Buhari & Prof Yemi Oshibajo, lessons in Nigeria’s Politics

APC Presidential candidates, Hammed Tinubu, Yemi Oshibajo, General BuhariPolitics is a dirty game but Politicians would not want us to dub their trade with such acronyms. It requires a lot of calculations, permutations, intrigue and counter exploration to succeed in one. There is politics everywhere even at home. No matter how great the family is, the internal politics when well coordinated make the union stronger.

Playing and being active in politics in Nigeria or elsewhere is really a hard task.There is hardly  free food within the political circle. There is usually no overnight success. If you get that kind of success, someone had paid the price. In the days of the strong man of Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria, there are things one could not do without proper consultation with this’ hard to ignore’ politician. Adedibu practically controlled the buttons in the Southwest then.then. He may look crowd but  his words are law in the political circle during his days.

Politics in Nigeria requires a game plan. Those who are smarter now see the handwriting on the wall. You need a base, cacus to excel. It is not only important to be the right person, it is essential to meet with power wielders. In some instance, mediocrity reigns over meritocracy.  Life is never fair as they say. Political arena in Nigeria is gradually changing. The tempo is now going above the roof. It takes thick skin to play. Nigerians are clamouring for change.

The tempo,level of political enlightenment is going higher. The voice of opposition seems to be coming up stronger than before. The two frontline parties are jostling for support. Like the Pre-2008 in the United States Of America Presidential election, Nigerians seem to be tired and desperately want a change. Whether they will act on this need or not will be shown if the enlightened minds among us will go to vote.

As keen stakeholder in the issue of development vis a vis politics, policy and Governance,  one cannot but be interested in the turn of events within the political landscape in Nigeria. Nigeria is said to be the largest black population in the world with great potentials to rule the world albeit the Africa Continent.  But corruption, bad leadership, high level of selfish and Illiterate followership had robbed the nation its pride of place. Unlike before, when the voice of opposition had always be in the background in this nation, this may be due to parochial and selfish interests of the parties involved. Opposition seem to be getting along and better now. All Progressive Congress(APC), which is a merger of three parties before, is now putting up a strong fight to restle power from the incumbent party at the Federal level- People’ Democratic Party(PDP). PDP has been in power since the inception of the Fourth Republic which began in 1999.

It’s being fun following the merger of this entity called APC. No one gave the party any chance because of the elements who formed the merger. In fact, a member of the ruling party had boasted ‘if APC survives one year he should be called a bastard’. Today history is made, the merger, alliance seems to be given the ruling party a night mare even if it would not want to agree. This will form a discussion for another piece, our focus in this is to analyse lessons learnt from the current political intrigue and trading that happened prior to APC’s Presidential election and post primary election events.

Before the emergence of General Muhammed Buhari as the party’s Presidential flag bearer,  there were five equally good contestants. Though everyone knew only three of them, Kwakwanso, Atiku Abubakar and General Buhari stood the chance. Atiku,  a former Vice President and two times Presidential aspirant had money to roll with and in better position financially than any other contestants. General Buhari only credential  is his forthrightness.  Though considered a religious bigot among others issues. Buhari  was believed to have enjoyed the support of many of the Governors in the party. Rumour also had it that Buhari  has the right standing in his base, North, to pull the region’s vote in favour of the party come February 2015 General Election.

Whatever happened after the permutation and calculations has become history. Buhari emerged as the party’s candidate with the support of southwest cacus in the party. After the election,  tension became high as people want to know who will be Buhari’s running mate. While meritocracy was considered, many also see other factors in Nigeria Politics to surface. Which did eventually.

There were  five  names being mentioned: Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Adams Oshiomole, Tunde Fashola, Kayode Fayemi and Professor Yemi oshibajo.  All are APC’s current or past governors except Yemi Oshibajo. Their choice was a result of their deliverables while serving in one capacity or the other. According to a poll by Sahara Reporters, an online Magazine, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi polled the highest as opinion poll believed the pendulum should swing in that direction. About one hour ago, Professor Yemi Oshibajo  was announced after lots of intrigues and consultations among party  stalwarts which lasted for about four days. What are the lessons we can learn from this outcome?


Dedication and commitment : No one  moves far in life without a vision, dedication and commitment to a cause. General Buhari might have been considered a failure after several attempts at running for the Presidency. More also, no one expects he would be able to beat his arch rival, Atiku Abubakar,  who had all it takes financially and was the first to pick the ‘out of the reach’ Presidential nomination form of about Twenty Seven Million Naira. According to Buhari, he had to take a loan to be able to move forward in his dream. What are your fears and stumbling blocks? You may not be able to achieve your goal if you continue to allow your fears and challenges, past failure to overcome the inner will to succeed.

Collaboration and compromise: For anything to succeed, there is need for consultation, collaborations and compromises. The reason for many policy failures is because  one person or selfish interest is given the pride of place. For policy to succeed, it needs the engagement and collaboration of major stakeholders. You may not be able to carry heavy load to your head with just one hand.

Money is not always the answer: in term of availability and accessibility to funding, Buhari cannot match Atiku dollar to dollar. While money is essential in politics, governance at least in  the kind we play here, money may not be able to answer all things. Nigeria has a lot of resources or cash inflow through sales of oil. Other factor will come to play.  Barrack Obama did not have all the money in 2008, but people who believed in his vision helped him to reach his goal which later became the common goal, voice of every American.

Religion and ethnicity: in Nigeria of today, these elements still play a major factor even though we always claim they do not matter. The choice of Prof Yemi Oshibajo over equally good aspirants to the position of Vice President was majorly influenced by religion and ethnicity. He is a Christian and a pastor with one of the largest denominations in the country. We  must acknowledged, be put on record that Prof Oshibajo  is an accomplished lawyer, academic among others. His strong ally, loyalty to  Asiwaju Hammed Tinubu cannot be overlooked.

Be prepared and stay focused: Preparation is a key word in life. Prof Oshibajo may not have a lot of electoral value or may not be a heavy weight like others but he is a focused individual. He had remained committed to his calling immediately after his tenure as commissioner and Attorney General of Lagos. He is sound intellectualy and in the area of policy formulation, he is not a nobody. He is also well informed when we talk about global issues. Opportunity comes to those who are prepared for them long  before they arrive.

Maintain, a solid relationship  and be committed to  your base, root, tribe: no matter what we say, Prof Oshibajo is an household name and loved by many in his profession and  religious circle which are major roots in Nigeria electoral cacus. Be known, committed to your own base, it may speak for you one day.

Photo credit: pointblank

Written by Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito is a Communications specialist passionate about Nigeria and Africa Development. Before now he had freelanced for a trade journal for over four years. He is a Brand communication, Digital media consultant and continuously raises the bar of progress. An out of the box thinker and analyst. his opinions are shared on various online platforms

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About Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito is a Communications specialist passionate about Nigeria and Africa Development. Before now he had freelanced for a trade journal for over four years. He is a Brand communication, Digital media consultant and continuously raises the bar of progress. An out of the box thinker and analyst. his opinions are shared on various online platforms

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