The news that the members of the so called Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF) may prevail on its consensus candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, other presidential aspirants and northern party members to defect to another party from PDP if DR Goodluck Jonathan wins the presidential primaries never came to us as a surprise.
What do we expect from a desperate group of old and frustrated politicians who want some reckoning? We have all seen that their choice did not go down well with even the contestants of the so called consensus arrangement. We know that there are still underground movements by the various candidates to out do one another. Time will tell whether it was a true consensus or a manipulated consensus.
Of course we know that Atiku is desperate to become the president of Nigeria by hook or crook in his life time and Babangida wants to come back maradonically to correct his past. It is nobody's fault but theirs that they have found themselves in this quagmire. They had their chances and blew them.
They have also forgotten that it is only God that gives power and every one has his day. Atiku with all his so called democratic credentials tried to outwit Obasanjo and failed in this same PDP. He therefore gravitated to AC and was also pushed out by Tinubu. The next political party he will defect to when he fails again is what we are waiting for. As for Ibrahim Babangida, if only he knew what he knows now, he would not have stepped aside when he did. Military politics is different from civilian one.
In as much as we recognize that Atiku has struggled with others to fight for power not to be in one man's hand, we think it is clear that the tactics now being used for wanting to be president by Atiku and Babangida leave much to be desired. By all means we beg to disagree with them that Nigeria at this time requires all these antics of inanimate ambition to rule as a president. What have they got to offer any way? Must these people ÔÇô Atiku and IBB be presidents before they can contribute to the remake of the country they have spoilt with corruption?
What is even more annoying is that the so called NPLF has arrogated to themselves the power to choose a presidential candidate from a region of the country who will be the president of Nigeria. They forget that the NPLF is not a political party. They have seen the hand writing on the wall hence their cry about manipulation of election in favour of Jonathan in the forthcoming PDP primaries. We are all witnesses to the manipulation that has occurred when they were trying to choose a candidate to represent the north. So even among themselves there is manipulation. How can they then start to accuse others even before the contest?
But what kind of rubbish is this? These people are beginning to tell us Nigerians that if Atiku loses, it means the primaries have been manipulated. As for history of manipulation - we know that Atiku was a star character in 1999 and 2003 and thanks to them, but they will not succeed in forcing Jonathan into becoming their kind of person.
These so called democratic politicians keep talking about zoning which they will individually benefit from. It is true distribution of posts has always been between the north and the south and also between Christians and Muslims. So come to think of it, there is nothing new to us about zoning or no zoning. What has always happened is that if we have a northern president, we go for a southern vice president and vice versa. Every body seems to agree on this even them. Rather than hyping what they will offer and how they will do it, they are agitating for zoning. Where is there confidence? Even if we talk about zoning, Yar'Adua was president before Jonathan. So Yar'Adua has done the presidency that was zoned to the north. It was death that ended the north's tenure not Jonathan or the south.
After all, there is no where in the Nigerian constitution or PDP constitution where it is stated that a president must stay for more than a term of four years. The PDP constitution recognizes power rotation and equitable distribution of elective and appointive posts. In the word of Justice Gumi while giving his ruling on this zoning issue; "In this case the constitution of the first defendant i.e. the PDP simply recognises zoning and rotation. It has not stated that any part of the country would hold the position of the president or any other party or public elective office for any specified period of time."
The agreement for a president to stay beyond any single four year term has always been a thing of the moment in question and is not sacrosanct. This can be agreed within the ruling party depending on the performance and the political sagacity of the incumbent.
We should also remember that there is also a second aspect of zoning and rotation which all these current protagonists have forgotten. That is that when there is a Muslim president, there should be a Christian vice president and vice versa. This is not written down in our constitution, but all governments in power have followed it. IBB also did it as military president.
However, the June 12 elections in 1993 had a Muslim president and a Muslim vice president in the persons of Abiola and Kingigbe. No Christian Elders Forum rose against it. That is our Nigeria. We all went to vote because of who the cap fits. Even the Social Democratic Party (SDP) that made that choice stood as one. Atiku who is a Muslim was a member of the party at that time and he never went to court to contest why we had a Muslim/Muslim ticket in the interest of any group.
It is therefore sickening and very disingenuous for any group of people to make a molehill out of a mountain with the issue of Jonathan contesting for the presidency in 2011. What are they afraid of? Instead of joining hands with Jonathan to build a country we should all be proud of, they are trying to destroy and break us. Nigerians are wiser than they think.
Atiku and Babangida have always said that late President Umaru Yar'Adua was like their brother. Were they pretending? Or may be they knew all along what was wrong with him and were praying for him to leave the scene so that they could take over. If not why won't they support his vice to carry on and finish what he started if they so believe in their brother?
Abraham Lincoln said "You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time". So the maradonic political deception will no longer work.