As more and more candidates are showing interest to contest the 2023 presidential election, the political game has just started and the nation’s political atmosphere cannot be the same again. Apart from those who had earlier made the quest for the coveted post public without a visit to Aso Rock Villa, a new dimension has been added to the way some politicians now choose to dramatize the announcement of their political ambition.
The new venue for declaration of their 2023 political ambition for some politicians in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is now the Presidential Villa Abuja where the whole world will see them or they may have gone there to declare their ambition and at the same time seek the approval of the president or both. Whatever is the motive behind the new mode of declaration of interest to contest the post of the presidency of Africa’s biggest country, and the giant of Africa, the drama and the comic side of it is never lost to many Nigerians.
On Monday the national leader of the APC and former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu formally told President MuhamamduBuhari of his intention to contest the 2023 presidential election. Tinubu also told reporters that seeking the presidency has been his lifelong ambition. Nigerians do not know the president’s response to him. But during a recent television interview by the president he made it clear that he won’t name his preferred candidate for the 2023 poll for fear of the person being killed or something in that direction. A few days after Tinubu’s visit to Aso Rock Villa, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has also gone to the Presidential Villa to intimate President Buhari of his intent to contest the 2023 presidential poll. Umahi has probably gone to Buhari to seek his blessing for his political ambition. The Ebonyi State governor might want to replicate at the centre what he has done so well in his home state. The Chief Whip of the Senate and former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has also declared his intention to run for the highest post in the land if the APC zoned the position to the South, particularly the South East. Other people from the South East, who had earlier indicated interest for the plum job, include Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, and Dr. Kingsley Muoghalu.
We don’t know those who have clandestinely done the same thing in Aso Rock without making it a media event. We actually don’t know those who are warming up to enact the Tinubu drama. We are still waiting and watching for those who will soon regale us with their tales of wishing to vie for the presidency come 2023 in Aso Rock Villa, a new preoccupation of our politicians. You can also call it their newly discovered hobby.
It appears that this new mode of declaring presidential ambition in Aso Rock will be open to only members of the APC because the owner of the party is seemingly resident there. Will members of other political parties enjoy the limelight the APC members are enjoying now because the party is in charge of the government? I don’t really know the right answer or put in another way, I don’t have the answer. Let some politicians provide the answer.
But knowing that Nigerian politicians can do anything to get what they want, very soon the Nigerian media will be awash with aspirants from opposing political parties trooping to Aso Rock for Baba’s blessings to realize their political goals. In our tragic drama of human existence, we need doses of comic relief to ease the tension in the land. We need an elixir, we need a temporary relief from our tortured and wretched existence. It appears that religion, which Karl Marx dubbed the masses opium, is no longer offering us the opium we need to forget our miseries and sorrows. And trust our politicians, they know how to offer such reliefs unsolicited. They should know that 2023 is not 2019 or even 2015. We are wiser now. We have seen something. We have suffered terribly so bad. We will never go back to Egypt again. We shall possess our possession in the land of the living. The deceit is enough. Enough of sweet talksand no action.
It is good that after so many tragic events emanating from the recurring bloodbath and mindless destruction in some parts of the country as a result of engulfing general insecurity, we need moments of comic relief which our brand of politicking can offer. Our politics can be serious and most times hilarious. It can boast of everything but ideology, a sense of urgency and purpose. Our politicians lack vision and goals. They are obsessed with elections and how to win or rig elections and not how to govern well. I wish they should concentrate on how to govern well.
Our politicians can as well be generous but most times they are driven by selfish motives and instincts. Most of them think of their wives, girlfriends, brothers and sisters and political thugs always and think less of Nigerians who voted them to power or those who helped rig them to power. Choose whichever one that best applies to your reading and thinking of the situation.
Now that Aso Rock Villa has become our new venue for declaration of political ambition or lifelong ambition, President Buhari, as the father of the nation, will be ready to play host to other aspirants from other political parties soon because Aso Villa belongs to all Nigerians irrespective of party affiliations. As the President prepares to do that can we objectively examine these posers: Is Aso Rock the best venue for political aspirants to declare their ambition? Is it right to inform a serving president of your intention to contest a presidential election? Do politicians do so in the United States (US) where we hurriedly copied the presidential system of government? Are we moving forward or backward in our democratic march?
If we really want our politics to grow and endure, we should follow the rule books. Although there is nothing wrong with consulting with one’s political party leaders concerning a lifelong political dream, including visiting a sitting president and asking for his support or endorsement, doing so in Aso Rock and making it a media event is quite absurd.
It does not show us as a serious people. Anyone wishing to contest the presidential election knows the right thing to do. He does not need the support or even endorsement of the president to do so except they want to rig the poll from the onset, which will spell doom for the country. Before President Buhari contested and won the 2015 general election, he did not pay any visit to the occupant of Aso Rock then or sought his blessing? You might rightly say that the occupant then was also a candidate for the election. If you say so, your argument is valid up to some degree. It is also doubtful that they are trooping to Aso Rock to seek for his one vote. The visit is surely beyond Buhari’s one vote. However, if they are going to Aso Rock to seek the president’s backing because he will not contest, it does not make it right. What President Buhari owes Nigerians is to ensure that the 2023 poll is free, fair and transparent. He has told the world that he will do so. The world is watching and Nigerians are watching too.
We have clearly passed the era of political imposition of a candidate on the people. Nigerians must be allowed to freely choose their leader come 2023. He should allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a transparent poll in 2023. Any meddlesomeness or interference from Aso Rock will not augur well for the poll and the country.
Those aspiring to vie for the 2023 poll for the presidency should be telling Nigerians what they have for us and stop the needless visit to Aso Rock as if it has suddenly become the headquarters of their political party. They should tell us how they can move the country forward and stop its current slide in all indices of human development. Enough of this drama of endorsement and support and media show in Aso Rock Villa.