By Mubarak Shuaybu Shelleng
The unprecedented mammoth crowd that welcomed Atiku’s campaign entourage in almost every state they visited is shockingly mind-boggling. The recent one in Katsina, President Muhammad Buhari’s home state, speaks volumes and needs no further political argument that the opposition party has amicably conquered the heart and minds of the northern populace.
Most of the north-eastern electorates feel they now have ample opportunity to produce a president from the region after considering the clear development this has brought to the north-western parts of the country. It’s general knowledge that most of the Federal Government initiatives, such as National Social Investment Schemes, N-power, and other beneficial capital projects, under this current government were enjoyed mainly by in the north-western states. They are making it more developed in politics, infrastructure, and the economy.
The above issue is a welcome development because the region is considered core-north large and more densely populated than the northeastern parts.
But, the northeastern parts, for example, are yearning to produce the first-ever president from the region, which will undoubtedly pave the way for social, political, and infrastructural development. Thus, the hit helps curb the devastating effects of extreme poverty, and hardship occasioned by the Boko Haram Insurgency in some parts of the Borno and Yobe States. And communal, Farmers Herder’s clashes in Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe, and Bauchi States.
Unquestionably, whoever understands the psyche of a typical northerner must agree that it is difficult for one to reject Atiku despite the current circumstances in the country mindfully. Therefore, the northern populace that massively voted for Buhari in the previous elections unopposed should have no regrets about doing the same for the leading People democratic party’s candidate.
Besides, even the elites and the ruling party stalwart knows that are a shot of words on how to stop people, especially from the north, from voting for the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the upcoming general election. Thus, remain with no option but to beat around the bush, able to maintain their political positions and offices.
Atiku may win or lose the election, but undoubtedly, the staunch and unalloyed support Buhari previously enjoyed in the north will certainly be transferred to him and no other.
The northeastern people have never rejected Atiku Abubakar in Nigerian political history but chose Buhari ahead of him due to the political exigencies of the time.
Interestingly, the era of political manipulation has gone. As a result, an average Nigerian from the remote and urban centrist now has a proper knowledge of the game of politics. Consequently, it allowed individuals to amicably exercise their constitutional franchise by considering the most deserving candidate regardless of religion, region, or political party.
Above all, politics, they say, is a game of numbers and interest, and whoever wants to play it should imbibe the culture of flag-waving, unity in diversity, and national Integration.
Mubarak Shuaybu Shelleng writes from Yola.