There was an awkward clip of President Muhammed Buhari receiving Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in audience at the Presidential Villa recently for a meeting whose agenda remain as vague as the administration they both represent. After what seemed like a close door meeting between the duo, the boastful Governor appeared on TV from one recluse corner of the Presidential chambers to address the press. And the topic of his treatise is a vote against rotational presidency in Nigeria. This is where I smelt a rat as it appears another presidential ‘abracadabra’ akin to former President Olusegun’s amorphous third term agenda is in the offing.
The personage of the individual drafted to be the habinger and spokesperson of the unfolding macabre move tells a more foreboding likelihood of a sinister political move. At a time when the nation is sitting on a dangerous precipe of disintegration based on primordial feelings of exclusion and marginalization, the least any discerning and focused government is expected to do is to push for more inclusion and compromises to douse grievances and mutual animosity that has gripped Nigeria’s polity under President Buhari’s led APC government.
Instead, it appears that the President and his henchmen are least bothered by the gloom hanging ominously over Nigeria. All the want is a perpetuation of status quo at all cost as contained in the veiled message that Governor Yahaya Bello passed to Nigerians in that press briefing. I shudder at the likely consequences of the option that President Buhari and his men are espousing because not only will it further alienate certain constituents of Nigeria, it also signals the resolve of Buhari’s north to cling to central power at all cost.
As a reminder to Nigerians, there has been a clamour in the so called ruling political parties for power rotation principally between Northern and Southern Nigeria. Within these major political demarcation, there are several internal agitations for more inclusive governance. And the sum of all these is what is generating the current political heat in Nigeria. A good and discerning government will not only push for shift of central power to the South after 8 years of rabid political misadventure, but help the contending constituents reach amicable resolution of the standard torchbearer in a manner as would engender peace, security and progress of Nigeria. Governor Yahaya Bello’s pronouncement is meant to test the waters and instead of fretting or vexing our persons over his hatchet job, I urge all peace loving and progressive Nigerians, especially northerners to utterly reject the political prescription of Yahaya Bello and his pay masters and advise them to allow the wishes of the people to prevail.
Pity is those who against reason orchestrated the scheme that foisted President Muhammed Buhari and APC on Nigerians for their selfish ambitions are by now filled with indignant regrets and moral shame. I don’t pity them though because as the erudite journalist and columnist Dan Agbese once wrote, ‘ a man that derives pleasure riding on the back of a Tiger may end up in the belly of the beast one day.’ While I watch bemusedly as their personal ambitions end up in tatters, I can’t do same on behalf of Nigeria and many good and patriotic Nigerians that have borne the brunt of APC’s malevolent administration over the past 6 years or so. While ranting against those currently engaging the Nigerian State violently, the President through a foot soldier like Yahaya Bello is conveying a counter-narrative that is capable of causing more harm than what we are currently witnessing.
I therefore urge the political parties to stick by their zoning arrangement in a progressive and amicable manner. Let someone tell Yahaya Bello and those that drafted him into this ugly plot that there abound countless numbers of good and qualified men and women in every nook and cranny of Nigeria. No zone owns a monopoly of producing good leaders neither is any bereft of poor leadership as we are witnessing currently.
If President Buhari and Governor Yahaya Bello fail to see the good men and women in other parts of Nigeria outside where they come from, it’s because they have perfected the art of using State resources inclusing security apparatuses of Government to cow, humiliate, hound and exterminate such from political scene as the world witnessed in the gubernatorial elections of Kogi State in 2019. I doubt if the duo will be able to tread that path successfully in the coming political dispensation in Nigeria given the glaring awareness and seething disenchantment with current political arrangements.
I like to conclude by advising President Muhammad Buhari that those that are vending political exclusion option to him do not wish him and our dear nation well. I know for a fact that given his experience and exposure he won’t contemplate such. But rather his proxies that rule us through the media and are now afraid of their own shadows are behind the evil plot. And they found a willing accomplice in the maximum ruler of Kogi State. President Muhammad Buhari should jettison their dangerous plot and allow his party decide where their next presidential candidate emerges from based on previous agreements. Other political parties should also espouse arrangements whereby their candidates should come from different zones at different times.
Let’s do this to douse tension until such a time that we would have evolved as a true federation and democracy where tribe, creed, culture will cease to be major considerations for ascending political offices in Nigeria. Until then, let us pursue zoning to give all constituent parts of Nigeria equal sense of belonging please.