APC Will Lose the 2019 Presidential Election If…..

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In society, every action or inaction is politically measurable. From past actions and events much of the future manifests. Hence political sins are indelible. Whatever contrition, there is no political absolution. The impending 2019 general election is the most critical in the history and future of Nigeria. Indications are, both the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are bent on fielding their Presidential candidates from the North. But with what is in the horizon in the country, this strategy will boomerang on both political parties. The shock is not going to be in PDP loss of the Presidential election. Nigerian voters are not anyway ready to absolve the PDP people from their wrong past, elect their Presidential candidate or there is any election for the party to as usual rig to gain power. APC may rely heavily on advantage of incumbency of Government but not on advantage of the incumbent President, Buhari. Therefore, the shock will be in APC loss of the Presidential election.

 

Today, when we talk about the North, we mean North-West and North-East geo-political zones. The North-Central zone which comprised largely of the Middle Belt in actuality has never been part of the North but an acclaimed part by the North. Nigeria would have gained her independence from the colonial, Britain, in 1955 but the North stood against the measure on grounds that the Region was not ready for the country to be free. This left Nigeria in further five years servitude in the hands of the colonial, Britain, until 1st October 1960. The Middle Belt Region would have been created in 1963 when the Mid-West was created from the South-West but the North stood against the creation.

 

For many years, the rest of the country; which today comprised the South-East, South-South, South-West and North-Central geo-political zones; has been clamouring for restructuring of the country and balance of rights yet again as in the 1950s, the North says it is not ready. It is not ready because it has not yet found the restructuring strategy that would maintain status quo or tip the balance of rights only in its favour. The question is when shall the North ever be ready for any national good for Nigeria? The rest of the country which constitutes about 80% of the populace cannot be waiting for the North to be ready for the country to be restructured.

 

The North has already completed the first phase of its agenda to subjugate the rest of the country for eternity. After northerners successfully occupied the North-Central with their armed herdsmen and cattle and dictating movement of the people; they dispatched the same armed herdsmen and cattle to every part of the South. Today, these armed herdsmen and their cattle, on special mission, are in every town, village and bush in the South wreaking all sort of havocs. They block roads traffic with their cattle at will, kidnap, rape women, kill and graze their cattle in farmlands; all done with impunity. If you have no hidden agenda, do you need to be reminded that you should establish ranches in the vast empty land in the North, breed your cattle there and send only the daily market demand to the rest of the country by railway or road transport?

 

Today, only northerners occupy the key and strategic positions at the Federal Cabinet, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) and Corporations in disregard of Federal Character principle. The acute shortage of fuel at the Christmas period of 2017 was not an accident of official ineptitude. The measure was part of the agenda to subjugate the rest of the country. It was designed to frustrate Christians who are the largest population in the country, prevent them from getting fuel, make their movement and use of generators impossible at their most revered and important festive season in the year.

                                                                                 

Christmas period, which is the busiest in the year, is when a country maximises her revenue. Yet, Buhari Government did not think about the enormous economic benefit aspect of the period of Christmas. The North agenda takes priority. Who control crude oil, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and fuel supply in the country? Wouldn’t a Government that is without hidden agenda plan for and supply enough fuel in advance of the very busy period of Christmas at least to boost the economy? Would this type of fuel scarcity happen during Moslem festive period?  

 

The second phase of the North agenda that would consolidate the region’s dominion over the rest of the country would be accomplished in 2019 – 2023 if the region gets the Presidency of any political party. Hence, the country would neither be restructured nor there be avenue for balance of rights measures. Only the North will dominate and dictate affairs of the country.

 

By all of these, the rest of the country is either not aware of the actual intention of the North or simply trying to abide by the rule of law on the issues at a huge future cost. Officially and in power, how many northerners are known to play by the rule? What serves them is always the rule of law. They are not sensitive to the feeling and desire of the rest of the country.

 

As not any southerners can harmoniously carryon their private and peaceful businesses in the North let alone commit even a tiny aspect of the crimes and havocs the northern herdsmen are inflicting on the people of the South and their land today; the South and North Central should collectively ask the herdsmen to move their cattle back to the North. They are free to send only the daily market demand to the rest of the country by railway or road transport.

 

If we are to create federal leadership rotational zones in the country delineated on grounds of compatibility, we would have a maximum of four as follow, the;  

1)      South-South-East (This area comprised the current South-East and South-South zones). 

2)      North-Central (This area comprised the current North-Central zone and Abuja).

3)      South-West (This area comprised the current South-West zone.

4)      North (This area comprised the current North-West and North-East zones).

Since independence on 1st October 1960 – October 2017; each of these zones had provided leaders for the country for disproportionate number of years as in the following:  

Table 1

Zone

North

North-Central

South-West

South-South-East

Total

Years

23

17

11

6

57

 

 

 

The old North (North-West, North-East & North-Central Zones) has ruled Nigeria for 40years with nothing to show for these years. Upon all, the area remains backwards, dragged and continue to drag the rest of the country down with it. This has been amid preferential treatment of the North in terms of Federal revenue allocation, appointments and huge public investments many of which have today vanished due to poor management, corruption and looting by their elite and misuse of Islamic Religion.  

