In the first and the second part of this patriotic effort I was able to put a total 16 of the 23 Presidential Aspirants in the APC to the mill, and it has been a worthy task. As I conclude this assignment by passing the remaining 7 through the crucible, I crave the indulgence of our Esteemed Delegates, our Party men and women to put Country first by electing the best of the pack.
Our great Party must realize that Nigerians are unanimous in the quest for a republic where competency, capacity and commitment to new values in leadership is the summum bonum. We must put before Nigerians a candidate that understands the urgency of now. We must put before Nigerians a candidate that is passionate and committed to resetting Nigeria. And we must put before Nigerians a candidate that is beyond the prejudice of religion and region, indeed Nigeria is in dire need of an urbane leader that is committed to forging a rainbow coalition centred on competency and capacity, and possessing the kindred spirit needed to re-fix, reshape and rework Nigeria.
Kindly journey through the mill with me as I lay bare my thoughts on the remaining 7 Aspirants believing that together we shall arrive at the one with the least baggage, and the one that not only can win the election for our great Party, but a candidate that will aggregate our God given potentials for greatness.
IKEOBASI MOKELU. The Presidential Aspiration of this former Minister of Information and Culture in the Abacha Administration, and Convener of the ISTANDWITHBUHARI movement is somewhat of a surprise to Party faithfuls and close watchers of our politics. He was the last person to pick the APC Presidential Nomination Form, and has been very quiet since then. The fact that he has remained largely silent is a huge baggage because it speaks to his seriousness as an Aspirant. He comes across as one of those believed to be in the race for some sort of political relevance, and or consideration.
TEIN JACK-RICH. This Billionaire Businessman, owner of Belema Oil, and top player in the Oil Sector is a brilliant gentleman and philanthropist. He comes in with the baggage of deep elitism and appears hugely and largely distant from the grassroots. He is apparently very far from the Party faithfuls and structure. However his passion for a new Nigeria cannot be ignored.
AHMAD LAWAN. He is the President of the Senate. His late entrance into the race has thrown up several conjectures. He comes in with a huge baggage, one of them puts him out as an unwilling horse drafted into the race by certain Godfathers for egocentric end. The second is that his ambition pitches the Governors in the Party against members of the National Assembly. The third is that he is seen as one who superintends over a National Assembly that appears very subservient to the whims and caprices of the Executive. He also has no visible campaign structure outside his State. He is thus regarded as a paperweight that cannot take the Party to victory should he become the Presidential candidate of the Party, and that is a very huge burden.
KAYODE FAYEMI. He is the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). He is urbane, intellectually sound and charismatic. But he comes into the race with a huge baggage, aside from Ekiti, the political strength of Fayemi in his geopolitical zone, the Southwest is limited. He doesn’t have visible political structures outside his State. Despite being the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum no Governor appears to have endorsed his ambition. He also comes in with the baggage thrown at him by the former Chairman of the Party Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who alleged that he tried to get him Oshiomole to commit electoral fraud.
IBIKUNLE AMOSUN. This former Governor of Ogun State is one of the three presidential aspirants from the State. He is a seasoned politician that is believed to have the ears of Mr President. However in the race for the Presidential Ticket of our great Party, he comes in with a huge baggage, he cannot be said to be serious when he is currently at loggerheads with the APC Governor of his home State, Dapo Abiodun, and may not get the support of delegates from his State. He is also not known to have built formidable political structures outside Ogun State, he is therefore no threat to the leading contenders and may not be able to galvanize a formidable political machine to win the Presidency for our great Party come 2023.
DAVE UMAHI. This ebullient gentleman is the Governor of Ebonyi State. He was the first Aspirant from the Southeast to declare for the presidency. He has a good record of performance, but at the national stage he is a political paperweight, and considering the weight of a Presidential contest, the Party’s chance of winning the 2023 election may be slim should Umahi become the candidate. Yet another baggage is the fact that he is not very trusted by the people of the South East. He is also involved in huge battles of wit with several political forces in his home State, and his popularity quotient is thin and may not win the Presidency for our great Party if given the ticket.
GODSWILL AKPABIO. The former two term Governor of Akwa Ibom State, former Senator and former Minister of the Niger Delta Ministry comes in with very huge baggage. He is believed to be high handed and arrogant, and he is at war on several fronts with political forces within and outside the Party. As a Minister not only was he not forthright with the forensic investigation of the books of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, he did not keep to the promise of ensuring that the NDDC Board is reconstituted. The EFCC also alleges that his tenure as Governor of Akwa Ibom State is soiled with corruption. He is seen as brash and unable to galvanize the Party in the South South, he may be a huge electoral burden should he emerge as the Presidential candidate of our great Party.
YAHAYA BELLO. He is the youngest serving Governor in today’s Nigeria. Yahaya Adoza Bello is the Governor of Kogi State. He joined the race far ahead of most of the Aspirants, and has remained consistent and passionate about his vision for a new Nigeria.
He comes in with a contrived baggage, some say that ‘he does not pay salary’, as untrue as that may be, you find political opponents within the Party pushing this narrative so as to diminish his chances of winning the ticket, but like a colossus he has continued to reach out to delegates and to Nigerians with his MASTER PLAN for Nigeria.
He is arguably the most visible of all the Presidential Aspirants, and considering the present challenge of insecurity across the nation, being the best performing Governor in the area of Security, in the area of Financial Responsibility and Fiscal Discipline, and in the area of Youth Inclusiveness and Gender parity, the ace is apparently his. As you decide, Dear Delegates, do not forget that the surge in the Party membership far above the number of the major opposition party the Peoples Democratic Party PDP happened when Governor Yahaya Bello GYB was the Chairman of the Mobilisation and Sensitisation Committee of the Party, remember how he transversed the nation wooing members to the Party, and to his credit the registration and revalidation exercise of our great Party became a monumental success.
Without equivocation, the tenacity and doggedness he brings to the race has won him the hearts of many party members. And he is arguably the Aspirant with the largest number of support groups across the nation. He is on account of age, competency and capacity the candidate to watch, and considering the urgency of now, including the call of Young people and Women for a new tendency in governance, I implore our Esteemed Delegates to look the way of GYB. He is young, vibrant, intelligent, energetic, and he has the competency and the capacity to birth and berth the Nigeria of our dreams.
He is the only Aspirant of the lot that has presented a manifesto and a work plan to the people, he is apparently the most serious and the most prepared, and I wish him well.
May the Almighty guide and grant you the courage to do that which is forthright, trite and right. God Bless Nigeria.
Chabor Musa Nyamgul.