CONSENSUS: ANY PLAN B?
Last month, the Committee of 'Wise men' set up by Northern Political Leaders Forum [NPLF] picked Atiku Abubakar as the Northern consensus candidate for the ruling People Democratic Party [PDP] presidential primaries for 2011 elections. Many Nigerians particularly Northerners are however still confused of the criteria used in reaching this decision. one is only left to speculate and the line of speculation seems endless. Personally, I feel the committee should have backed up their selection with convincing explanations on what criteria they based their decision.
Nevertheless, selection of the Northern Consensus Candidate and the subsequent open acceptance of the decision by the other aspirants must be commended as a big credit to the much desired unity in the North. It has clearly shown that Northern Leaders are waking up from their slumber to speak with one voice to defend the interest of the North. Again, this is a clear testimony that Northern Leaders are realizing the Costly mistake they made in 2007, when they allowed themselves to be mischievously out-smarted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. That was when Obasanjo wickedly foisted the then sick Yar'adua on us as Northern Presidential candidate of the PDP after the collapse of his alleged third term agenda.
As said severally by various commentators, the choice of Yar'adua by Obasanjo was wickedly designed to punish Nigerians particularly Northerners for not allowing his third term bid to succeed. It was a calculated plan by him to land the Nation into the State of uncertainty our Nation found itself since the period of hospitalization of Yar'adua in Saudi Arabia, till the present State of Confusion, hypocrisy, denial and deceit about Zoning by PDP. The situation is unnecessarily overheating the polity and threatening the peace and unity of this Country as we approach the 2011 elections.
With this 'Wise Men's Decision' the questions on the lips of many Nigeria are: Can this decision realize the dream of the North in producing President in 2011? As this stands today, Can Atiku beat Jonathan at the PDP Presidential Primaries? Only God knows the answers to these questions. However as things stands presently in the PDP, the possibility of Atiku beating Jonathan at PDP Presidential Primaries looks as simple as passing a camel through the eye of the needle. This is a party which does not respect the position of its own Constitution as well as take delight in doing things against democratic principles. Most of the PDP Governors who have main control over their delegates have already pledge their open support to Jonathan. Those Governors who have not openly done so are already speaking from both sides of their mouth, either to escape the wrath of the EFCC or in the interest of their selfish second term ambitions. Perhaps, this explains why there was jubilation in Jonathan's camp following the announcement of Atiku as the Northern Consensus Candidate.
Another obvious question that comes to the mind of every well-meaning Northerner is: most the North realize its dream of producing the next President in 2011 only under the platform of the PDP? Should Atiku fail to get the PDP ticket, what next? I do not know what alternative cause of action, or Plan B, our 'wise men' have mapped out in case the latter happens. In this regard, I would like to join some Northerners to give my candid advice that, if the North truly wants power - shift back to the North, it should give its unflinching support to the candidacy of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). Buhari is the only option left for the North and the whole Nigeria in this present situation. Buhari has the most grassroots support among all the Presidential aspirants put together.
Sentiments aside, there is no Presidential Candidate in Nigeria today including Jonathan that truly has the credibility and popularity of Buhari. The only problem of Buhari is his lean purse which is insignificant if we really need good leadership in this Country. Buhari is the only Candidate in the race because of what he believes he can contribute to the development of this Nation.
He represents the hope of the masses.
Take it or live it, Buhari is the only option left for the North in realizing its dream of producing the next president in 2011. for the whole Nigerians, he represents the only option in realizing our dream of having our desired leader who can bring positive changes to our dear Nation. The earlier we realize this, the better for the North and Nigeria in general.
Baba wrote from Niger State College of Education, Minna.