One of the major talking points in the political scene last week was the former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi III, outburst against the clamour for the zoning of the presidency ahead 2023 general election.
In this week Politics Roundup, we considered the outburst by the former emir, and four other major events in Nigeria’s political scene last week and drew attention to their implications and why they should matter.
Sanusi’s rant on zoning
A former governor of the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) and former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi III, on Friday, October 1, said that zoning the presidency in 2023 as being clamoured by some Nigerians would lead to political parties producing ‘useless’ candidates.
Speaking during a TV interview, he said rather than clamour for zoning Nigerians should instead be calling for a system that would strengthen the electoral process, like electronic transmission of results.
He said, “At the end of the exercise, you end up with Nigeria being presented with two equally useless candidates.
“Let us have their names. Those of them, who want to be president of Nigeria, show your face whether you are from the north or the south.
“Now I believe that politicians can agree among themselves to have rotations if they feel that is going to be good for stability. What they call my turn and your turn. At the end of the day, we need to have a system where if I am a Southern Nigerian, I do not feel in any way worse off because the president came from the North and if I’m a Northerner I don’t feel worse off because they came from the south.”
Sanusi only pointed out one of the ills that have continued to retard Nigeria’s growth, a process where political office holders are selected based on primordial sentiments of ethnicity and religious beliefs.
For the country to move forward merit and not zoning or religious leanings should be the consideration on who occupies either the exalted seat of the Nigerian President or any other leadership position.
However, to jettison zoning, it is more important those things that make people clamour for it like nepotism, lopsided appointments into offices, among others, are addressed.
Buhari’s Independence Day boast
On October 1, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his Independence Day address said his administration has achieved in six years what no administration has achieved since 1999.
In his national broadcast, as Nigeria clocked 61 years, Buhari said, “A lot has been achieved in the last six years on many fronts: in infrastructure, social care, governance, Nigeria’s image and influence in Africa and the international community.
“But critics misdiagnose incremental progress as stagnation. Since coming to power, this administration has tackled our problems head-on in spite of the meagre resources. No government since 1999 has done what we have done in six years to put Nigeria back on track”.
It is within President Buhari’s right to say that his administration is the best since 1999. He only did what most Nigerian politicians will do.
However, Nigerians know the state of the country from 1999 till 2015 when Buhari assumed office and what has become the situation of the country’s economy, security, among others, in his six years as president.
So, only Nigerians who are feeling the actions and inactions of the current government and not President Buhari can tell if his administration is the best since 1999 or the worst.
NASS’ call for bandits to be branded terrorists
The Nigerian Senate, on Thursday, September 29 called on President Buhari to declare bandits ravaging the North-West and other parts of the country terrorists.
The Upper Chamber also called on the president to declare known leaders of bandits in the country wanted and track them wherever they are for arrest and prosecution.
The request followed the lawmakers’ resolution on a motion titled: “Banditry in Sokoto State particularly Sokoto East Senatorial District” sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gobir.
The House of Representatives also made a similar request the same week.
The Senate demand is rather coming a bit late considering the evils of these bandits in recent times, but it is better late than never.
However, the question is, is the government in power ready to listen to the demands? And if it fails to listen what is next?
The demand, meanwhile, shows how frustrated Nigerians have become over Buhari’s government failures to decisively deal with the issue of banditry in the country.
Wike’s warning to Jonathan
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike on Friday, October 1 urged former President Goodluck Jonathan not to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Wike, who spoke during a chat with the BBC Pidgin, implored the ex-President to remain in the opposition PDP because it was a better platform to vie for presidency in 2023 if he so desire.
“If I see the former President, I will tell him what I heard. I will tell him, ‘Don’t go anywhere because these people want to destroy your reputation. They don’t like you; you should know.
“What APC is doing now is to bring reputable people from PDP and when they bring them, they destroy them so that they won’t have anywhere to go again. That’s what the APC is doing.”
Wike may have spoken like many politicians who would not like to lose a very important member to the opposition. However, he might have expressed the feelings of many Nigerians.
Considering the fact that the APC is yet to address issues of insecurity, corruption, economy, among others, for which Nigerians voted the party into power to address, joining the party for whatever reasons may not be the best option for Jonathan.
Many Nigerians have openly regretted dumping him in 2015 to go for the APC and Buhari. if Jonathan now defects to the party, which many now feel disappointed with, the tendency he may lose the goodwill he currently enjoys is obviously there for all to see.
Contesting for the president in 2023 under the PDP may not also be a good option for him as many Nigerians seem not also to be comfortable with the major opposition party.
Gumi’s fresh appeal bandits
Islamic cleric, Ahmad Gumi, on Thursday, September 30, called on Nigerians to be more understanding and show more empathy to bandits in order to make them repent and be re-integrated into society.
While delivering a lecture at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Gumi said, “If people listen to the bandits, they would become amenable to abandoning their violent ways …
“So don’t be surprised, if you are nice to him, if you are ready to listen to him, if you are trying to understand his problem, if you put your legs in his own shoes, he will listen to you, you will go to the forest and return safely, God willing.”
It is unfortunate Gumi continues to call on Nigerians to understand people who have turned themselves into ‘devils’ and enemies of the country.
One wonders why Gumi has remained a penchant spokesman for the bandits if If not for religious and ethnic sentiments.