If the presidential candidate of the APC for the 2023 election comes from the South, PDP leaders will be undoing their party if they choose theirs from the North. Whoever the person is will not become of the president of the country because he will only win substantial votes in some states in the North, where the APC is strong and is likely to have more states and votes than the PDP. The worse is that the person will not win any state in the South and may score as low as five to ten per cent of the votes cast in each of the 17 states in the region.
This should be clear to everyone because a month ago, the governors in the 17 States in the South, whether APC, PDP or the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), came out to say that the next president must be someone from their region. What this means is that if the PDP candidate is from the North the majority of southerners will not vote for the party because they will see him as someone who placed personal desire above national interest and an anti – South person.
By May 28, 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari, a northern Muslim from Katsina State in the North – West, would have being Head of State for eight years. So, how can any northerner think southerners will be happy to have another northern Muslim succeed him? When the rotation of the presidency has been going on in an orderly manner for 22 years since the PDP introduced it in 1999.
President Olusegun Obasanjo from Abeokuta in the South – West served for eight years from May 29, 1999 through May 28, 2007. He was followed by President Umaru Yar’Adua from Katsina State in the North – West who was in office for three years from May 29, 2007 until he died on May 5, 2010. He was succeeded by his deputy, Vice – President Goodluck Jonathan from Bayelsa State in the South – South. After completing the one year left of the term of his boss, he sought re – election and on winning served a full four – year tenure until May 28, 2015 when he was defeated by President Buhari of the APC.
It is true that Jonathan a southerner was the last PDP member to be president. But Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from Adamawa State in the North – East was the candidate of the party during the last election in 2019 which he lost to Buhari. Therefore by logic a southerner should be the presidential candidate of the PDP in 2023.
Members of the PDP in the North who feel that one of the three zones in their region should still produce the party’s candidate in 2023 are giving a strange impression. This is that if a candidate of their party from the North does not win a presidential election in the next 12 or 16 years their region should continue to be given the opportunity until they succeed.
But this can’t be because Nigeria is a country where religion and ethnicism have become highly sensitive and divisive issues especially in the last six years. A problem caused by President Buhari’s provocative appointments in which up to 75 per cent or more of those he chose for important political or career positions were from the North and mostly Muslims.
Contrary to this glaring reality, Buhari’s aides are still claiming that most of his appointments have been men and women from the South. Of course, these are low – ranking people not high – profile personalities. To prove me wrong the government should publish the names of those given appointments in Buhari’s six years in office and provide information on the positions in which they are serving, their religions and the ethnic group to which they belong.
In 1999 the other five zones in the country conceded the presidency to the South – West and as a result the two leading political parties the PDP and the All Peoples Party (APP) in alliance with the Alliance for Democracy (AD) chose their presidential candidates from the zone. This was to appease the Yoruba for the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential poll won by a member of the ethnic group, late Chief Moshood Abiola and end the six – year political crisis in the country.
It was through this that Chief Obasanjo the candidate of the PDP chose fellow party member Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as his running – mate making him eventually to become the nation’s Vice – President. At that time, there was no terrorism, banditry, clashes between herdsmen and farmers and some Yoruba and Igbo activists asking for the breakup of the country. But all these have cropped up in the last six years.
The situation we are in now is such that northern leaders of the PDP should not further worsen the precarious state of affairs. This they will do if they prevent the South from producing their party’s candidate after northern – born Buhari would have spent eight years in office by 2023.
Next week: Why former President Goodluck Jonathan would be the best candidate of the PDP for the 2023 election if they can get him to accept to be their party’s standard – bearer.
10 topmost immigrant Lagosians, Kitoye Ajasa, of Dahomey ancestry (2)
Chief Ajasa was one of the most prominent immigrant Lagosians who made it politically especially as he was very close to British colonial officials. In 1906 they chose him as an unofficial member of the Legislative Council in the Southern Protectorate. Eight years later in 1914 when the Southern and Northern Protectorates were merged to become Nigeria he became a member of the Nigerian Council headed by Governor – General Frederick Lugard who was born in 1858 and died in 1945 at the age of 87.
Chief Ajasa was a conservative who along with J.K. Randle, Christopher Sapara Williams, Henry Rawlingson Carr and others said that challenging British administration was counter – productive because it was only through the British that development could come to Nigeria.
As a result, he advocated full adoption of European ideas and institutions as the fastest way to make progress. Most elites in Lagos and, indeed in the country, attacked him for his slavish attitude and colonial mentality calling his newspaper “the guardian angel of an oligarchy of reactionaries.”
They wondered how “any man in Lagos, and an African by birth, race and descent should be so wholly devoid of race consciousness and utterly oblivious of the appreciation of the duties, obligations and responsibilities devolving on him.” The name of his newspaper is not available in his biography.
Chief Ajasa who died at the age of 71 in 1937 was married to Lucretia Olayinka Moore an Egba princess. Ajasa Street behind the National Assembly complex at Race Course on Lagos Island is believed to have been named after him.
Next week: Giving fair treatment to indigenous Lagosians.
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