Ahead 2023: Southerners Fret, Unsure of Themselves, But the North Consolidates.


With the way the political wind is blowing, the Southerners may have unwittingly surrendered the fight for the highest office of the land—the presidency! This is because, with less than 18 months left, no credible Southerner has indicated strong interest except Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has come out with his support group springing up across the country. Instead of showing interest, those who have come out on the fringes are exhibiting symptoms of reluctance and hesitation.

Among them are Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti State, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers State. So far, there is little on the ground to suggest their seriousness. Nyesom Wike recently visited Shasha, in Oyo State, the troubled spot, where he allegedly donated millions to assuage the Yoruba’s and the Hausas to tone down their clashes. Insiders saw that move as a deft message to his Northern overlords.

The only visible candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been making strong statements but there are concerns about some skeletons in his cupboard.  Tinubu had become so powerful within the APC ranks that whoever wanted what had to visit Bourdilion even before seeing the president! Tinubu had his men fixed in key positions so much that he was the boss of all bosses. But as the presidential race drew near, some of the actions he took in the past caught up with him to reduce his towering influence.

One of his key lieutenants, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, was hacked down from his position as National Chairman of the party, a position considered strategic and from which Tinubu had derived much of his powers. But his stubborn refusal to put his house in order appears to be his major undoing. A master planner himself, Tinubu had stretched his luck too far by refusing to pander to the dictates or wishes of his Northern counterparts who sought favor from him.

He prefers to work with only “yes men” and that’s it. Though the APC is yet to zone the presidency to the south, the calculation is that it is the turn of the south. The Igbos are not united enough to present a common front having seen their grip on political and administrative affairs drop. Meanwhile, the north has continued to consolidate with many strong speakers coming out to express their desire. Yahaya Bello has not hidden his intention to contest.

Similarly, names such as Aminu Tambuwal, Abdullahi Yerima, Senator Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso, and not least deposed Alhaji Sanusi Muhammed. Atiku Abubakar remains a formidable force in the race. Although some dark forces may yet emerge ahead of time, the fear is if they could muster the enormous financial capability needed to participate. With the Northern Establishment using the ICPC and the EFCC to haunt down southerners—especially those with genuine interest—the signals, for now, points to their brothers up north.