SimonKolawolelive! By Simon-Kolawole, E-mail: [email protected], sms: 0805 500 1961


Where really should the future president arrive from? In the unwritten code that guides matters of countrywide politics in Nigeria, the solution is noticeable. A northerner will have been president for 8 several years by 2023 and it is normally expected that the next one particular will be a southerner. Preferably, exactly where the next president arrives from or where by the commander-in-chief worships ought to not issue. Nigerians require a capable and patriotic leader who can unleash our enormous financial prospective and deal with insecurity convincingly. But in realpolitik, ethnic, regional and religious sentiments are of significance in the Nigerian power match. That describes why electrical power rotation and zoning are usually on our lips.

But there is a match within just the activity and, to use a drained cliché, this is heating up the polity. Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the nationwide chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), recently poured drinking water on assumptions that the ruling bash had currently decided to zone its presidential slot to the south. It experienced been presumed that considering that he, a northerner, has just been picked as the get together chairman, coupled with the actuality that the latest president is a northerner, then presidency would go to the south. But Adamu came out to say the challenge of zoning the presidential ticket experienced not been settled. Formally talking, he was correct. On record, only the party’s national workplaces ended up zoned.

What is Adamu up to? His rhetoric, I feel, is influenced by the match heading on in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The main opposition party appears identified to get back again electricity in 2023 and would be prepared to undertake any tactic to obtain its goal. Some in PDP seemingly consider that it would be to the party’s edge to discipline a northerner. With the selection of votes in the north, they most likely did their maths and concluded that fielding a northerner against a southerner from the APC would raise their probabilities at the polls. The bash that wrote electricity rotation in its structure has, for all intents and needs, jettisoned the principle in buy to depart the APC on the backfoot.

In a perception, all those pushing for a northern candidate in the PDP have their argument. While the get together was in electric power for 16 decades — from 1999 to 2015 — a northerner was president for only three of individuals many years. Even at that, it was a terminally sick President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua that was in business throughout which he was in and out of the clinic until he died. The professional-north team can, therefore, argue that the 16 several years of PDP ended up overwhelmingly in the fingers of southerners — Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan — and northerners in the party were limited-modified. They can argue that the onus to zone to the south is on APC, not PDP. That would type a excellent discussion.

Where by do I stand? I have in no way hidden it: I am for electricity rotation. Why do I support rotation? I have my causes, which I have been advancing in various tones and types on this website page for near to 20 yrs. One, in a various, multi-ethnic and multi-religious underdeveloped African culture this sort of as ours, there will often be fears of domination. Men and women want to be confident that they would not be eternally deprived simply because they do not have the numbers. Lodging is partly assured when it is proven that political electrical power — which Nigerians understand, rightly or wrongly, as the most significant dispenser of scarce opportunities — will not be monopolised by the major teams.

Two, our incapability to tackle specific issues concerning our nationhood is resulting in far too a great deal distraction from the genuine goal of national enhancement. We maintain enjoying id politics. The interests of the political elite are very best served through the perennial emphasis on ethnic, religious and regional identities. While the common Nigerian is troubled about obtain to protected water, first rate housing, food stuff, healthcare, training and stability, they do not established the agenda for electioneering. Rather, they are unwittingly co-opted into talking about the sentiments of the political elite who are a lot more fascinated in the politics of sharing the “national cake” in type of appointments and contracts.

As a outcome of the sheer power of the political elite to impose their agenda previously mentioned that of the common Nigerians, we will generally position identification politics higher than enhancement politics. Occur and see normal people at newspaper stands in Abeokuta, Abakaliki and Abaji arguing about north and south and Christian and Muslim when they do not know where their future meal will occur from or if they will not be kidnapped or killed on their way property. My contemplating, therefore, is that till we appease the political elite by settling the situation of predictability of the place ability will go at election times, they will not allow us to desk a development agenda, which is what definitely matters to 200 million Nigerians.

While I support “power shift” to the south in 2023, I also want to immediately raise two challenges. A person, exactly where there is no law, there is no offence. The get-togethers are no cost to just take their tickets anyplace. If both equally APC and PDP pick northern candidates, no courtroom of legislation can annul it. Electricity rotation is not a authorized subject — it is a political being familiar with. Two, since this is an comprehension, we must generally depart a place for very good politics in building it get the job done. Blackmail and intimidation would be counterproductive. Actively playing excellent politics means forging the proper alliances and placing the right chord, not threatening other regions and ethnic groups with war. That would only sum to perform avoidance in my watch.

The idea that the south-west obtained presidency in 1999 due to the fact of the violence unleashed by the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) cannot be legitimate. Bashorun MKO Abiola won the June 12 election in 1993 and it was annulled. This plunged the country into a extended political crisis. When Abiola died in detention in 1998, the political class arrived collectively and agreed to compensate the south-west about the annulment as well as his dying. Even at that, Dr Alex Ekwueme, from the south-east, contested in opposition to Obasanjo at the PDP main and missing by a broad margin. OPC did not prevent its violent marketing campaign for “Oduduwa Republic” right after Obasanjo became president but he contained them.

Neither did Jonathan come to be president in 2011 simply because of Niger Delta militancy. The militants have been not asking for presidency. They desired 100 per cent management of the oil and fuel methods in their area and started a bombing campaign in 2005. At no time did they desire that the president immediately after Obasanjo really should occur from the Niger Delta, besides I skipped it. In any scenario, Jonathan was not likely to be operating mate to Yar’Adua until finally some last-minute abracadabra at the PDP presidential conference ground in Abuja. Jonathan became president not mainly because of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) but due to the fact Yar’Adua died unexpectedly in 2010.

