The clamour for the emergence of a president from southern extraction in 2023 got to a more interesting dimension recently when governors from the southern part of the country met in Lagos State.
At that meeting, they discussed among other things, the need for Nigeria and Nigerians to support the move and ensure that the next president emerges from the area.
Before now, there have been agitations from the three regions that make up the south- the south south, the south east and the south west. Each of the regions have a plethora of aspirants who are nursing the ambition and also working hard to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
From the south south for example, there are names like Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Timipre Sylva, Godswil Akpabio, Be Ayade et cetera. From the south east, Rocha’s Okorocha, Dave Umahi are some of the names being touted. And from the south west, Bola Tinubu and the current vice president, Yemi Osinbajo are believed to be nursing the same ambition.
But apart from the south, it is becoming clear that some persons from the north are also becoming interested, even though it is generally believed that the next president should be from the south, since the north is already rounding off its second term.
In politics, power is not given. It is earned. Politicians work for and earn any political office of their choice. In this case, it will take some serious work for the south to achieve its goal of taking over power in 2023. One of the things that must be done is consensus building, synergising with all sections of the country and building bridges across the divide.
At the moment, the various aspirants are working hard to see how they could undo the other. Some of them from the south south are working hard to see how they can take over the NDDC and from there, grab the commission’s resources as they prepare for the epic battle which will obviously consume so much money.
Even within their party, they are back-stabbing themselves, all in a bid to have the upper hand.
Ironically, some major politicians and other self seeking individuals are believed to be working hard to support aspirants from the northern extraction. And they do not seem to be hiding this. Only recently, some politicians from the south started campaigning for the emergence of a former northern governor as the next president. Some have even started campaigning for an aspirant from the middle belt.
This is where we are concerned. Beyond the public declaration of their interest to have one of their own take over from Buhari, the southern governors ought to launch a strategic move towards uniting that part of the country and ensuring that they speak with one voice and pursue same goal.
They should also look inwards, talk to themselves and to all those who are interested in that office, to have a consensus on a possible choice, with a view to reducing the level of rancour and acrimony that usually characterises political processes of this nature.
It is our view that all major players should get to the drawing board and strategies on how to achieve the dream. The south south, from where most of the aspirants seem to come from, should put themselves together and work together to achieve the dream, if truly they desire to produce the next president.
Without collaborations and consensus building, the dream of a southern president, and indeed a president from the south south may just be a tall dream.