By Zayyad I. Muhammad
The battle for the 2023 elections will be fascinating. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has commenced a challenging but exciting quest to be President of Nigeria in 2023. Tinubu would face five significant obstacles.
Firstly, his faith. Secondly, the choice of a running mate. Thirdly, the rugged politics the PDP would play – the PDP may present a northern presidential candidate and just ‘Siddon-look’, putting the APC on the defensive. And fourthly, how the North would vote relative to Omatekun and anti-Fulani sentiments in the southwest. And fifthly, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo supporters are on the move, solely focused on the presidency with confidence.
Tinubu, a Muslim from the Southwest, might have a free sail at home because of the complex nature of the socio-political settings of the southwest. But to appeal to other zones in the country, he will be in a quandary regarding his choice of a running mate. If he picks a Christian from the North, the bulk of APC support in the North, particularly the Muslim North, will look the other way. If he chooses a Muslim from the North, the country will undoubtedly be against a presidential Muslim-Muslim ticket. However, if the PDP picks its presidential candidate from the North, he may get some ‘relief’ in the South
Operation Amotekun and Sunday Igboho’s January 2021 one-week ultimatum to Fulani herders to vacate the southwest, Tinubu’s old statement – ‘ I don’t believe in one Nigeria’ will be another weapon that will be used against him in the North.
Tinubu’s war chest is enormous. His political tactics are shrewd; his political structure is solid, widespread, and well-organized They recently ‘bombarded’ the North and scared their opponents. Tinubu is a good candidate but has a big dilemma, as mentioned above.
On the other hand, the 2023 presidential election battle will be exciting – PDP will be on the offensive, while the ruling APC will be on the defensive. The flag bearers of either political party will also have many political hurdles to cross.
Most people expect the 2023 presidential election finale to be an Atiku vs a Tinubu game. Atiku vs Tinubu will be an interesting big game, a very BIG one. Two similar people with similar public perceptions and similar game styles; “I-know-you, you-know-me” scenario will come to play. The two have well-established political structures that can easily scare an opponent. They pay their bills; the contest would be 100 per cent politics, politics, politics- even the choice of the running mates. It will be a fascinating zero-sum game. Both have similar advantages and disadvantages.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Abuja via email@example.com.