 

To ensure there is no further monopoly and abuse of power by any section of the country; to fulfil Section 14 (3-4) of the 1999 Constitution; there must be equitable and permanent official leadership rotation in the country from 2019 general election. Southern and Northern rotational zones would here alternate each other. As in table 1 above, the South-South-East area least provided leaders for the country in the past 57 years of independence. Therefore, in fairness, from 2019 official and permanent federal leadership rotation shall and must start from the South-South-East zone as follows:

Table 2

Zone

South-South-East

North-Central

South-West

North

Period

2019 – 2027

2027 – 2035

2035 – 2043

2043 – 2051

 

Looking at where we are coming from and where we are headed, we do not need to tell the world again that the North is not interested in restructuring that will preserve the future of Nigeria free from most of the current problems. The President that would salvage the country at these times and establish the desired restructuring and formidable foundation which nobody or section of the country will again be able to subvert or misuse shall come from the South South-East zone only under APC Federal Government.

  

As at 2016, the top ten African largest economies by order of GDP out of 54 countries of the continent are as follow:

Table 3

GDP

Country

GDP $ Billion

Population

Area

Ranking

Name

As at 2016

As at 2016

Sq. Km.

1

Nigeria

405

182,000,000

0,932,768

2

Egypt

336

095,690,000

1,010,000

3

South Africa

295

056,000,000

1,220,000

4

Algeria

156

040,610,000

2,382,000

5

Morocco

101

035,000,000

0,446,550

6

Sudan

096

039,580,000

1,886,000

7

Angola

090

028,800,000

1,247,000

8

Ethiopia

072

102,000,000

1,104,000

9

Kenya

071

048,000,000

0,580,367

10

Tanzania

047

056,000,000

0,945,087

 

Although Nigeria ranked first with a comparable paltry GDP of $405bn as at 2016 or $500bn as per the Federal Government website; this is only about 20% of the economic potential of the country. The unrealised 80% remain elusive generally as result of poor and imbalance structure of the country and the very low productivity in the North. As we have the men and materials, huge domestic market, huge potential for export other than crude oil; if Nigeria had long been restructured, her GDP would have been $2.5tn ($500 x 100/20) at 100% economic potential realisation within five years of restructuring. The worse scenario would have been at least a GDP of $1.75trillion (2500 x 70/100), a 70% economic potential realisation. 

 

Some of the cases for restructuring the country are to address;

·         the imbalanced and dysfunctional Government structure and balance of rights,

·         fragmented leadership, first by scraping the wasteful 36 State Governments,

·         the bloated 68 political parties and reduce them to two,  

·         sectional non-adherence to the Constitution and Laws of the country,

·         the issue of one country one law and abolish the dual law practice in the North,

·         sectional monopoly of key and strategic Federal appointments,

·         the dilution of Government and official affairs with Islamic Religion,

·         the ineffectual centralised Police Force and not abating endemic crimes in the country, etc.

These are notwithstanding the non-availability of key infrastructure, weak institutions, poor state and decaying national edifices of the country; such as Education, Health, Security, Electricity, Landline Telephone, National Theatre and National Stadiums, at Lagos and Abuja, etc.

 

The optimal blueprint for restructuring the country already exist. It is not from any of the PDP Government national conferences, nevertheless, from its past Governments. The PDP is not trusted nor it is expected to restructure the country for her future, as what a progressive party Government can sincerely do. We do not need money or foreign exchange to carryout restructuring of the country. We do not need the National Assembly to legislate for the measure. Moreover, the National Assembly is part of the systems to be restructured. The matter of restructuring is simply by policy, as proclaimed in the manifesto of a political party and its Presidential candidate, generally in accordance with the desire of majority of the country and elected upon the manifesto. The only political party that can deliver this for the country is APC. So far, the leadership to implement the policy is absent in the party.   

 

A further northern leadership in 2019 – 2023 will not address these issues for the future of the country nor the improvements we need to make in order to realise our full economic potential. The North is vehemently opposed to any restructuring of the country. Any northern Presidential candidate, of any political parties, whatever his promises, is only there to get the votes and thereafter forget national issues, the future of the country and focus only on the North. Moreover, whatever the desperation of northerners in the race for 2019 Presidency, the facts are; none of them is yet ready to govern the country at these times until 2043 – 2051 when the country has been restructured. By this time, they would have learned to follow the rule of laws assiduously; are in tune with the tenet of democratic governance; eschewed the dilution of Government and official matters with Islamic Religion and are seeing Nigeria beyond their North.

 

Are all of these not enough reasons why the President must not come from the North in 2019 – 2023 for the future of the country? In view, Nigerian voters are not expected to elect a Presidential candidate of any political party from the North in 2019 general election. It is up to APC to avert 2019 Presidential election defeat by not fielding a northern candidate. To get elected, it is wise, the party fields its Presidential candidate from the South-South or South-East zone. These two zones have been short-changed in the leadership of the country since independence. They have the best Presidential aspirants among whom the best, courageous and unbiased candidate, which can bring about the desired restructuring and solve other pressing issues in the country on time, can be nominated.   

 

APC has no automatic ticket policy for an incumbent President. The party believes in restructuring of the country and the incumbent President is averse to the measure. APC can kick-start restructuring of the country and federal leadership rotation from the forthcoming 2018 nomination Convention of the party as follow. APC can either zone the Presidential ticket to South-South-East federal leadership rotational zone for the party to nominate a candidate from the zone or simply by majority nominate a candidate from South-South or South-East zone. This is not too much to ask from APC, a supposed progressive party, for the future of the country. The North (North-West and North-East zones) a minority cannot be dictating to majority of the country, retarding the North and impeding national advancement.

 

What may be in peoples’ minds here is if APC ignores the warning in this article, goes ahead to field a Presidential candidate from the North like the PDP and both dominant political parties lost the election; who then occupies Aso Rock in 2019? This is the suspense in this article. Wait till APC makes a political blunder by fielding a Presidential candidate from the North.

 

Alfred Aisedionlen – London, UK.

 

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