Nigeria 2019 General Election, Buhari’s Re-Election is much Doubtful, the Alternative

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The future of Nigeria in the current geographical configuration depends on the outcome of the 2019 general election. The main issue in the election is restructuring which will allow the country to have a future. Restructuring is the prerogative of the President of the country in accordance with the manifesto upon which he is elected. There are no any provisions in the Constitution that can negate the form of a restructuring if it is voted for by the people. Thereafter, where necessary, the Constitution is either amended or a brand new one is brought about. Those are the supreme power of the people and a voted election manifesto.  

The other arms of the Federal Government, the National Assembly and Judiciary, will only be advisory in restructuring matter. The State and Local Governments are irrelevant in the process. The outcome of their elections in the general election and the political parties that sponsored them will in fact be immaterial. Nonetheless, the segmental Governments and the overreached 91 political parties will be pruned in the 2019-2023 restructuring of the country. But the far North (North West and North East zones) are not interested in restructuring. They want to maintain the status quo. Therefore, restructuring of the country rest only with the North-Central, South-West, South-South and South-East geo-political zones irrespective of political divide.  

 

Some of the key areas for restructure in the country are;

  • Security – the decentralisation of Police Force, creation of Independent Police Commands using each Senatorial District area as an Independent Police Command;
  • The scrapping of the current wasteful thirty-six State Governments;
  • The replacement of the State Government areas by ten Regional Government areas, with five in the South and five in the North as follow;

1 – Lagos Region; 2 – South-West Region; 3 – Mid-West Region; 4 – South-East Region; 5 – South-South Region; 6 – Middle Belt West Region; 7 – Middle Belt East Region; 8 – North-East Region; 9 – Mid-North Region; 10 – North-West Region;

·         Adjustment of Local Government areas in each Region;

·         Establishment of four federal leadership rotational zones as follow;

1 – South-South-East; 2 – North-Central; 3 – South West; 4 – Far North;

·         To address the imbalance of membership at the National Assembly between North and South – to be 50% member each;

·         Reduction of political parties to two with permission for independent candidates;

·         Banishment of Islamic religion from official affairs, laws, policing and finance;  

·         A dilution of today Federal Fund Allocation with 1960s Fiscal Federalism system;

·         To address other issues incidental to restructuring such as in Constitution, Exchangeable Naira, Economy, Education, Health, etc.

Details of all these are in my 44-page 2019 Presidential Manifesto.

 

Looking at President Buhari’s record even from Military regime and as things are in the country today, he has not more than 30% chance of re-election. On the other hand, All Progressives Congress (APC) as a political party has at least 60% chance of winning overall majority at the National Assembly. But this will depend on each constituency candidate’s credibility and electability. Even if President Buhari by providence found himself in a run-off position, his chance of winning the run-off also remain bleak. In this situation, the 2019 general election could produce a bipartisan Federal Government, the direction which the 2019 general election points. This may be APC controlled National Assembly or a hung Legislature and a President from any of the opposition political parties.

 

Although in the past four years of APC Federal Government many things have not lived up to expectation especially in area of security yet APC is the preferred and most trusted political party to deliver for the country. This is because the party is a true Progressive. But for lack of leadership APC has not been able to deliver as expected. Here, President Buhari who is also the national leader of the party has nobody else to blame but himself. This is especially for his singularity, insularity, northernisation, exclusiveness, etc. President Buhari’s apparent effectiveness in policing historical corruption, a single commodity, to the neglect of security and other more important issues in the country, has not captivated majority of the electorate. They do not expect President Buhari in another four years to improve let alone move the country forward.  

 

The incumbent APC Federal Government will not allow the main opposition political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is well known for election rigging to repeat the form at the 2019 general election under its guardianship. On the other hand, the PDP is strong enough to prevent the APC Federal Government from rigging the election. But, if in desperation the election is rigged by one of the protagonists, it could commence the disintegration of the country, which nobody can stop. Given that there will be an atmosphere of free and fair election, then, are Nigerian electorate sophisticated enough to vote tactically to produce a bipartisan Federal Government?

 

With the way things are in the country now, the prognosis is; the Presidential election will be settled at second ballot. Either Buhari or Atiku will not make a run-off from the first ballot. The run-off will be one of them and a competent Presidential candidate from the South whom the North Central, South West, South-South and South-East zones electorate repose their trust to carry out the desired restructuring of the country. They will vote massively for the chosen Presidential candidate. He may even win the Presidential election at the first ballot.

