Rev Jolly Nyame will be eternally grateful to Atiku Abubakar for making him a Governor. He further cited the case of my friend since the advent of social media H. E. Boni Haruna, who I was meeting in person at the event for the first time. He was nodding in approval to the rhetorical political sermon of Dogara. He left no one in doubt of the mindset of an average Northern Nigerian Christian who sees citizens’ rights as privileges for which they must shout rankadede! This rankadede mindset and the pattern sustaining it is the biggest challenge of Northern Christians, and except there is a mind shift, they will wait till Jesus comes at the table of oligarchy for fallen crumbs!
He wasn’t done until he took a swipe at Obi, but it is important for me to state my take away which is the fact that northerners of tribes outside Fulani, Christians in north and south, Nigerians in general and politicians, in particular, are ignorant of the complexity of the oligarchy institution driving the power process in Nigeria. We are far removed from the reality of the pawns we are in the power game. The king of the 2023 game is the Fulani man; Atiku Abubakar, who once traded for Buhari to be rewarded with 2023. Tambuwa was traded at PDP primary for AA and his reward in the future is sure. It is the turn of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to be traded for a future reward. To the oligarchy, the north is one politically even though they are terribly divided, but the string to pull them together for joint political position and mission they have never lost. Their social welfare negligence is a tool of subjugation but their nemesis today for taking the people for granted for so long!
Back to the question of Peter Obi and how he fits in the puzzle. Who is Obi? An inconsequential personality in the estimation of the oligarchy but a potent weapon of change in the hands of angry Nigerians who were promised change in 2015, the next level of change in 2019 and an extra level of it in BAT’s 2023 Hope Renewed!
The people have heard world-class manifestos from the mouth of FFK, Daniel Bwala, and Festus Keyamo. This pattern is the suspicion of selling Obi. The tongue of FFK is tied to the APC manifesto and it is sweet in his mouth, but the man whose mind and plan for Nigeria the manifesto represents is a direct opposite of the document every time he opens his mouth! Keyamo may shout at Seun Okinbaloye and fight with Rufai Oseni all he likes! Their disagreement is unresolvable because his principal is painting town hall meetings and campaigns in different shades of blue. Dino is too garrulous and vulgar to communicate his product to the people who should buy it. The gap is the question of Atiku’s candidacy. It was wise of APC to exclude Lai Mohammed from their campaign! Smart also is the absence of Sheikh Isa Pantami whose face may remind the nation of terrorism. The unresolved question of persons like him is the reason it is dangerous to ignore the threat that the Muslim/Muslim ticket poses.
Is an Atiku presidency any different from Tinubu/Shettima’s Muslim/Muslim ticket? If anything; I think it is a deeper version. A Fulani Muslim succeeding another Fulani Muslim in a nation left at the mercy of Fulani herders in the past seven-odd years because one of their own is in power according to Nasir El-Rufa???? This will be too much a reality for any logica≥≥l mind to ignore. An Atiku presidency would keep power to the Fulani as designed by the oligarchy for 16 years. The choice is ours! Political alliances are the strength of the oligarchy’s game, they know how and when to form it and when it should be discarded. Okowa is just another useful tool for serving time!
Is Obi really the best presidential candidate among all the 18? I personally don’t think so. But he is the very best among the leading four for the exigency of the time! In this battle for the soul of Nigeria, it is the right of someone like ‘Yele Sowore to give the command to his army but the quest for political diplomacy sought a face with a mouth, Obi’s face and mouth fit the yearning of the masses who were tired of reading imported manifestos without local intelligence to interpret and execute them. The trader in Obi met the expectations of most Nigerians. That’s the crux, the meat, a thousand criticisms of Obi by proven failures hold no water. Nigerians in my observation have made up their minds. If they must be scammed, it must be by a new scammer! Dogara had nothing really to say about Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso. I will submit that all I can make out of his thoughts on RMK is, he is a brother of Atiku and their Oligarchy political patrimony will take care of his interests.
While Dogara was the hands of the Oligarchy stretched forth from the altar of ECWA National Headquarters camouflaging as the voice of the church. His conclusion was the superior experience of Atiku for which we all must follow him to the place where his mistake of selling the Aluminum smelting company built for $3.2 billion and sold for $205 million with a down payment of 5 million dollars and the balance of $200 to be paid within a period of 20 years. A company from which $324 million was earned in the export of Aluminum products the year Atiku became the Vice President. That’s a herdsman sale, cows appreciate but national assets don’t! We have never stopped asking the question who did this to us from 2015 till date! Will the question still suffice after the 2023 election or we are going to undo what we did to ourselves? In his word, nobody can take another to where they haven’t been before. The truth is, Dogara spoke for himself and his co-beneficiaries in an Atiku Presidency.
Northerner or Arewa, in the local language, is the veil behind which leaders hide. “Leaders” is the political identity of the clique in control of power, the power gamers I grew up to know as the Oligarchy, same day, Sunday 29th January 2023 were expressing their optimism that Senator Rabiu Kwankwanso, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), will eventually step down for Atiku Abubakar, the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)! My insinuation a leading member of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), who spoke with Daily Independent on Sunday, has confirmed. He said the leaders are optimistic that a partnership will be brokered between Kwankwaso and Atiku! The sophistication of the Oligarchy in the game of power is revealed in the Daily Independent story which stated that the Northern leaders have agreed that there is a need for the region to forge a common front ahead of the election, especially given the hostility and gang-up against Atiku by the PDP G-5, led by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State. Wike’s right to expression is concluded as a gang up against Atiku and possibly against him, who was born to rule!
The NEF chieftain, who, according to Daily Independent asked not to be named as he is not authorised to speak on the issue, said eminent retired generals, religious leaders and traditional rulers are all talking with Kwankwaso on the need to collapse his structures for Atiku! He added that if the NORTH can present a consensus candidate and the Southern votes are shared between Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Atiku will easily coast home to victory!
The ideology of one Nigeria in all intent of the north is one north, that is why their sons preferably Fulani Muslims are born to rule the rest of us and to decide who among the northern Christians they have humiliated to humility enough to serve their interest! In the usual way of northern political pragmatism, the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council said Atiku has promised to run a government of national unity and will partner patriotic Nigerians in the mission to rebuild the country from the ruins caused by the APC! My question is which party was Atiku in 2015 when the contract to ruin Nigeria was sealed?
The pattern before us that must be broken going forward is the need to square the 2023 race on resetting Nigeria on competence, character and charisma. Who is the candidate with competence, and character of frugality that we must model as a country? With 77 trillion debt hanging on the necks of our unborn children, who is that candidate adverse to loans as a way to grow the economy? Who among them has shown charismatic communication that brought his plan for the country home to ordinary Nigerians to understand? Who has promised to cut the extravagant recklessness of political officeholders and their civil servant cohorts whose financial flamboyancy we can not continue to bear? These are the questions in the mind of Nigerians, that, candidates and political parties must have answers to. For now, it is the Oligarchy vs Nigeria, and may Nigeria win!
Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi is an Apostle and Nation Builder, President, Voice Of His Word Ministries and Convener Apostolic Round Table. Tel: +2348033041236, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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