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As the clock of 2021 begins to tick… Politicians that may change the face of Nigerian politics

Year 2020 was dominated by existential threat to human survival occasioned by a global pandemic, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The nation lost some of its best and brightest in politics and the corporate world. The anxiety thrown up  by the virus could, however, not deter men of power from plying their vocations and playing politics to court attention. In the New Year, certain individuals will shape the polity by their actions and pronouncements. TAIWO AMODU unveils the politicians to watch in this New Year.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu: Will he run for 2023?

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Former Lagos State governor, leader of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, played a significant role in the formation of the erstwhile main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress which won the 2015 general election, displacing the Peoples Democratic Party which had the central government under its grip for 16 years.

Despite the turmoil in his party and speculation that he would ditch President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term, Tinubu retained his role as kingmaker,  ensuring that his South-West delivered the votes for a fresh mandate for Buhari.

Amidst denial from his camp, the kingmaker is planning to be king  in 2023. But his Man Friday and chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was sacked as national chairman at an emergency National Executive Committee meeting held last June at the Presidential Villa which dissolved the National Working Committee (NWC)  led by the former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress.

Another power block led by the APC governors is now in charge of the party national secretariat with one of them, the Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni,  as chairman of an interim committee.

Tinubu›s camp has also been decimated in the South-West as some of his protégés have since settled for a different alliance outside Tinubu›s  South-West stronghold  in the amorphous APC. Despite the mounting challenges against his ambition, will Tinubu openly declare  his presidential intention or throw in the towel?

Mallam Buni: The uneasy task of APC Convention

Former National Secretary of the APC and Yobe State governor, Mallam Buni, emerged as the chairman of the APC Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (ECPC) last June sequel to the dissolution of the NWC led by Comrade Oshiomhole by the APC National Executive Committee (NEC).

The APC ECPC led by Yobe State governor was given  a six months timeline to reconcile aggrieved chieftains of the party and equally conduct a national convention where new set of national officers were to be elected at a gathering of the highest organ of the party, the national convention last December.

Despite opposition from a certain power block which lost out last June following Oshiomhole›s removal, the NEC at another meeting  held last December passed a confidence vote in the Governor Buni interim leadership and extended its tenure. The NEC equally dissolved the party organs at ward, local government, state and zones while fresh congresses would be conducted ahead of the national convention to hold in June 2021.

The new set of national officers to emerge this year will conduct the presidential convention where the party presidential candidate for the 2023 general election will emerge.

It is an open secret  that some of Buni›s colleague are nursing presidential ambition. Will he deliver a transparent state congresses and national convention or do the bidding of his colleagues in the Progressives Governors Forum? Nigerians, expectantly, will wait for the answers.

Bello Muhammad Matawalle

The Zamfara State governor was pronounced as governor, not by ballot but by the pronouncements of the Supreme  Court which declared the APC ineligible to field candidates for the March 2019 general election since it did not conduct valid primaries.

Justice  Paul Galinji, who read the unanimous judgement of the five man panel,  held that the Zamfara APC failed to conduct primaries in accordance with the party’s constitution, the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution respectively. The apex court ordered  that all political parties whose candidates scored the second highest votes in the elections and the required spread should be declared winners.

There has been indication that the PDP still nursing its wounds, following the defection of the Ebonyi state governor, David Umahi, to the ruling party would lose the Zamfara governor to the APC.  Matawalle, in a statement by his media aide, Zailani Baffa, issued last November, had commended his Ebonyi counterpart for dumping the PDP. He claimed «bad blood» was responsible for Umahi›s defection. But the import of his message  was not lost on the top echelon of his party.

Matawalle had said: «If this trend of generating bad blood amongst us continues unabated, our great party will increasingly be on the receiving end as we move towards the year 2023. I am having a very bad experience of late from some of my PDP governor colleagues, which I still find very puzzling.”

Uche Secondus 

The National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, has been facing opposition from certain chieftains of the party in the last one year. Ahead of the 2023 presidential race, chieftains of the party from South-West and the South-East geopolitical zones want a clear statement from the PDP NWC led by Secondus and a clarification from the NEC on where the pendulum would swing for the presidential ticket.

Ebonyi State governor, Umahi,  who recently defected to the APC, alleged that the cat and mouse game in the main opposition party over zoning of its presidential ticket was responsible for his defection to the ruling party. However, the report of the Senator Ike Ekweremadu post-election review committee submitted in 2015 to the party had zoned the 2019 presidential ticket to the North. Incidentally, Secondus, who had since emerged as national chairman, was the acting chairman who received the Ekweremadu report.

Those anxious that the South takes the PDP presidential ticket in 2023 are agitating for an arrangement that would take the exalted office of National Chairman from the zone. Will Prince Secondus, from Rivers State in South-South geopolitical zone, seek a second term as PDP chairman in December 2021 when the party›s  convention will be held? This is an answer that will unravel in the fullness of 

As the clock of 2021 begins to tick… Politicians that may change the face of Nigerian politics

As the clock of 2021 begins to tick… Politicians that may change the face of Nigerian politics

Year 2020 was dominated by existential threat to human survival occasioned by a global pandemic, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The nation lost some of its…

Latest Political News In Nigeria For Today, Thursday, 5th May, 2022

Latest Political News In Nigeria For Today, Thursday, 5th May, 2022

Welcome to the round-up of the latest political news in Nigeria, political gist, highlights of political events, and happenings in Nigeria for today Thursday, 5th…