 

A week is said to be a long time in politics. That is an election can be won or lost within a week’s events or the direction of election result can change within a week. In this general election any serious opposition political party and its accepted Presidential candidate of restructuring should be able to change the course of this election and win the Presidency in a bipartisan Federal Government within the remaining five weeks of election campaign. It is advised that tactical voting should be extended to each Senatorial and House of Representatives constituency for the best candidate of any political party to be elected. 

Looking at where we are coming from and where we are heading, we do not need to tell the world again that the North is not ready to rule the country at these times. The far North (North West and North East zones) in particular are not interested in restructuring which will preserve the future of Nigeria free from most of the current problems. In a tactical vote to elect a bipartisan Federal Government; the task of the electorate should now be to look for a credible Presidential candidate of restructuring from the South where you have the best candidates for the 2019 general election. In fact, the President of the country for the 2019-2023 is supposed to come from any of South-South or South-East zone.

The North has ruled Nigeria for 41years since independence on 1st October 1960 – 31 December 2018, within this, the far North alone has ruled for 24years with nothing to show for these years.

Zone

Far North

North-Central

South-West

South-South-East

Total

Years

24

17

11

6

58

 

Upon all, the area remained backward, insecure and continue to drag the rest of the country down with it. At these times, Nigeria is going nowhere with any President, of any political party, from the far North. As things are where there appears to be a political stalemate, a bipartisan method of electing the 2019-2023 Federal Government will save the country, especially from the stranglehold of the far-North and their restive Muslims. Therefore, Nigerian electorate need to vote tactically to produce a bipartisan Federal Government with a President of an opposition political party from the South. Moreover, at these times, a President from the South is best placed to carry out the desired restructuring of the country and put her on a formidable foundation, which no further head of state nor any section of the country will again be able to abuse, misuse or subvert.

Three quarter of the country; the North Central, South West, South-South and South-East zones do not want the 2019-2023 President to come from the far North. In the absence of flawed and inflated population figure and electoral register, the far North and its population and registered voters only constitute one quarter of the country. Therefore, without election rigging, the far North alone cannot elect the President of the country or majority of National Assembly at any general election. The election of majority of these bodies rest and would always rest entirely with three quarter of the country.

 

Some may say; in the bipartisan strategy, for example, where you have a President from the South who is elected from one of the opposition political parties and there is a hung Legislature; how shall the strategy be feasible? It is not necessary for one political party to control the National Assembly or win all the seats say from the North-Central and South of the country. The far North is only one quarter of the country although all their elected members of the National Assembly irrespective of political divide constitute one third of the total of the members of the national Legislature. The rest of the members of the National Assembly who are normally from the North-Central and South of the country and always from different elected political parties normally constitute two third of the total member of the national Legislature. Even if all those legislators of all the elected political parties from the far North vote unanimously, they will not be able to defeat any motion that carry majority of votes of the two third legislators from the rest of the country irrespective of political divide.   

 

It will not be only one political party’s legislators from the North-Central, South-West, South-South and South-East zones, whose majority may be depleted by their counterparts from the far North, would carry the mantle of restructuring at the National Assembly. It will be all the legislators from the four zones above irrespective of political divide would carry the mantle of restructuring. This means a President from the South and of any political party in a bipartisan Federal Government can in fact work harmoniously with all the members of the National Assembly from these four zones above who form majority at the national Legislature irrespective of their political divide. At these times, they all have at least two things in common; to restructure and secure the future of Nigeria. Therefore, any unanimous and minority opposing vote by the far North legislators will not be able to frustrate any restructuring measures.

 

Were I in the Presidential election race, on not securing APC nomination, I would have adopted this bipartisan strategy using the platform of an alternative political party. My party and I, being a third or fourth force political party, would have focused only on winning the Presidency. We would have asked the individual Senatorial and House of Representatives constituencies to vote for the best candidate of their constituencies of any political party. This could produce APC or PDP majority or a hung Legislature, where  one political party does not have overall majority.   

In the absence of federal leadership rotation arrangement at these times, it is the best strategy to successfully wrestle the Presidency away from the far North in order to move Nigeria forward. If the Presidency should be in the far North in 2019-2023, the country should forget restructuring and any advancement. Therefore, the North-Central, South-West, South-South and South-East zones who are the majority in the country and the main proponents of restructuring should embrace the bipartisan strategy and vote tactically to bring about a bipartisan Federal Government.

 

Alfred Aisedionlen    

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