I listened to persons argue when Jonathan was in energy that the north propped up Boko Haram soon after Buhari dropped to him in 2011 in order to thrust for energy to return to the region in 2015. This conspiracy concept stands on nothing. Buhari has now been in place of work for just about 7 decades and Boko Haram has continued to wreak havoc on the north. This is to say nothing about the endeavor on Buhari’s everyday living in Kaduna in 2014 by suspected Boko Haram members or the many assaults on mosques in Borno and Kano states by the terrorist team. How it could at any time be interpreted that the Boko Haram militancy was intended to take power back again to the north beats the creativity. The specifics do not assist this.

If power would occur to the south in 2023, in my see, it would be most practical to place blackmail apart and concentration on enjoying great politics. I help zoning but I also know that even without zoning, electrical power can nonetheless shift to the south. Abiola did not win June 12 election by blackmailing any individual. He solid the appropriate alliances nationwide about a lengthy time period of time. Abiola, from Ogun state, south-west Nigeria, defeated Alhaji Bashir Tofa in Kano condition, north-west. Was it Yoruba voters or southerners that gave him victory in Kano state? The answer is apparent. Abiola aligned with the right power blocs. Also, Obasanjo did not win in the south-west in 1999 yet grew to become president. Let us be guided.

Finally, zoning to the south is a person issue, micro-zoning inside of the region is a different. Centered on the “tripod theory” — the pre-Independence political structuring of Nigeria alongside Hausa/Fulani, Igbo and Yoruba ethnic classification — only the Igbo are nevertheless to generate an elected president. A sturdy situation has been constructed that on the basis of equity, the two most important events should really concede their tickets to the Igbo. I do not have any issues with that. In truth, it would assistance actualise the Nigeria of my dream where by no component will really feel still left behind for the reason that of any cons — be they educational, historical, social, political or numerical. A president of Igbo origin would gladden my heart.

Some issues will nevertheless crop up nonetheless. For one, the APC — the major social gathering in Nigeria now — is extremely weak in the south-east. A counterargument would be that PDP was also weak in the south-west in 1999 and Obasanjo was nevertheless elected president. I doubt if the situation and dynamics of 1999 are identical to what we have these days and I really do not know if APC would want to get that danger. Also, if an Igbo from the south-south becomes presidential prospect of possibly APC or PDP or both equally, will the Igbo of the south-east at last come to feel accommodated? Meanwhile, APC presidential hopefuls from the south-west are not showing any signals of looking at conceding to the south-south or south-east.

I will now spherical up. The underlying aspect powering the cat-and-mouse game amongst APC and PDP around zoning is cold political calculation. Both parties are strategising on how to get the greatest share of the votes in the presidential election. But there is a bigger photo they need to preserve in concentration. The basic level I would make in this article is that individual interests must not trump the induce of political balance. Zoning is in our DNA. We have made some progress in nationwide integration by way of the software of federal character in sharing profits, appointments, jobs and what not, and I believe that that energy rotation can more enable unify our troubled country. We are a work in progress.



Nigeria’s debts are doubling. Boko Haram retains harming Chibok. ISWAP is sweeping the north-west. Bandits are butchering villagers en masse in Zamfara and Sokoto. IPOB would like to get the Igbo out of the Nigerian “zoo”. Sunday Igboho, backed by professors, is indicating give me Oduduwa Republic or I die. Crude oil is day by day stolen in hundreds of thousands of barrels. ASUU is eternally on strike. Unemployment is sky-large. We simply cannot fund instruction, are not able to construct hospitals. Nigeria is broke. Still, politicians are jostling like mad to become the following president. The ruling APC by itself has about 100 million presidential aspirants. Is there a thing the politicians are not telling us? Great.

THE Recreation

However on the quantity of contestants for APC’s presidential ticket, quite a few Nigerians have been apprehensive or even disgusted by the group. The N100 million price tag tag that is intended to discourage them is appearing to be extra of a magnet. We may well not be able to describe all the motives for the surge, but remaining a presidential contestant presents you some leverage. You are at the table when the negotiations and calculations are becoming made. In the stop, you can be nicely positioned for appointments in the new dispensation — if APC wins. You can be minister, ambassador, agency head, etc. You can even be questioned to nominate people today into positions. Just be aspect of the course of action. The activity is the game. Politics!


The next president will have lots of issues to offer with, but accelerating the advancement of the non-public sector have to be paramount. The figures presented by Mr Karl Toriola, CEO of MTN Nigeria, at the LBS not too long ago despatched my head spinning. The telco on your own has paid a overall of N3.5trn in taxes and levies to federal government due to the fact 2002. That is about N1trn extra than it has compensated as dividends to its buyers. Toriola claimed MTN has created around N3.4trn in funds investments, typically sunk charges on constructing infrastructure and community roll-out. We need a company-mindful president who can travel unparalleled investment decision by the private sector. That will indicate a good deal for job development. Very important.

LASSA Notify

I wish to draw our consideration to the increasing conditions of Lassa fever in Nigeria. Due to the fact COVID-19 disrupted global travels and transformed our way of dwelling, we appear to be to have neglected that there are other conditions nevertheless hanging all over our necks. So far in 2022, Lassa has contaminated 751 Nigerians and claimed 140 life, in accordance to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Command (NCDC). These are the confirmed cases. Some scenarios may possibly under no circumstances be captured formally. Lassa may perhaps not get numerous inches in the newspapers for the reason that it is linked with the lousy — it is spread generally by rodents — but it is in 22 states and killing human beings like us. Authorities needs to move up public enlightenment. Fatal.