Wednesday, May 18, 2022 3:38 pm
The race for the 2023 general election is entering a major phase in two weeks when the two parties will nominate their presidential flagbearers in their respective national conventions in Abuja. While APC will converge at Eagle Square, PDP will meet at the Moshood Abiola Stadium. The two events will last three days from May 29 to June 1. Traditionally, presidential conventions make for good TV, but in this piece, I will focus mostly on the personages on the stage seeking the tickets of their parties.
In APC, there is a motely crowd of 18 or so aspirants for the ticket, majority of whom are pretenders and impostors. The most serious contestants are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The pretenders include Chibuike Amaechi and Kayode Fayemi. The two are acting up, pretending to be seriously campaigning, but in reality, they are bereft of the gravitas and political heft required to run a presidential race. Well, Amaechi is very rich. He’s made a lot of money as governor and a lot more as minister who supervised our multi-billion dollars railways. If you do a deal with the Chinese, you’d be wealthy. They understand the language of Nigerian public officials. Amaechi’s wealth has therefore compelled him to run for a President. A rich man must always find a way to spend his money!
Amaechi’s problem is not only his inability to secure the President’s support. His successor, the rambunctious Nyesome Wike is hunting him down. Amaechi has been indicted of massive corruption by a Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by Wike. He has unsuccessfully challenged the Panel’s Report in the Federal High Court and Court of Appeal. He’s gone to the Supreme Court, which is expected to give judgement next week. If the verdict goes against him, Amaechi is a goner. An indicted person cannot occupy any public office. But in the campaign field, he’s putting up a show, pretending that all is well. He’s flying around in two chattered jets, but his delegate count is dismally poor. No APC governor is backing him. To address this, he is going for endorsement from some ‘’celebrities’’ like the former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai. But many people can’t seem to see how Buratai would bring the needed delegates.
Another pretender in the race is Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum. Gov. Fayemi is soon finding out that being NGF Chairman does not give any added advantage in securing the support of the delegates. Delegates are influenced mostly by their state governors, who in turn, are influenced by the Leader of the Party (the President). I do not know of any APC governor, even in the South West, that has thrown their weight behind Gov. Fayemi.
Another group of contestants is the impostors. They are mostly those who really had no presidential plans, but were sponsored by Tinubu to buy the forms on condition that they’d announce stepping down as the Convention draws near in order to create a bandwagon support for the former Lagos governor. Among these are Senator Godswill Akpabio; Senator Rochas Okorocha; Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; Prof. Ben Ayade; Prof Emeka Nwajiuba; Senator Ken Nnamani; Ahmed Sani Yerima; Mrs. Uju Ohneye; Ajayi Borifice and Dimeji Bankole. They have no direction in the contest. But to delink himself from this foolery and show some semblance of seriousness, Akpabio is going around visiting former Nigerian military Heads of States like Gen. Abdulsalami Abubarka and Gen. Yakubu Gowon. He is seeking to transform from impostor to showmanship.
A tragic murder and the end of presidential dreams