The age-long political supporters and admirers of President Muhammadu Buhari in the South-East who are men of great influence and affluence in their own right have their work cut out for them in being able to adequately convince their brothers from the South-East to calculate their political arithmetic very well this time around. They need to be schooled in the art of the application of “Opportunity cost” as the 2019 presidential election beckons.
It is envisaged that after the successful two-term tenure of PMB, the APC’s political line of action by default would be to accentuate the immediate support for the actualization of an Igbo presidency in 2023. What this means is that the people of the South-East only have a few more years in waiting for the realization of an Igbo Presidency in Nigeria. The count as to how many years this would be is not difficult for any discerning mind to calculate. By simple political arithmetic, this is just five more years ahead as against what may behold them should they refuse to key-in to a PMB’s political ambition for 2019. The consequences of doing this according to my political arithmetic might mean 5 +X number of years which would be the consequence for looking the other way round outside a logically envisaged mass support for the success of a PMB political victory for 2019. The question begging for answer would naturally be how successful would the likes of Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Dr. Chris Ngige, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, Dr. Orji Uzo Kalu be in their bid to carry out a political revolution in the minds of the people of the South-East who seem to be too politically adamant, unyielding and uncompromising once they have developed a negative political bias for a given individual and/or a given political party?
A Buhari presidential run has great implication in throwing up the South-East as one of the main battle ground zones for the 2019 presidential election going by the following reasons and justifications I would like to tender therein. Without mincing words, the import of the South-East as a political battle zone for the 2019 presidential election cannot but be said to be empirical and factual. Next to the South-West political zone, the zone that would prove to be most influential and invaluable to the fortune of any political party and political aspirant contesting for the 2019 presidential election would be the South-Eastern zone of Nigeria for a couple of very important reasons and facts. The implication of a PMB run for the 2019 presidential election would do well to pay good attention to the South-East region of Nigeria in order to guarantee him of the success of electoral victory. It would therefore not be too surprising to see the APC political machinery doing all within its power to seek to gather much more influence more than it has ever done seeking to gain very strong influence and control in the South-East to sell itself and its presumed candidate for the 2019 presidential election i.e. PMB.
It is not also going to be surprising to notice how much the PDP would also seek to gain full control of the South-East region as they have always done. They would want to do everything within their power to stop any influence and solidarity for PMB who is like “a political foe” to the PDP whom they would never want to give any breathing space for political survival and existence as PMB seem to be thus far the only presumed individual that could pose a great handicap to the success of PDP and any candidate it would eventually want to throw up for the 2019 presidential election.
Another crisis that still continues to hunt APC is the lack of cohesion, harmony and oneness among its key national leaders in different strata of position of authority within the party. Reports in the dailies are awash with disagreements and discontents between and among these key stakeholder groups within the APC; rendering the oneness, cohesion and integrity of the party into some sort of jeopardy. It is no longer news that the APC is not the same one united party as it was in the build up to the 2015 presidential election compared to its current state. One begins to wonder, how the party would be able to successfully manage the crisis besetting it at the local government, state and national level with only a few months away into a general election year.
How well and able APC is able to manage its crisis very well in the build up to the 2019 presidential election would determine its political relevance and perhaps its existence beyond 2019. Let me postulate here that for those who feel they can wreck the boat of APC and cross over to some other parties to have their political fortunes revived and kept alive might be doing themselves lots of harm than good. The political paradigm as it used to be making it easy for defection from “A ruling party” to some other party(s) has changed. I bet that such ones would be on their way to political bankruptcy and political irrelevance.
A public opinion poll conducted by me indicates that the popularity and goodwill which APC enjoyed as a party in the twilight to the 2015 presidential election appears to be dwindling. The same is also true of PMB whose popularity was at an incredible all-time high before and immediately after the 2015 presidential election but now seem not to be as strong as it was. Many reasons have been adduced for this by respondents to my research. Some talked about the failure of the fact that APC as a political party has been unable to manage its success and thereby seem to have reneged or failed to live up to the promises it made to the electorate in 2019. The failure of APC to fulfil its campaign promise of restructuring Nigeria comes top on the list of their grievances.
For PMB, the concern is his inability to fully resolve and arrest the farmers-herdsmen crisis and the seeming food insecurity arising from all of these. In addition to this, the cost of staple food items in the market also comes top on their list of concerns and grievances.
A PMB 2019 successful presidential run would no doubt confirm Nigeria’s democracy as waxing stronger in the eyes of the international community. The benefit of hindsight has it that the 2019 presidential election should not be taken for granted by all stakeholders, including the APC and the incumbent PMB. How well PMB’s electoral ambition in 2019 is properly managed without intimidation, harassment and the coercion of members of the opposition and other individuals who might be strongly opposed to the candidacy of PMB for a second term in office would go a long way to confirm Nigeria’s democracy as having grown from being nascent to one that has been tried and tested over time.
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