By Chabor Musa Nyamgul
In the first series of this effort I put 8 of the Aspirants seeking the APC Presidential Ticket to the crucible, indeed this exercise houses no grudge or bias, it is but a didactic and patriotic effort at ensuring that the esteemed delegates of our great Party the APC choose the best person to fly the flag of the Party in the 2023 Presidential election.
The Ruling Party must realize that so much is expected of us by Nigerians, and largely the delegates are the ones in the eye of the storm. You owe Nigeria and Nigerians a great responsibility which is chiefly to elect a Presidential Candidate that understands the urgency of now, and one that connects with the aggregate demand for a new deal and a new Nigeria. And I believe that you will do justice to this onerous task.
Here are my candid analysis of the chances ditto the baggage of some more Aspirants within the APC if by Jove our Dear Delegates would do that which is forthright, trite and right.
DIMEJI BANKOLE. This former Speaker of the 6th House of Representatives that has been largely silent and quiet since he left the National Assembly comes in as not only an unwilling horse, but as one who is not seriously interested in the contest. The fact that he is not campaigning at all or reaching out to delegates gives the impression that the gamble of 100m naira for the APC Presidential Nomination Form may be an expensive gambit for political relevance and visibility. That he is seen as one of the pretenders with perhaps a different motive is a huge baggage.
ROCHAS OKOROCHA. This two-term former Governor of Imo State is one of the Aspirants from the Southeast. He is not in anyway an unwilling horse, this attempt being his fourth. He however comes in with the huge baggage of allegedly corruptly enriching himself, his family and proxies whilst in office as the Governor of Imo State, his cases with the EFCC speaks to that. He’s also accused by his successor Governor Hope Uzodinma of being behind the rising insecurity in Imo State. And as the immediate past Governor of the State in the same Political Party as the incumbent the raging disharmony in the Party in State is another huge baggage.
UJU KENNEDY. Is the only female Aspirant in the race for the APC Presidential Ticket. Her vision, courage and strength is salutary, however the absence of political visibility, impact and capital is a huge baggage as the quest for the high office of President is not a turf for those not known to have had any serious or radical impact on the socio-political amphitheatre.
NICHOLAS FELIX. This good looking US-based Clergyman is the youngest Presidential Aspirant in the fray. He is largely unknown and comes in with the baggage of one seemingly seeking political relevance, and one that colours him as one of the pretenders having failed to effectively put before the people and the delegates his vision for Nigeria. If he builds on the mention of the present bid, he is perhaps a candidate for the future.
KEN NNAMANI. A former President of the Senate who led the popular rejection of President Obasanjo’s 3rd Term bid by the National Assembly. He comes in with an uncanny baggage as many see his attempt at occupying the country’s highest office as a race to nowhere. Only last March he lost the bid to become the Deputy National Chairman of our great party thus underscoring the depth of his popularity within the Party, therefore putting him forward to fly the Party’s flag in the 2023 Presidential contestation will most likely do the Party great disservice.
BEN AYADE. This former Senator who is presently rounding up his second term as Governor of Cross River State would perhaps not be seen as a serious contender but for the N100 million he paid for the nomination form. He comes in with the baggage of one seeking to remain politically relevant after his tenure. Clearly, not reaching out to the people and the delegates of our great Party the APC presents him as being in the presidential race for negotiation to become Vice President should the Presidential candidate come from the North.
MOHAMMED BADARU. This urbane gentleman and the serving Governor of the State of Jigawa is one of the many Presidential Aspirants whose entry into the race is viewed with much curiousity. He comes in with the baggage that defines his late indication of interest to run for President as one primed for political relevance and perhaps for consideration for the Vice Presidential Ticket should the APC Presidential Candidate come from the South little wonder he appears not to be reaching out to the people and to the delegates of our great Party.
AJAYI BOROFFICE. This good looking and eloquent Senator from Ondo State comes in as an underdog in the APC presidential race. The baggage he comes in with is that he is perceived by many as seeking to gain prominence and relevance as one of those who ran for the Presidential Ticket of the Party, this baggage is hinged on his rather quiet approach to the race.
Dear Delegates of our great Party, I shall in a few days put before you the conclusion of this effort as I assess the last batch of Presidential Aspirants, however it is my candid plea that you give primacy to the call to put before Nigerians a candidate with great love, passion and commitment to birth and berth a New Nigeria. We must put our best foot forward and the linchpin must be competency and capacity, for the time to reset, re-fix and rework Nigeria is now. God Bless Nigeria.