Listen To The Article
The number of presidential aspirants in the country today throws up memories of the 1992 era when we had the Shehu Musa Yar’adua’s, the Olusola Sarakis, the Francis Arthur Nzeribes, the Emmanuel Inwanyanwus, the Umaru Shinkafi’s, the Adamu Ciromas, the Alabo Graham Douglas, the Olu Falaes, the Abel Ubeku, etc seeking the presidency of Nigeria under the NRC and SDP platforms.
Are we back to that era? There were 22 presidential aspirants in that era. In the SDP, Yar’adua was the leading aspirant who defeated some of the other aspirants in their home States. Adamu Ciroma was leading in the NRC. Not surprisingly, General Ibrahim Babangida disqualified all 22 aspirants from further participation in the political process.
It was that disqualification that led to the entry into the scene of the MKO Abiolas, the Babagana Kingibes, the Atiku Abubakars, the Bashir Tofas, etc. Abiola and Tofa eventually became candidates of their parties in the June 12 elections which Ibrahim Babangida again messed up.
With the benefit of hindsight, the SDP Convention was held in Jos where MKO Abiola came top followed by Kingibe and Atiku without anyone emerging as a clear winner. The intriguing situation led to Yar’adua’s PDM within the SDP going into alliance with Abiola to defeat Kingibe who was said to have betrayed Yar’adua and made him National Chairman of the SDP.
The agreement with Abiola was that Atiku will be his running mate, but Abiola reneged on the agreement after emerging. He was said to have been pressurized by the then 14 SDP governors (Segun Osoba, Isiaka Adeleke, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Bamidele Olumilua, John Oyegun, Moses Adasu, Shaba Lafiagi, Maina Ma’aji Lawan, Fidelis Tapgun etc) who insisted it must be Kingibe.
Are we expecting a replay of that era where some aspirants will be beaten in their home States? Will the Governors of the two major political parties determine who becomes standard bearers of their parties?
There are interesting days ahead on who rules Nigeria post May 2023. The number of aspirants may make it difficult for delegates to make choices.
Make we dey watch o.
Max Ogar is a lawyer and writes from Abuja.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Max Ogar, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for or with.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.