2023 AND THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS
BY UBAKA OKOFU
Apparently, 2023 won’t be the time for Nigerians to gamble over the competence and capability of who is to succeed President Mohammadu Buhari whose regime is almost going into history as one of the most lacklustre Nigeria would have had in the over 6oyears of her existence. It won’t be totally wrong to say that most Nigerians who participated in the 2015 general elections were a bit too sentimental on their choice of candidate, particularly in the presidential election. From past elections, except in the annulled 1993 general elections adjudged to have defied religious and ethnic sentiments, Nigerians were known for voting along ethnic and religious lines. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was only a political scapegoat in the 2015 general elections. Nigerians simply couldn’t overlook the profligacy and economic mess that was created by the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party’s 16 years in power.
Six years after, the ineptitude of the Buhari led government and the overwhelming state of insecurity in the country have shown that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not ready for power at the time they were cap –in- hand asking Nigerians to elect them into office. If not worse, chieftains of the party are now guilty of all they had accused the Peoples’ Democratic Party during the campaigns culminating the 2015 general elections.
Nigerians are in regrets as the situation could be likened to that of the Israelites that at a point in their journey to the promise land considered going back to Egypt than to be pitched against the monstrous A’naks. The PDP under Jonathan has turned out to be better, most Nigerians might want to say.
After all, a kilo of cooking gas was never sold for N300 during the government of Dr. Goodluck as President. Today, as it stands, a kilo of cooking gas is sold at N650-N720 depending on the part of the country. A catalogue of hardship Nigerians are being pummelled with as a result of the execrable economy is inexhaustible! Apparently, the Nigerian economy has nose-dived! The situation is so bad that Nigeria has been ranked as a country with the highest number of persons living under poor conditions. It’s even worse when the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed had to predict that 11million Nigerians would slip into poverty by the year 2022. What a dooming prophecy!
One of our problems is that the Nigerian society is highly sectional. Most times, Nigerians reason and act along ethnic and religious tapestries. Our decisions are heavily laced with religious colouration. Where they are not so, party sentiments are ascribed to them. Yorubas would always support a Tinubu’s presidential ambition for the fact that Bola Ahmed Tinubu himself is one of their own. Perhaps, only a few of them in the opposition political parties that may work against Tinubu’s choice on the ground of party loyalty.
Tinubu’s candidacy has permeated the political turf like leaking gas. Only if Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu would be honest with himself what more does he have to offer Nigerians that he didn’t have the opportunity to do in the last 6years of President Mohammadu Buhari’s term in office?
He is dubbed as the National Leader of the All Progressives Party. An office that is first of its kind, and this is a strong indication that Tinubu is next to President Buhari in party influence and popularity. Expectedly, Tinubu is a position to offer priceless advice to the presidency in the wake of the several chilling trajectories that had befallen Nigerians under the Buhari’s government. A very important question is whether Tinubu and other chieftains of the party did offer the President important advice going forward or not? It cannot be impugned that one of the pitfalls of President Buhari is ill health and old age. If this is so, Tinubu who is already struggling with old age might not be a good choice for the Presidency in 2023. This brings us to the question of Tinubu’s true age. Charles Oputa aka Charlieboy is 70years old, and most Lagosians would not want to believe that former governor of Lagos and the Jagaban of Lagos politics is 67yrs old. Tinubu should know that the state of the country is too tempestuous for his age and mental alertness.
Whether the All Progressives Congress Party fields Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the 2023 general election or not, the body language of Nigerians show that the All Progressives Congress has bungled the opportunity of repositioning the country and may not be entrusted with the future of the country for another 4years. During election, an incumbent party is difficult to defeat. Nigerians expect a coalition of opposition parties to wrestle power from the All Progressives Congress in 2023. All they need to do is to feed a consensus and credible candidate for the election.