Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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ues Jan 8, my arrival at Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport Abuja coincided with the arrival of the Presidential delegation to President Muhammadu Buhari's flag off campaign in Yola, Adamawa state. I could not hide my curiosity to engage party and non-party stakeholders on the outcome of taking the campaign to the opponent, Atiku Abubakar's home state Adamawa. I note too that same state in 2014 -2015 refused Atiku to register in Peoples Democratic Party to become a card carrying member of the party.

But the more I sort to satisfy my curiosity, the more a delegate seated next to me, an unrepentant supporter of Buhari drew my attention to educate me on the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene which he insisted Buhari has meticulously followed and was sure will guarantee his victory. Few I remember - Always say less than necessary, Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit, Use absence to increase respect and honor, Play a sucker to catch a sucker - seem dumber than your mark, Control the options and get others to play with the cards you deal, Stir up waters to catch fish, Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once, Assume formlessness, and Crush your enemies totally.

As real as these sound on the mode of operation of Buhari, the emerging political developments, consequent position of the two major political parties, Peoples Democratic party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) across the zones, alleged Buhari's engineered systematic repositioning and adhoc changes in Independent National Electoral commission (INEC), Police, and now tinkering with the judiciary, as election draws near, remained source of mind boggling concern.

The general consensus across Nigerians that President Buhari has lost every known indices of capacity to govern is no news, what remains a major political discourse is the Turaki of Adamawa's candidacy as an option. Many are already warming up to President Atiku come Feb 2019, while others strongly maintain Atiku is not an option. Unfortunately this is the only choice our corrupt political system has presented us, as other credible candidates lack established structures and resources to win presidential elections in Nigeria.

Facts on the ground speak volume. Sen. Shehu Sani prediction asserting a major upset in the up coming February presidential election based on geopolitical zones should be examined closely.

Northwest: A lot has changed in the Northwest states of Zamfara, Sokoto & Kano state. Though Buhari will win but with lesser votes margin compared to 2015. Projecting APC 60% PDP 40%

Northeast: Buhari definitely will face a herculean task winning in the Northeast . Atiku, son of the soil, one of their own is contesting, and the zone cannot afford to miss an opportunity that eluded them since 1960. 50/50 chance may be a safe prediction.

Middle Belt: The cattle Fulani mass murder, accompanied by political turmoil in Benue and Kwara left the states vulnerable. Arguably, Buhari has lost both states before the election. The crisis in this zone has given PDP and Atiku an edge. A prediction of APC 40% PDP 60% may not be out of order.

South West: The challenge of delivering Southwest to APC must be giving Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and VP Osinbajo sleepless nights with migraine. The recent governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, remains a strong message of how voting pattern has changed since 2015. APC 55% PDP 45% may not be out of reach.

South South: Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as the APC Presidential campaign henchman may have set himself for a disastrous failure, not capable of winning his Rivers state. This area will be a walk over for the PDP. Prediction - APC 20% PDP 80%

South East: This zone is a No-go area for Buhari. The glaring marginalization of the east, draconian operation python dance, the constant reminder of his role in the genocide called Nigeria/Biafra civil war make Buhari an aberration in the zone. Again, Peter Obi candidacy as PDP VP has added a strategic plus to Atiku's massive win in south east - APC 10% PDP 90%

The question is if those percentages of both parties are translated to numbers, will PDP/Atiku be able to carry the day? Can any of the parties win 24 States out of 36 states? I would opt for a no answer. However, votes depreciation in North West, and Southwest will be good news for Atiku. Voting strength of each region, based on INEC information shows that the north-west has 28 per cent, north-east 13 per cent, north-central 12.7 per cent, south-west 22 per cent, south-east 10 per cent, and south-south 13 per cent. The north has highest voting strength, followed by the southwest. Depleting the APC stronghold and tweaking the votes to PDP in the two zones gives Atiku the needed success in electoral polls.

The assumptions are hanging on only, if Buhari conducts free and fair election, if the ugly hands of INEC will be out of it. But, can someone point to any good leader that leaves his flanks porous, set himself on the alter for burnt offering, Relinquishes power without struggle with his last breath. When did Nigeria's democracy acquire the rudiments of fair play in elections?

To those who scream blue murder on Buhari's absence in the Jan 19th presidential debate, they must be new students of political history in understanding his well-rehearsed antics. Did we quickly forget Laws of power number 16, which states "Use absence to increase respect and honor" which has remained evident in Buhari's administration? How about the 9th law of power, which says "Win through your actions and never through argument".

Few weeks to the presidential elections, INEC commissioner, Buhari's niece, Amina Zakari has assumed new position as head of presidential election collation center. President Buhari who took over six months to form a cabinet has quickly woken from slumber to appoint new acting Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu. The intimidation, orchestrated campaign to cast aspersions, and illegitimately remove the Chief Justice of the federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen is ongoing. Why is the trial of number one judicial officer of the Nation, on alleged Asset disclosure fraudulent charges coming up now in the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja? Not to deviate, the Code of conduct Bureau and National Judicial council are separate Federal executive bodies established under section 153. 1. Section 158 (1) of the 1999 constitution expressly provides, In exercising its power to make appointments or to exercise disciplinary control over persons, these bodies shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other authority or person. The National Judicial Council created by virtue of Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution, by the provision of Paragraph 21 of Part One of the Third Schedule as amended; regulates appointment, dismissal and exercise of disciplinary control over judicial officers.

We are witnessing total abuse on the insulation of the Judiciary from the whims and caprices of the Executive, an insulation aimed to guarantee the independence of this Arm of Government, which is a sine qua non for any democratic Government. The summary of this bold tyranny, and premeditated moves can only be to set the center stage to hoist the continuation of Nigeria's adjudged lifeless government and ensure the status quo is maintained at all levels.

The danger in the unfolding regrettable developments is that we are now bereaved of the likes of Pa Ajasin, Pa Enahoro, and Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Where can we raise pro democracy great minds like Cmdr Ebitu Ukiwe, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Ransome-Kuti, Yohanna Madaki, Cornelius Adebayo, Abraham Adesanya, Wahab Dosunmu. Where is the Civil Liberties organization (CLO), The movement for National Reformation (MNR) led by Chief Anthony F. Enahoro, The Eastern mandate Union (EMU) led by Dr. Arthur Nwankwo, The National Democratic Coalition of Nigeria (NADECO) and all our celebrated heroes of Nigeria's democracy that demanded Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola's June 12 electoral mandate must be actualized and confronted the military junta, sustaining the struggle to the end. Today we have leaders with mindset on primitive accumulation of wealth, APC by day, PDP by night and vice versa.

Elections have consequences. The Presidential elections come first before governorship elections. History has shown that the party that wins the presidential elections will have tremendous impact on the voting for the Senate and House of Representative elections, as the party must do the needful to maintain majority in the upper house. This may trickle down to affect governorship elections overturning popular opinion polls. To dismiss Buhari who has unlimited access to funds, who is systematically setting up foot soldiers at the strategic agencies that determine and sustain the direction of the elections, may be out of range in considering any Atiku Abubakar option.