Photo Credit: BBC
The political atmosphere in Nigeria is heating up gradually as the clock ticks down to the 2023 elections. And while many of the likely presidential aspirants are still silent on their ambitions, their supporters have been campaigning loudly.
One of those that have been tipped to join the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 is the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo. Analysts rate the VP as one of the favourites to clinch APC's ticket.
Also, Osibanjo's supporters have said that, unlike other political aspirants, Osibanjo has several factors in his favour one of them his age. He is currently in his mid-sixties, and he is seen as a bridge between the old and new generations of politicians.
Photo Credit: Punch
They have also highlighted his accomplishment as the leader of Buhari's economic team as proof that he will not require much time to settle down. He will simply hit the ground running, especially when it comes to the economy.
Also. the VP has no pending corruption case, and he has not been accused of misdeeds by anyone or the agency of the government. Lastly, they have said Osibanjo is humble and meek, thus he has a temperament well suited for the office of the President.
No one can question his credentials; they are simply compelling. Yet, his credentials alone are not enough to give him victory should he decide to run for office. He, like any other candidate, must lobby and canvass for support across the country, especially from the North.
Photo Credit: vanguard
This is important because the North, with its voting numbers, holds the aces and with that can play the game-changer in Nigeria's national elections, particularly the Presidency. If the VP can get the northern votte, then he is as good as the President. But the north will not surrender its support to Osinbanjo or anyone Southern candidate unconditionally.
The Northern leaders made that abundantly clear in recent media comments. Those who have spoken include the Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum, etc.
Even though the political groups didn’t say what the conditions will be, but Ilyasu Gadu gave a hint in his recent opinion article published in The Cable Newspaper. According to the popular scholar and writer, the North will not support Osibanjo’s candidacy or any Southern candidates until they are allowed to choose his running mate, preferably a Northern Muslim, most likely from the North East or North West.
Photo Credit: Daily Trust
The North would also like to get a firm commitment from Osibanjo that he will not support the quest to break up Nigeria or make any effort, no matter how little, in that direction. As a matter of fact, analysts have said this is one of the main reasons why certain Northern elements are reluctant about the power shift to the South. The agitations by Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho remain a major source of concern for them.
And that is why some of these groups have challenged the ruling APC to jettison the zoning formula which the party agreed to before the 2015 election.
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