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HYPOCRISY OF CONSENSUS CANDIDACY

By NBF News

These are certainly not the best of times for a group of sectional elements caught up in the frenzy that has dominated the political landscape over the 2011 presidency. Apparently buffeted by politicking, the elements have embarked on desperate measures to assuage the tempest occasioned by the witty and gritty battle for presidential power.

This is no doubt in furtherance of their personal interests.  But a large majority of the elite and even the masses are now politically perceptive of the antics of these elements who are seeking power at all costs.

Consider: they are now forcing themselves on the consciousness and sensibilities of their people and the entire Nigerian people with their irritating antics, one of which is the so-called consensus candidacy for the presidency.

The other is their pro-zoning mantra within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) despite the resolution of the controversy by the party at one of its recent National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings. The NEC had resolved that President Goodluck Jonathan, even though from the South-South zone, is constitutionally qualified to contest for the presidency in 2011 and that regardless, the zoning policy stays.

The party thereby saved itself by maintaining a balance between constitutionality by not precluding the right of Jonathan to aspire for the presidency and the principle of zoning which is its internal arrangement for political accommodation and stability.  But these sectional elements, out of desperation, have mounted a pro-zoning campaign aimed at inciting the North against the South; in fact, the people of the North against Jonathan who typifies the hope of the South for the presidency.  In diverse ways, they have sustained their claim to the presidency on the basis of the undemocratic zoning arrangement.  The claim, which is the hub of their campaign, is tendentious and divisive.

It is indeed worrisome that such a pernicious campaign would be sustained by these respected members of the PDP after the party had taken a decision.  That also shows the scant respect the desperate elements have for the party. For the records, those on this gravy train of probable political capital (they calculate that they could cause a collateral damage to Jonathan's candidature) are former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Bukola Saraki and former National Security Adviser, General Aliyu Gusau.

The so-called consensus arrangement which is being tailored to produce one of them as the sole presidential standard bearer in the race for Aso Rock Villa is intended to upset the applecart of Jonathan's aspiration by mobilizing the northern delegates to jump on the bandwagon of angst and hate against him for purportedly usurping the slot of the North. Despite subtle and overt intimidation, Jonathan declared his intention to run for the 2011 presidency at a carnival which has gone down in history as the single largest political gathering that the Eagle Square has witnessed since it was built.

He and his associates have also clearly explained that he (Jonathan) is running to complete the unfinished term of the presidential ticket that he jointly won with the late Umaru Musa Yar'Adua in 2007.  That term expires in 2015.  Interestingly, 2015 was the gambit that Babangida and Atiku, for instance, devised to curry the support of the Southeast: that they would ensure that presidency moves to the zone when that time comes.

The strategy was to turn the Southeast zone against Jonathan.  But if Jonathan is not going to continue in office beyond 2015, the presidency will move back to the North.  Thus their Igbo-for-Presidency-in-2015 bait is already rendered impotent.

It is quite noteworthy that for the first time in over forty years, an Igbo military officer, General Azubuike Ihejirika is now the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Jonathan made that appointment.

Adejoh is, a political
analyst.