I have drawn up a list of the possible contenders for the presidency for 2019.
Don’t blame me. I am not feeling this one and play fast forward in my mind these days.
First, it’s more than likely that the presidency would still be retained in the North for another four years in 2019.
The South will have to cede that to the North for a total of eight years at least, counting the four this present President would have spent among the eight.
So, it’s very clear to me that no matter how popular President Muhammadu Buhari thinks he is, by 2019 if he comes out for re-election, he would fail woefully. He’s not going to do any magic with the economy. Prices of goods and services won’t come down and we will all grin and bear it for the next three years and send him back to Daura.
If he tries to manipulate the system to work in his favour to win re-election, he would be reminded that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan before him lost and left and never tampered with the electoral system to favour his winning a second term. The precedent is there for the whole of Africa to see and follow.
So, who are the present contenders AS AT NOW from the North for the 2019 Presidential Elections?
There’s Mallam El-Rufai, who shoots first before looking and talks more without thinking. Who’s probably a divisive politician masked as a true democrat. Brash and brusque and exhibits a superiority political complex which is his Achilles Heel. If I judge him by my present perceptions of him, he’s not getting my vote.
There’s Nuhu Ribadu. Disciplinarian and perceived as an anti-corruption crusader who has age and administrative experience on his side and may appeal to a cross – section of voters across Nigeria. His flaw would be that of not having much political clout to build a broad base support but he could be sold to the public by a new brand perception. But after Buhari, I think Nigerians may not be too kind to a rigid and uncompromising “I – know-it-all-only’ politician anymore. Nuhu Ribadu MAY get my vote though. MAY, I said.
Then there’s Rabiu Kwakwaso, former governor of Kano State and now senator of the Federal Republic. I’m told he transformed Kano into an infrastructural and economic state in his second term and is more of a politician who can be sold to the public. For me, it would be a hard sell but he could try his luck. He won’t get my vote though. For now.
The last but not the least on my list would be Atiku Abubakar, former vice president of Nigeria, with a powerful and strong political base and a bridge builder. Experienced and savvy politician and perceived as detribalised by reason of the facts that he’s from Adamawa, a Muslim, married to an Igbo wife and married to a Yoruba wife and has extensive political leanings across the nook and crannies of Nigeria. He has attempted to run for president four times (2003, 2007, 2011, 2015) and will definitely run again in 2019. As at now, we don’t know the platform he would use to achieve his aim.
Since we are a nation of short memories and we can overlook a lot of things like age, past sins and credibility for the job, an Atiku Abubakar seems likely to win in 2019 more than the other names I have mentioned. Of course, they will throw everything at him and bring up corruption stories and all that which have never been proven but whispered. But if the battle is between Atiku and these other names I mentioned, Atiku Abubakar would win it.
His greatest nemesis would be OBJ. OBJ who never forgives. But something tells me that some recalibrations are going to happen before 2019.
Will the youth of Nigeria throw up a younger candidate or line up behind a younger candidate? Not entirely. If the youth could line up behind their grandad, after being consumed by a grandpa complex, they are likely to still be consumed by that same complex to vote for older candidates in 2019.
Will Atiku get my vote?
Charles Novia is an award-winning filmmaker. He is founder of November Productions and November Records. Connect with him on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.