As Tinubu takes over (2)

  • The political pitfalls

While the President-elect is a walking university when it comes to politics, with a lot of lessons to be learnt from his three decades of magnificent journey and experience in the game, he must still watch his steps to avoid falling in to avoidable manholes that his predecessor fell in to.

If there is any Nigerian politician in history that enjoyed the greatest goodwill ever, by his countrymen, President Muhammadu Buhari holds the record. In 2015, he polled over 15 million votes to beat the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, by over 2.5 million votes.

Although he had been a popular candidate in three previous elections and maintained nearly 12 million votes on each of the polls, it was the contribution and role played by other senior party stakeholders, especially the presidential candidates that vied with him at the APC presidential primaries that made his victory possible in the general election.

However, after taking oath of office on May 29, 2015, it was clear that the new president dreaded competition and completely sidelined and severed ties with all those who challenged him at the primaries; Rabiu Musa Kwakwasu who emerged second, Atiku Abubakar who came third and the late Sam Nda Isaiah who trailed the lot, were all erased from his political books.

That was the beginning of problems suffered through the years by the All Progressives Congress (APC), a mega Party that was built to become the strongest political platform of the Nigerian people and to serve as an example of unity in diversity, against the backdrop of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s shortcoming, became adrift and hijacked by members of Jonathan’s kitchen cabinet that included some clergy who constitue themselves as a powerful cabal that held the last word.

There is no doubt that President Muhammadu Buhari did a lot for this country in terms of democracy dividends; from provision of rural infrastructure to economic recovery and more. Yet, he ignored the political aspect of his party’s internal politics that ultimately encouraged anti-party activities.

As I pointed out on this page previously, his failure to appoint the right people in the cabinet that would have taken care of the party at states level, especially where the opposition are in control, contributed to the inter-party squabbles that resulted in the APC losing some states in both 2019 and 2023.

The Jagaba must show more than passing interest in the affairs of the party. He should avoid the mistake made by his predecessor and should fully take charge the process of producing the leadership of the National Assembly, and not leave it in the hands of the party or stalwarts alone.

Although I have been an advocate of politics of inclusion and fairness to under-represented groups, it turned out to be the bane of progressive politics in this country. That unwritten party policy has over the years, done more harm to our political system than imagined, as juicy, plump offices were undeservedly handed over to individuals who hardly even win their own local government for the ticket.

As a result, a false sense of entitlement was created and when you chose to pick Sen. Kashim Shettima as your runningmate, which was purely based on the calculation of his political strength and the value he will add to the ticket, all hell broke lose, and surprisingly majority of those who mounted the doom campaign were not even members or supporters of the APC, but members and sympathisers of the PDP and LP.

(To be continued)

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