More indicators of a feverish presidential contest in 2023 are emerging. Just as the well-kept secret within the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), to retain the presidential slot in the north, is beginning to unravel, gladiators from the Southeast have continued shadowboxing for the party’s ticket.
Having helped to return President Buhari for a second term, the Northeast is currently roiled by the scramble for the presidential slot. The scramble for APC presidential ticket is currently knocking heads among politicians from Borno, Bauchi and Yobe States. It was gathered that first term Borno Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum’s sterling performance and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s return to APC have diminished former governor Kashim Shetima’s ambition.
That leaves Bauchi and Yobe. While the political family of former Governor Bukar Abba Ibrahim has been looking at the immediate past governor, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam for a possible shot at the Presidency, sources in Yobe said the emergence of Senator Ahmad Lawan as President of the Senate and incumbent Governor Mai Mala Buni as Chairman of APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) are altering the calculations.
Perhaps, it was the clash of presidential ambitions among APC leaders in Yobe that supporters of erstwhile PDP national chairman, Dr. Adamu Mu’azu, began flaunting his democratic credentials.
Speaking on behalf of Friends Of Adamu Mu’azu (FOAM), Ibrahim Sani Dawakin-Tofa, noted that political posters, agitations, lobbying, meetings and consultations ahead of the 2023 general elections are on an upward swing. “This calls for serious re-awakening, because delay may be irredeemable. Decision-making is one of the most difficult tasks before any individual, organization or even a country. Once you get it right with your decision, the liquid of the other issues would take shape,” he stated.
Sani contended that those who clamour for Mu’azu are doing so in the interest of the nation’s future, stressing: “If we must truly be the architects of the future, we must choose those whose interest in politics is the people and since we have that in Mu’azu, he is the best shot for 2023 as far as positive-minded Nigerians are concerned.
“As we go into 2023, the choices we make as Nigerians matter and we have the solutions in Dr Mu’azu to help bring a breath of freshness to governance in the country while consolidating on the achievements of the current administration to build a better and brighter future for the country.
Also, aides of incumbent Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed, who is chairman of PDP Presidential Election Review Committee, are also said to be preparing to push for his entry into the presidential race, especially given APC’s plan to settle for a relatively younger candidate to weaken Atiku’s chances.
Although Governor Bala’s Special Adviser on Media, Mukhtar Gidado, could not respond to small messages on the matter, it was gathered that the governor’s men are planning to sell his candidate on his perceived performance as Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and a stint in the Senate.
But, against the machinations by APC to look towards Northeast, Engineer Buba Galadima, told The Guardian that it was wrong to suggest his support for the former Vice President, Atiku, was based on zonal solidarity. Galadima explained that after four years in office, it became apparent that President Buhari’s best was not good enough, adding that most northerners believed that Atiku was clearly a better candidate for the office of President.
Galadima disagreed that the failure of the opposition to win elections in his home state of Yobe does not equate to popular endorsement by the masses or presence of good governance in the place. He said that introduction of money politics has made it impossible for the masses to have their say, even as he maintained that he would support Atiku again.