Photo Credit: Vanguard
He is one of the most revered and exceptionally brilliant Military officers who ruled the most populous African nation between 1985 and 1993 following a palace coup d'etat which saw his predecessor, now President, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.)
IBB reemerged into the media again following a recent interview with Arise TV to mark his 80th birthday anniversary which was held on the 17th of August, 2021.
This article seeks to analyze and provide a historical insight into how a certain legacy laid by IBB on 12 June 1993 will most likely affect the 2023 presidential ambition of the All Progressives Congress(APC) National Leader, Sen. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The Real Issue
On the 18th of August 2021, Daily Independent reported how a meeting between the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress(APC)'s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) proposed to field a Southern Christian as the flag bearer of the party ahead of the 2023 Presidential Elections.
Photo Credit: This Day
Meanwhile, this didn't go down well with all the supporters of the former governor of Lagos State who insisted that religion should not be the prerequisite for producing such candidates rather competence or the ability to deliver should be a major factor.
A party source revealed that choosing a Southern and Christian candidate seems to be the choice of the majority of the party members as they believed it is the only way to foster unity and peace within the party.
There is a strong belief in the APC now that the next presidential candidate must be from the South.
IBB's Failed Legacy
According to Merriem Webster Dictionary, Legacy is something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.
On June 12, 1993, the first Presidential elections were held after the Second Republic was abruptly ended by IBB through the bloodless coup in 1983.
The two candidates vying for the topmost political seat were Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (a Southerner & Muslim) of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Bashir Tofa (a Northerner & Muslim) of the National Republican Convention (NRC).
Going by today's style of politics, you need no soothsayer or an octopus to tell you that Tofa- Ugor ticket stands a better chance at the polls than Abiola- Kingibe ticket. This is simply because of the emphasis we laid on ethnicity and religion rather than competence and merits. That is, Abiola and his running mate may have lost due to their religion, despite hailing from different geopolitical zones as the minority northern Christians might be easily wooed by the Southern running mate who shares similar faith with them.
But unfortunately, he killed that dream from coming through by annulling the election which is ever - adjudged as the freest and fairest in Nigeria political history.
How Tinubu Could Be A Victim Of IBB's Failed Legacy
Photo Credit: BBC
Despite leading in key political offices for several years and raising a brigade of young politicians across all spheres, Tinubu continues to eye the most covetous political seat in the land after his earlier sacrifice of the VP position in 2015 on religious ground.
Since the return of democracy in 1999, religion has played a major role in the selection of candidates for Presidential candidates and all other elected positions in the country asides from the regional criterion which the constitution originally provided.
Undoubtedly, if IBB had allowed the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to declare Chief MKO Abiola winner of the 1993 Presidential Elections, it would have permanently resolved two major problems facing the development of Nigeria: Ethnicity and Religion which has become a major factor in today's politics and beyond. That is, a Muslim - Muslim ticket (Abiola- Kingibe) was massively voted for instead of a Muslim - Christian ticket. Also, the defeat of Tofa, a Kanuri man in his home turf by Abiola, a Yoruba man showed that their ethnic and regional differences never counted at that time.
Therefore, with the newly initiated proposal by the APC leadership, Bola Ahmed Tinubu hope of ruling Nigeria might just be dashed on what could have been eradicated 28 - years ago by the groundbreaking victory of Abiola- Kingibe Presidential ticket.
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