What is the problem with a Buhari/Fashola Ticket in APC?
November 5, 2014
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was quoted to have recently advised the All Progressive Congress (APC) against fielding a Muslim/Muslim ticket in the fast approaching presidential elections, an advice which does actually make a lot of sense given the complexities and religious sensitivities of the Nigerian society today. This is even more so because our beloved country is currently under a terrible siege from an Islamic terrorist sect, a development which might make an all Muslim ticket a very hard sell with many Christians. The Christian population of Nigeria might just be afraid of a total Islamization of the country under an all Muslim presidency, especially given the reputation of General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired) as a kind of Muslim fundamentalist, regardless of whether this reputation is an accurate representation of the man’s true character or not.
You might want to say how are we so sure that Buhari will even clinch the APC presidential ticket, before we can start to speculate on who his vice-presidential candidate should be? The fact remains that if APC should field any other candidate against the might of PDP, and a Jonathan armed with the power of incumbency, they will fail miserably in the upcoming polls. None of the other pretenders in the race for APC’s presidential ticket possesses enough clout and experience to be able to give PDP and Jonathan a run for their money in the upcoming February elections. Is it Atiku Abubakar, whom many see as merely an opportunist, a rabble rouser and an enormously unstable politician who lacks any form of ideology save for a relentless pursuit of the highest office in the land, at whatever cost and on whatever political platform? Or is it Rabiu Kwankwaso, the outgoing governor of Kano State, who is relatively inexperienced politically, and with little or absolutely no national appeal? Most Nigerians who are not conversant with the north would probably never have heard of the man’s name before in their lives, so how could he be a credible or viable alternative to PDP’s ruthless political machine? Even Aminu Tambuwal, the embattled Speaker of the House of Representatives who recently officially sealed his long awaited defection from PDP to APC doesn’t appear to have enough national clout to challenge Jonathan and PDP.
Let’s take it for granted that Buhari himself will find it an uphill task to successfully unseat an incumbent president on the platform of the ruling party. It matters little who he chooses, or who his party picks as his running mate, assuming of course that APC will be wise enough to field their “best candidates” in the fast approaching elections. However, even though it is a fact that APC will find it difficult, if not outrightly impossible to beat PDP in the presidential elections, there is no doubt that a Fashola as running mate will definitely increase the chances of APC and Buhari in the race for Aso Rock come February.
It is only as a result of the low level of our political awareness and sophistication as citizens and an electorate, the fact that our extent of participation in the political and electioneering process is so minimal and misaligned, this is why we are still at a stage where a septuagenarian former army general could still be considered a most credible alternative to the rot of a PDP monopoly on power at the centre. Our current political system is such that only a powerfully connected few will continue to have a chance of getting into the highest offices in the land, not people with a genuine desire to serve and truly lead. This is why it is the likes of Jonathan, however well-intentioned, who do not have the balls to decisively tackle the most challenging issues plaguing our nation today i.e. corruption and Boko Haram, that will continue to emerge as our leaders for as long as we the electorate continue to permit them.
It is for this reason that I consider Buhari a genuinely credible candidate, being known for his strong anti-corruption stance, which is exemplified by his being one of the only people who have ruled this country and is not swimming in stupendous wealth. And how perfect would it be for the “old man” to have the very efficient and meticulous governor of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola as his running mate. If the APC should stand any chance against the might of PDP in the presidential polls, they have no choice but to field their best candidates, who in my opinion are Buhari and Fashola. Any arrangement other than this would only further obscure their faintest of chances at defeating PDP in the February general elections.