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Saturday, December 15, 2018

2019 ELECTIONS: WHERE WILL THE PENDULUM SWING?


By David Fidelis

In less than 3 months to the 2019 General Elections, people's hope have continued to increase in geometric progression, the election is gathering more momentum as all roads that leads to the election looks bleak, blay and unpredictable. The preparation of the electoral umpire as well as the major political parties is becoming more and more interesting and intriguing.

Straight to business, who do you think will ultimately  win the  presidential election devoid of rigging? Is it President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress;  former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar of the People's Democratic Party, or the former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party?

 Definitely, after the election, one person will emerge. However, it's pertinent and expedient to constructively ex - ray, dissect and do a juxtaposition of the two major contestants strength and weakness.

To start with the incumbent president, a  Chief and respectable lecturer of mine, Dr.  Rahman Abubakri Olaniyan once said, despite the very high level of confidence a large section of Nigerian population had in President Mohammed Buhari which led to his victory in the 2015 presidential election, his leadership has been allegedly characterised by selective anti-corruption war, astronomical increase in price of petrol, administrative lapses, policy somersaults, lopsided appointments, appointment of dead people as board members of some Federal Government agencies, incessant herdsmen's attacks' leading to the chronic and unabated killing of innocent Nigerians most especially in North East and North Central among others which now cast aspersions and dark cloud on his chances of being re- elected in 2019.

  Lt. Gen . Theophilus Danjuma ( retd . ) have frontally accused the “ armed forces” of colluding with the killers to wipe these innocent souls out. The invasion of a Roman Catholic church in Benue State in April which led to the killing of two priests and 17 parishioners helped to solidify the view that the killings had more to do with ethnic cleansing than grazing rights.

The same way Jonathan was seen as weak on the issue of Boko Haram killings is the way Buhari is now seen as weak on the killer herdsmen's  issue . Buhari’ s case even seems worse because it is seen more as negligence and collusion than weakness .

Realistically, excluding politicians who move from the PDP to the APC for selfish reasons and desperate search for relevance, it is rare to find an opinion moulder who was against Buhari in 2015 but has become his supporter today. But it is easy to see those who worked vigorously for Buhari’ s victory in 2015 lament how he has disappointed them  This people include former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara; Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Samuel Ortom of Benue among others have become the enemies of the ruling party.

Does it interpret tha tthe deficiencies of PMB will make Atiku win? The answer is NO.
 Atiku whom former president Olusegun Obasanjo describe as a thief and spoiler seems not to be the best candidate for the PDP . According to Obasanjo, the money Atiku stole from his government is enough to feed millions of people people for years. With such statement, do you think that Atiku is our messier?

 Aside the precedents of Atiku, I once wrote in my article titled "PDP Made a Wrong Choice by Choosing it's Vice Presidential Candidate from the South- East", that Peter Obi isn't the best candidate for PDP as this might work against them come 2019.

In the article, I opined that Ab - initio, the People's Democratic Party is in control of the South Eastern States comprising of Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, and Imo, obviously showing that without campaigning in these states, victory for PDP is ascertia.

Aside this, I calculated that the felt marginalization of the Igbos since the inception of this administration, the illegal and unwarranted arrested and prosecution of the Igbos mostly the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu plus the lopsided appointment unfavourable to theIgbos in the Buhari's government and ultimately, the allegation of Igbo leaders that no feasible and tangible project has been executed in the 5 eastern states since 2015 is an attestation that the region might not vote for PMB.

The above mentioned positions are enough to state emphatically and unequivocally that the votes of the majority of the electorates from these states belongs to the PDP . So,  I asked that why zoning the Vice President's ticket to the South East and the announcement of the former governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi as the running mate of Atiku?

If PDP had picked it's VP from the South West or South- South, it would have been an opportunity to divide the votes coming from the Lagos, Ibadan, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and Ogun States respectively considering the fact that all these aforementioned States are in the palms of APC as this geopolitical zone might not be favourable to the major opposition party ( PDP) come 2019. I think they failed to calculate the inputs of Jagaban, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, among others. Am I making any sense?

Also, President Mohammed Buhari came from the North West, the most populated geopolitical zone in Nigeria with an estimated population of over 18million while Atiku Abubaka is from the North East which occupies slightly less than one-third of Nigeria's total area. So, can you relate with me vis- a -vis 2019?

Most significantly,  I think PDP failed to consider the power of incumbency and the financial wherewithal within the capacity and capability of the APC which could ultimately pave way for APC in 2019 if the PDP failed to apply their common sense. Or am I been naïve with my calculations?

 If PDP fails to open its brain, their efforts towards 2019 will yield no positive result.
 If Buhari loses in 2019, it will not be so much because the PDP candidate is a wonderful candidate. It will be because Buhari and the APC promised the nation so much , raised the hopes of the people and secured their votes but failed to fulfill those promises , replacing the promises with season of excuses blame game.

 Likewise, the attitude of the National Chairman of the APC can best be describe as destructive as his decision may work against APC in Imo, Ondo, Ogun among other states.

Come 2019, Nigerians desperately needs a leader who will fight corruption holistically, respects the rule of law, build strong institutions, make executive accountable, regards individual liberty as sacrosanct, treat the whole of Nigeria as his constituency, lead by example and respect the secularity of Nigeria.

Jc Joseph Ezekiel Temitope ( a.k.a Optimist) presumed that  2019 election can't be free and fair. According to him, merely looking at the ongoing Political victimization the ruling party is melting on the opposition party members, most especially, the People's Democratic Party in particular,  you will know this people are too desperate. Witch hunting everywhere,  imagine to the extent of EFCC inviting ATIKU'S spokesperson for hate speech,  this is coming because they want to witch hunt at all cost. He prayed that God should take preeminent control of 2019 General Elections.

Most importantly, come 2019, Nigerians much vote for candidates and not political parties as well as shun the dangerous habit of (Dibo ko sebe) know as vote selling as such single habit will continue to leave the national underdeveloped and doomed.

Fellow Nigerians, we must continue to hope that one day - one day, a leader who has the temperament and courage to confront the corrupt institutions and interest group would emerge. Until then, wherever the PENDULUM SWINGS come 2019, a better Nigeria is what we pray for.

Fidelis David O. is a practising Journalist, Feature Writer, Polemicist and a Public Relations Practitioner. 07060835375 ( SMS Only).

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