Making A Case For A President From South East

Source: The Sun Newspapers

It may be the usual pre-election predilection, but it appears to me that PDP is divided.

And that’s unfortunate.

The quotes attributed to Wike saying that all Peter Obi knows are crammed figures makes Wike a clown, no doubt, but it also withers PDP’s chances at the 2023 polls.

It encourages those in the opposition and fans of candidates like Atiku to say the South East cannot wrest power from the atrocious APC. Indeed, it gives wings to the notion that the South East would be so undecided that the usual voter apathy in the region would continue.

BTW, Voter apathy is a big concern in that region. While the voter turnout nationwide was 35% in 2019, the SE had 24%. A state like Abia had only a 19% turnout. It sinks in when you realize the region with the lowest voter turnout also has the lowest population.

Strictly from the point of winner-ability — I find the policy proposals I have seen so far from all contestants watery — I don’t know if Atiku can win. Data seems to show he has no strong base.

In the 2019 elections, Atiku really didn’t shine anywhere. He secured over 75% of the vote in just two states, Anambra and Enugu, and he likely benefitted from Peter Obi’s popularity in Anambra — remember PO was his running mate. In contrast, President Buhari won over 75% of the vote in 7 states. But that isn’t even particularly impressive.

To understand why, let’s look at 2015. Goodluck Jonathan got over 75% of the vote in 10 states and President Buhari did the same in 11 states. Atiku, in 2019, got only 2 states, both in the East. Even more worrisome is that Atiku only won 51% of the vote in Adamawa, his home state, compared to 99% for Goodluck Jonathan (Bayelsa) in 2015, and 93% and 79% for President Buhari (Katsina) in 2015 and 2019 respectively.

So how is Atiku going to win if he comes against the APC machinery? Atiku appears to me like a man who is not loved by anyone. Would he even get 75% in the two Eastern state he delivered in 2019 seeing that there will be animosity for taking the position meant for their son?

I have also seen arguments that Atiku should be given the ticket so he could pave the way for an Igbo presidency in 2031. I don’t know if that’s how it works. If Northerners argue that a Southern cannot win an election in 2023, what would make that argument go away in 2031? That argument was also made in 2019, remember? Nothing will make it go away in 2031 from where I stand. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; don’t try it because you don’t know. So we will never know.

How do I think we can solve this? Again, my position is strictly based on politics, not on their manifestos presented to stem Nigeria’s downward trend because I can’t see any viable proposal yet. Therefore I don’t support any particular candidate, my support here is for the SE region because I think it’s the just thing to do — for the sake of justice — to avoid the country’s implosion. As far as I’m concerned, you need a country first before you can talk of economic growth.

So what should we do? Let both parties zone their tickets to the South East.

Let PDP zone the ticket to the South East. Atiku keeps saying his North East region has never produced a president. Agreed, but there is ‘North’ in his region and he regularly hobnobs with the bigwigs of the North so we can say he and his fellow elites have benefitted from Northern rule — the poor have never benefitted from the governance. But more importantly, his region did not fight a civil war with Nigeria. Let him rest. He should put his weight behind the SE consensus.

Let APC zone the ticket to the South East. There are several candidates. Tinubu should rest. Obasanjo is from his region and he used 8 years. My gut says Buhari would make sure of a candidate coming from the SE. That may be the only good thing he’s done in his reign. It’d be a shame if APC does not do this and PDP as a matter of strategy should use it in their campaigns to sway emotions.

This is about justice.

And this is not the first time it’s been done. In 1999, the two major parties brought out two Yoruba candidates — Obasanjo and Falae — to appease the annulment of June 12, 1993 elections. It was the right thing to do to keep the country’s unity.

It is also the right thing to do in 2023 to lay the path for an Igbo to be President.

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Reader. Thinker. Entrepreneur (Founder at www.FreshlyPressed.ng) Email: tosinjadeoti@gmail.com

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'Tosin Adeoti

'Tosin Adeoti

Reader. Thinker. Entrepreneur (Founder at www.FreshlyPressed.ng) Email: tosinjadeoti@gmail.com

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