Buhari to Announce His Dark Horse By Weekend


By Kabiru Salman, Abuja

By weekend of June 5th, 2022, speculation about the long awaited “dark horse” to represent the ruling party in the 2023 General Elections would come to an end; reason: President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to name who the special bride is. But as of the moment, there are strong indications that none of those presently on the hustings are favored; this, the Newspaperman can authoritatively tell.  A quick breakdown of the events leading to this conclusion would suffice.

Few months back, the president had made the announcement that the presidential ticket was not for the highest bidder; he again followed that weeks later by insisting that he would leave a lasting legacy for Nigerians. He then shocked the world when inundated with calls that he was concerned about the safety of his preferred choice fearing that he would be eliminated once his identity is made public! A statement like that automatically disqualifies every contender currently on stage. Everyone knows PYO, BAT, Dan Amanan, Nwajuiba, Ogbonnaya Onu, Nnamani Ken, Ahmed Lawan and co.

The same applies to former President Jonathan who is no threat to anybody. As a matter of fact, the former president is considered as a paper weight with no political relevance.  Not surprising, the search has shifted to another gear as the hide and seek continues, the news making the rounds now is about the possible drafting of more northern candidates like Malam El-Rufai and governor Babagana Zulum into the fray.  The APC is reportedly concerned about the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the oppositions flagbearer. Oh yes, they have to because Atiku’s political clout is not in doubt, so also his financial power and extensive network of friends.

But the yearning for power to shift down south has put paid to Atiku’s dream of becoming Nigeria’s president. After 8 years of a Muslim northern president, it is doubtful if a repeat would happen. Allowing it would sound the death knell of the political south!  Right now, what is clear is that PDP is on the path of doom. You cannot have a northerner as party chairman and another northerner as presidential candidate. Somebody asked the other day that was this the way late Ahmadu Bello and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa did it? Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that Atiku’s project was dead on arrival!

Therefore, the ball is now in the court of the ruling APC to correct that glaring mistake by choosing a worthy southerner—who must be a Christian– to preside over the affairs of the nation for the next 8 years. The man now being called PYO is a Christian, but evidently he is not on the radar of the cabal—and Nigerians as well. Amaechi, also known as “Dan Amanan katsina” who made a show at the Port Harcourt stadium by sprinting round the pitch does not have the charisma to occupy the nation’s highest office. The manner he abandoned the Abuja-Kaduna Train victims has cast him in bad light. Ogbonnaya Onu who should have been the preferred candidate is above 70.

Nwajuiba cannot fit the bill because he is a mere neophyte with little or no administrative experience. Even if they introduce Nasir El-Rufai and Babagana Zulum, they are still northerners. Ahmed Lawan, cannot be the one the president says will be “killed” should his identity be known. If the dark horse must come, it should be from the southwest because they control most of APC votes. Jonathan is from Bayelsa where the PDP is predominant. So, he cannot have another “awoof” ride to power. Godwin Emefiele had chickened out before the real dance came. Before then, he showed Nigerians the stuff he is made of by organizing even militants to speak on his behalf!

What a clever chap. In one breath, he says he is not involved and in another he is heading to court to declare his eligibility. This is all the more reason that our conclusion is, whoever the president’s dark horse going to be, must be in tandem with leaving a lasting legacy for the nation; such a person—I mean the dark horse—must generally be acceptable, be under 60 years, well read, intellectually sound, fit as fiddle, with knowledge of transformative governance. Above all, he should not carry any baggage Such a person may even not have picked the nomination forms!

Nigeria needs breath of fresh air; the nation needs leaders who would care for the land, leaders with compassionate heart, not the ones with only their interest in mind. The general feeling in the grassroots is for the nation to be placed on a prosper footing. Those angling for the ticket for now are not in this category. They have no ideology, no manifesto, no welfare programme, nothing whatsoever. They have been in government since 1999 and till this day, see no reason to give way. For them, politics is business and so are the peoples fate. They are wondering: “how come another election year has come?” And as they say in ancient days and still relevant today, “Time waits for no man”.

However, looking closely at the trend of events, the APC leadership under senator Abdullahi Adamu which started appears to be another stumbling block. Their actions drip of what obtains in primeval times. As it was with the Buni led caretaker committee, so it is with this Adamu led APC. Thus, it is becoming crystal clear that the party is being steered the wrong way. They are not showing signs of rising beyond the human intellect; they have to listen more to vibrations emanating from their intuitive perceptions.

Otherwise how would they explain disqualifying prominent candidates in the last guber primaries without explanation? Does the spate of bloodletting around the country mean nothing to them as did the catalogue of uncompleted projects all over the nation? Adamu should take heed and be more careful.  Buhari should be properly advised to stay focused.