Former Vice president Atiku Abubakar won the PDP primaries held last Saturday in Abuja, I will concur, is not out of place.
The way and manner he won is my concern here. On more than two occasions on this page, I had in the past expressed my worries about the division among the southern political class. I noticed very early enough the lack of unity of purpose among the politicians down south.
I knew that when push comes to shove, the North can easily rally its men on the field together and get the result that will be beneficial to the region.
former Vice president Atiku Abubakar won the PDP primaries held last Saturday in Abuja, I will concur, is not out of place. The way and manner he won is my concern here. On more than two occasions on this page, I had in the past expressed my worries about the division among the southern political class. I noticed very early enough the lack of unity of purpose among the politicians down south. I knew that when push comes to shove, the North can easily rally its men on the field together and get the result that will be beneficial to the region.
The outcome of the PDP’s, convention is an eternal lesson in cohesive politics. And if there should be anyone who should learn and relearn the lessons of the convention, it should be an average politician down south – the region: South-West, South-South or South-East- is immaterial. The emergence of the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 general election has once again confirmed that the North is far ahead of the rest of the country in strategic politicking. Yeah, we may have a huge preponderance of educated fellows down South. That it is where it ends for the Southerners. At any point in time, the North knows what it wants in politics and makes no bone about pursuing it to a logical conclusion.
At the beginning of the present political hurly-burly about who succeeds General Muhammadu Buhari at the end of his presidential tour in May 2023, the refrain down South has always been: “for the sake of justice and equity, the presidency must be zoned to the South”. Some people even narrowed it down to ask that the South-East, which has not been opportune to occupy the topmost position since 1966, should be considered and the presidency should be delivered to the Igbo Race bullet, barrel and powder. I honestly share that sentiment that the South-East deserves to be given the opportunity.
But, I knew, all along, that that would be a herculean task as politics is not about emotions and the ideal, especially in Nigeria. I have come to realise that Nigerian politics is driven more by personal gains, tribal sentiments and religious inclinations. Our politics is such that if an Angel comes down from heaven to contest with heavenly goodies and policies to better our lots, Nigerians will first consider from which part of the vast sky the Angel descended to mother earth!
That sentiment played out on Saturday, when the PDP gathered to elect its presidential standard bearer for the coming election. Political pundits had argued, before the convention, that the highest spender would carry the day. That permutation was strong and dominant in the public space such that the EFCC had to move to the venue of the primaries to monitor the movement of cash in and out of the premises.
The fact that nobody has reported a single case of arrest goes to show that the PDP convention was not money induced. You don’t have to believe me on that because I don’t believe myself either! But beyond money, what actually determined the outcome of the race is the issue of tribe, region, or place of birth. It was a race of no matter how badly configured the waist of one’s daughter is, you don’t decorate another person’s daughter’s waist with the expensive Benin akpolo (waist beads). In Yoruba, we call it “tiwa n’tiwa”!
The politics of the North is not about rocket science. It is a politics of collective interest of the region. An average politician from above the Rivers Niger and Benue knows that he is in any national political race on behalf of the North. They are configured with the eternal principle of “North first and other things follow”. According to sources, when it dawned on the PDP leaders in the North that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and a contender in the race was going to be a hard nut to crack, the northern elders in the party did what they know how to do best – compromise. At the most critical moment of the contest, the leaders came on board and called their men on the field to order.