2015: Who Is The Best Candidate For APC Presidential Ticket? By Azeez Ibrahim oluwafemi
It is not new that Nigerians are dissatisfied with the government of the People Democratic Party (PDP), after their 15 years of misrule. By next year, it would have spent a total of 16 years with billions of dollars to looted, but still not much has changed or improved since May 29, 1999, when the military handed over power to one of their leader, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Mismanagement of public funds by PDP has direct impact on the country’s collapsing infrastructure, standard of education, health facilities, injustice, unemployment, poverty, national unity, economy, theft, looting of public funds, corruption and more importantly insecurity.
Nigeria has become a besieged nation with the level of unprecedented violence, which has spread from the north-east to different parts of the country. Militancy in the south, kidnappers in the east, terrorism in the north, armed and ritual killers in the west, there is no where we can say is saves in any part of the country at the moment. The reign of terror in Nigeria has refused to abate despite the stupendous resources committed to it. This is as a result of poor governance on the part of PDP.
In any normal democracy, the people would have long voted out PDP, as a malfunctioning political and non performing government, that is holding forth for that long in the saddle of power with little or nothing to show for it. We have less than one year to go, and by now we need to engage in political analysis, and raise our voices to let the APC leaders know of what we are expecting from them as it remains a few weeks to their national convention.
We ought to salute the modest effort of opposition leaders who formed the APC party. They have really done a good job, and they showed high level of seriousness in this merger. Imagine by now, with the APC controlling a total number of 16 states with the highest number of population of voters, while the PDP controlling 18 states with less significant number of voters. Even though, the PDP has the sympathy of APGA and LP. Going with these results, it shows that the APC will chase PDP out of Aso Rock in 2015, provided our votes count.
It is obvious that PDP would present Goodluck Jonathan who hails from south – south as its flag-bearer. APC may need to present its candidate from the north, where it is hoped more votes would come to over-run the regions where Jonathan comes from.
At present, there are a lot of presidential hopefuls in the party that are being speculated to have an ambition, but the prominent among such aspirants are a former military head of state, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd); former Vice President Alh. Atiku Abubakar; Governor of Kano state, Rabiu kwankwaso; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; Former Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu; and Publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-isaiah.
Buhari is known to have a large number of supporters and a cult following among the northern population. Most of the people in the north still see him as the messiah.
He got about 12 million votes in the 2011 presidential election and he vied on the platform of congress for progressive change (CPC), which was formed barely 10 months before the 2011 election. Also, the fielding of Gen. Buhari as the presidential candidate will be of tremendous advantage to the APC, due to the fact that, Nigerians believe Buhari is the most honest politician in the country, judging from his past leadership antecedents. His tracks record in all positions he held, from the time he was military governor, to minister of petroleum, head of state and to the time when he was chairman of the PTDF.
All these are public offices that could turn a man in to a multi billionaire over night for life, but Buhari still remains poor. This is a clear proof that he had given honest leadership; fundamental solution to the current problem of Nigerian.
Former vice president Atiku Abubakar is the most significant national politician to defect from PDP to APC. Abubakar who joined the party few weeks ago, is extremely wealthy, he has widespread political connections and machinery, but he can’t deliver the number of votes the APC needs in the north when compared to Muhammadu Buhari. The APC needs a candidate who would compete favourably with president Jonathan since it is certain Jonathan would run, and he will get south-south votes totally, so APC needs someone that can deliver all the votes in the north.
Kwankwaso is one of the five aggrieved PDP governors who recently defected to APC. He has many followers in Kano, one of the most populous state in the country. However, just like Atiku, the state governor would not attract the number of votes Buhari will get in the north.
Though famous due to his role as the pioneer chairman of the Economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC), the last election showed that Ribadu may not be able to bring sufficient votes to the table.
Though he is still a member of the PDP, many people are expecting him to defect to the APC before 2015. He is young and energetic, he will still be less than 50 years by the next general polls. However, just like Ribadu, the speaker of the House of Representatives is not seen as a candidate that can attract the votes Buhari will in the north.
SAM NDA ISAIAH
He is a known Buhari loyalist. He attained the status of pro-good governance advocate with his column in leadership newspaper. He may get considerable number of votes in the middle belt region, he might not be able to deliver the number of votes APC needs in the core north.
Therefore, out of all these candidate Muhammadu Buhari is the most acceptable and well popular. He has been described by many as an unrepentant apostle of anti-corruption. He is a sellable candidate based on the strength of his electoral values as demonstrated in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 presidential election.
I would have love to give support to any one of these candidates I mentioned above apart from Buhari, but It might be too late to present another less popular candidate with less than a year before election. Any new candidate would not guarantee the require political support within one year to beat the PDP as analysis above.
In conclusion, if corruption is the major problems of Nigeria’s development, if the APC is only hope for Nigeria, then we truly need an incorruptible leader like Muhammadu Buhari as president in 2015. Let us not mess this golden opportunity up by making the wrong choices.
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