2023 Nigeria: Popcorn Presidential Aspirants And The Soyinka-Adebanjo Connection, By Chris Otaigbe

The gale of Presidential declarations by many politicians particularly of Southern extraction and those of the North (in defiance of rotation of Presidency to the South) has called for concern.
The alarm bell raised by Pa Adebanjo in his recent remark brought attention to the conspiracy of the Northern hegemony against the unwritten gentleman’s agreement on rotation of power among the political elite in Nigeria.
This agreement began in 1999 to douse the June 12 tension that nearly brought the country to her knees.
That agreement brought in an ungrateful Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) to give the Southwest a chance.
By some stroke of chance, with the death of Yar’Adua, brought in Good luck Jonathan; to give the largely marginalized South South, it’s own opportunity.
Then the North bullied its way in with Mohammadu Buhari.
Though the Southeast never really looked like a serious lot to work and fight for its turn, it was just fair that the Players allowed that region a shot at the nation’s highest seat of government.
However, the political consequence, of the South East lethargy in the violent dynamics that has characterized Nigeria’s political stratosphere, is the result of the current all comers game we are all witnessing on the presidential space today.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s reckless emergence as a political aspirant signaled the beginning of the jettisoning of that agenda.
It took the South East contenders some snapping out of their slumber before they joined the race.
So, now, the presidential race ahead of 2023 has finally become an all comers affair.
If it were to be a first come first serve matter, Tinubu should have it. Of course, it should be noted that the figure head national leader of APC, the ruling party got into the race out of a sense of entitlement. He claims he has a gentleman’s agreement with Buhari to hand over government to him after the Katsina General had had his turn. Laughable!
First, anything and anyone from Buhari has become ABOMINABLE to Nigerians.
Second, anything Tinubu has become INTOLERABLE to the South West because they believe his looting of Lagos State and the South West have become too disgusting to want to see him anywhere near political power at the center. Worse still, his sole responsibility for bringing Buhari to power in 2015, which was hailed initially, has become, today, an anathema; a stigma on his presidential ambition.
The Northern candidates are now arguing against the power rotation axiom; in favor of MERIT!
By its universal definition, merit is a standard which frankly speaking, none of the ones standing from the North qualifies for the most basic of consideration.
As a matter of fact, from the outgoing guy and all the ones who have been foisted on the nation since the second republic Nigeria, thus far, NONE of them would have gotten near Aso Rock , let alone tie the shoe lace of a TRUE Nigerian President in a fair contest.
Now, Nigeria and Nigerians finally have a chance to CHOOSE the candidate of their choice ; HOPEFULLY in a fair contest.
To cut the long story short and back to Adebanjo’s warning, since the North has manifested their INDECENT, RECKLESS, PURPOSELESS and therefore, SENSELESS DESPERATION for power, the South, as a whole MUST wake up!
Unfortunately, for now, the South in their characteristic manner, by the unguarded gale of declarations by money bags; looters and the like, have turned presidential aspiration into a popcorn show!
They all need to come together and choose the best among them for Nigerians to support. However, knowing how each candidate believes he is the best for Nigeria even though most of them have bungled their opportunity in their former or current roles as Governor etc, it may be difficult to expect them to come together and be agreement -adhering political gentlemen.
So, Nigerians should do it for them.
Personally, I believe whoever we must choose must be one who has been EXEMPLARY in their previous roles.
For me, among the lot, two stand out.
They are Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and Peter Obi.
Though, there is the temptation (and this has become a weapon in the hands of his opponents) to use his service as Vice President under Buhari’s failed government to measure his competence for the job; but fate, however gave us the over 50 days window Osibajo served as Acting President to know what he can do if he becomes President.
Peter Obi, on the other hand, among virtually ALL the Governors Nigeria has had; military or civilian, serving or retired has DEMONSTRATED the kind of head of government Nigeria DESERVES!
Both Aspirants have displayed the MENTAL, INTELLECTUAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL and PHYSICAL state of mind Nigeria needs to UNLOCK her potentials.
As good as the rest of the pack may be, as politicians or business men, they fall far below these two in my reckoning.
I know, those working for the various Aspirants would dismiss this because of what they are enjoying right now. But they know deep down in their hearts, what am saying is the REAL TRUTH!
The ONLY way Nigerians can move to take back their country from the conspiracy and hijacking of the field by the many interests contending for the REBELLING soul of Nigeria, is for the citizens to constitute a CONSENSUS SCREENING mechanism.
As individuals, Nigerians -North or South cannot do this on their own. So, the onus is on their socio cultural groups coming together to organize Live debates among the Aspirants to choose the best.
Or, check out the pedigree of the Aspirants and put it to vote via a credible online device.
I believe Pa Adebanjo and Wole Soyinka should actually lead this charge.
I know Wole Soyinka has become exasperated with the system, the process and the personalities behind it all. His SECRET PAIN and DISAPPOINTMENT derive from the fact that most of the Players in the nation’s so called democratic experiment today LEVERAGED on his ENDORSEMENT to ride to power.
They have basically DESTROYED the nation Nigeria today.
So, it’s possible the Noble Nobel prize Winner feels a certain SENSE of guilt and anger enough to wash his hands off the whole thing.
However, he cannot afford to give up and no longer have the luxury of SILENCE or RETICENCE in the face of the slide of the nation into the abyss.
The coming Presidential election is a major assignment for him and Adebanjo as Leaders of conscience for the South West, the whole of the South and the entire nation.
They cannot afford to play the ostrich now. The nation NEEDS them!
Nigerians need them to save our nation from destructive and disruptive conspiracy from politicians who have turned Presidential declarations into a popcorn show.
Finally, they can convene a congregation that will comprise Ohaneze, Afenifere, the Middle Belt forum and the most reasonable and responsible socio cultural group from the North.
It’s time we get serious and get this Great Nigeria Show on the road!
Good luck to us all.


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