Felix AmadiThursday, March 22, 2018
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Maputo, Mozambique


s the season for elections draws closer, the Nigerian political class are now vigorously engaged in machinations that will guarantee them currency and relevance come 2019 elections.

The incumbents with the constitutional right to seek for another term in office are currently fine tuning schemes that will ensure them retention of power for the next four years.

Ambitious aspirants to the same political positions are equally plotting strategies to unseat the men and women on the throne.

New entrants to the political college are being tutored in the art of survival in a clime inhabited by varying predators.

All over the political terrain, marriages of convenience are being contracted by the Lords of the ring.

One of the candidates to beat come 2019 is the incumbent President, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.). Although he hasn't officially declared to seek reelection, his body language and disposition suggest of a man who would like to rule Nigeria beyond his current first term mandate.

Be it as it may, my informed prediction is that the man will willingly or unwillingly seek reelection come 2019. This is because the forces that want to see him reelected are the ones he is incapable of controlling or rejecting their bidding.

Again, his possible reelection bid will not necessarily be about him or the interest and well being of the masses. It is all about entrenched power brokers in the North who would rather have an incompetent man rule Nigeria than see her on the path of good governance.

Although Pres Buhari has exhibited a high level of incompetence since taking over office, he undoubtedly remains the most popular living politician from northern Nigeria.

Also, Buhari's presidency acts as a rallying point for all those who believe that they are born to rule others in Nigeria and would unapologetically have Nigeria be ruled by him or be burn to ashes.

The resurrected main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is gearing up to wrestle power it lost during the 2015 presidential election from the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). But at the moment, the odds are against the party. The Obasanjo factor is still a major threat capable of sinking their boat come the 2019 presidential election. Also, the power brokers behind this current administration seem to know the real strength of the main opposition party and are working tirelessly to weaken it.

When things are not going well in the life of an individual or State, the most reasonable option should be recourse to change for more profitable outcomes.

Change requires a shift in thought and action. Nothing changes when the status quo remains the same. Change demands a reconstruction or deconstruction of the status quo in order to usher in a new beginning. It therefore becomes pertinent that anyone clamoring or agitating for change must first change in order to effect a sellable message of change.

It is not a surprise that the buzz words in our political landscape now are "Third Force" and "Coalition". Many who don't want Pres Buhari reelected are now championing the Third Force and the Coalition of the Concerned agenda against his possible reelection bid.

Today, we hear of Obasanjo's Coalition for Nigerian Movement, Oby Ezekwesili's Red Card Movement, Olu Falae's Social Democratic Party (SDP), Olisa Agbakoba's National Intervention Movement etc.

There is nothing wrong in wanting a change of government if there are no profitable dividends and impact from such administration in the lives of the citizens. But in the case of Nigeria, the questions we all must pause and ask are; a change from who to who? A change from what to what? And finally a change from where to where?

Until these questions are satisfactorily answered, any change movement in Nigeria remains suspicious. Knowing that change is a two-way movement, one must be extremely careful on what change one is clamoring for.

One of my learned friends argues that anyone but Buhari is better come 2019. I disagree with this point of view. Recycling Spent Forces in the name of Change and Third Force Coalition is an exercise in self deceit and destruction.

I remember vividly that the former President, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo during the 2015 presidential election wanted anybody but Jonathan as President. The resultant outcome is a Pres Buhari that has no roadmap for Nigeria's future.

There is a change from bad to good. At the same time a change from good to bad. In some extreme and uncomfortable situations, a change from bad to worst! With what is obtainable in today's Nigeria, I don't think that many Nigerians are proud of the change they brought upon themselves in 2015.

Pres Buhari is for sure found wanting, but we must be careful not to repeat consciously the mistakes of 2015 that saw us jump from fire into frying pan.

I am extremely uncomfortable with the intentions of some of the Third Force Coalition Campaigners. In this league are people who squandered ample opportunities at their disposal to make Nigeria great. What they themselves couldn't or didn't do while in power, they are now complaining about and charging with aggressions at another person who is following their example.

This article is in no way an endorsement of Pres Buhari's possible reelection bid. Rather, it is my objective appraisal of the "mission" of some of the Third Force Coalition Campaigners.

In all honesty, many in the Third Force Coalition are aggrieved persons on a revenge mission rather than a rescue operation. Many are those who have been relegated to obscurity by the current administration and are now pushing for a space at the sharing table via Third Force Coalition Campaign.

I will never be fooled into believing that former President Obasanjo's Coalition for Nigeria Movement is for the good of the masses of Nigeria. Simply put, Obasanjo is on a revenge mission, because the government he helped put in power has been hijacked by the cabal who contributed little during the campaign. The mission is to kill the dog from the head.

One of the criticisms in Obasanjo's Open Letter to Buhari hinges on nepotism and clannish appointments to the detriment of Federal Character in the Nigerian Constitution. That's good, but until he wrote that Open Letter to Buhari, I didn't read anywhere or hear him in any interview or speech openly criticizing this anomaly in Nigerian politics (I am open to corrections on this). No doubt he may have spoken to him in private as an Elder Statesman, but an open rebuke would have gone a long way in energising those who openly opposed and still oppose Pres Buhari's Northern dominated appointments to the discard of the Federal Character.

The questions I am asking are: why wait till the tail end of Buhari's first term in office to suddenly spring up with this rebuke? Is Obasanjo unaware that these one-sided appointments have been having disastrous effects on the oneness and confidence of Nigerians? Is Obasanjo aware that his voice carries a lot of weight in the Nigerian political sphere and beyond?

I believe that if Obasanjo had openly rebuked Buhari on his nepotic and clannish appointments, he (Buhari) would have rescinded some of his excesses. But he chose to remain taciturn only to now arise with an opportunistic coalition movement.

I doubt his good intentions for Nigeria.

In as much as I wouldn't want to see Pres Buhari reelected, replacing him with a recycled figure, "a chip off the old block" in the guise of Third Force Change Agent is unacceptable to those who want a head way for Nigeria.

Personally, I would have opted for an Omoyele Sowore's presidency. This gentleman and founder of Sahara Reporters news website has been consistent in his activism for change and good governance. But his deafening silence on the "Tinubu Loot" is a source of worry to many who hold him in high esteem as an activist.

His recent exposition of some of Saraki and Ike Ekweremandu's oversea properties qualifies as super investigative journalism. If such prowess can be extended to Bola Tinubu, it will go a long way in allaying the fears of those who believe that he is Tinubu's boy.

To Sowore I say; Bola Tinubu is not a saintly politician. Feed us in detail about his ill gotten wealth and acquisitions, then we can begin to take you more seriously.

For me, I believe every region in Nigeria has men and women with proven integrity and acumen to make Nigeria great. Politics and tribalism aside, why can't Nigerians elect people like Femi Falana, Peter Obi, Pat Utomi and Ibrahim Dankwambo as President instead of a possible choice between Buhari and Atiku come 2019?

I Rest My Case.