Let's Talk About It

2015: Who will succeed Jonathan?


Traditional rabble rousers and agents provocateurs have already jumped onto the stage to fly the kites for their Principals over the succession of President Goodluck Jonathan when his tenure expires in 2015.

To begin with, some groups have begun to interpret every word and body movement of Dr Jonathan as to whether he intends to run for a second term.

We are being inundated with elegant declamations by several commentators who say Jonathan is already serving out a second term while others say he is legally entitled to run for another term, if he so desires.

Meanwhile, certain individuals who think they will never fulfil  their lives’ ambitions until they have ruledNigeria, are restocking their war chest in readiness for the next Presidential elections in 2015.

Political mathematicians were already doing their permutations during the recently concluded National Convention of the ruling party, the People Democratic Party, PDP.

Who becomes the Party Chairman, some reason, automatically blocks the Presidential ambitious of people from his geo-political zone. Others who think more globally would like to retain the moribound regional North-South mentality which denies the region with the party chairmanship the chance of also bringing a Presidential Candidate.

The two scenarios above, in practical terms, as far as PDP is concerened, mean that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who comes from the same Adamawa State as PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tubur cannot vie for the office of the President on PDP’s platform.

And by the same token, since the PDP National Chairman is from the North, the region cannot dream of sponsoring a Presidential candidate in PDP.

Theoretically, the PDP appears to have given the hint that it intends to source her next Presidential flagbear from the regional south, which comprises the three geo-political zones of South East, South South and South West.

If one goes by PDP’s ingenious zoning arrangement, it would leave the South East geo-political zone as the appropriate location for the sourcing of the 2015 Presidential Candidate should Jonathan keep his promise.

Jonathan had declared a long time ago that he was gunning for only one term, but some mischievous spoilers are now insinuating that he would indeed be very much available to fight for the extension of his stay in Aso Villa till 2019.

Let us trust our President that he would serve only a term of four years, having earlier served as full fledged President for about one year after the death of Yar’Adua in….

In other words, PDP would want its Presidential candidate in 2015 to come from the South East zone.

So, who, among the leaders of PDP in the South East, would emerge as the consensus candidate?

There’s no doubt that the South East has enough Presidential materials, both in the PDP and in the other political parties.

It would be most wonderful if other viable parties like the ACN, the ANPP and the CPC, would also throw the searchlight on the South East when scouting for their flagbearers in the 2015 elections.

But should we really start distracting our Governors and Legislators now over 2015 election for the Presidency?

In the search for Igbo politicians to vie for the Presidency, wouldn’t it be better to agree on the modalities and criteria for the selection of capable people for the post?

There should be no sentiments when the search begins. We should agree that the first Igbo man to be showcased for the Aso Villa, come 2015, must be an achiever whose performance in office is visible, palpable and measurable.

We should limit the area for the search to only Governors who have served from 1999 uptill now.

It isn’t difficult to identify the best performing Governors in each state since 1999.

For the avoidance of any doubts, best performance would include integrity, vision, style and tangible infrastructure and structure on ground and their relevance to the citizenry.

Some people would ask: “Is it only from among former Governors that capable hands can be found to represent Igboland in the race for Presidency?”

The answer is immediately “No”. Igboland has an embarrassing over supply of men and women capable and able to turnNigeriaaround and abolish, not alleviate, poverty from our land.

The suggestion to limit the search to the “alumni” of Governors, past and present, is to help us discover the possibles and probables without too much of sentiments. From Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi,Enuguand Imo, it is very easy to know, who among the Governors that happened there, was a performer in moral and concrete terms.

By the time the charlatans and the unserious among them have been eliminated, the field is very conveniently narrowed for even a Primary School pupil to recognize the stars to be proudly offered up toNigeriaas their  President.

One should be thinking of such success stories asEnuguState’s Sullivan Chime, Anambra’s Dr Chris Ngige and Peter Obi and Imo State Rochas Okorocha. These achievers have established legacies that even their most implacable political enemies cannot deny. Rochas Okorocha, in his first 100 days as Governor, proved to all and sundry thatImoStatehas fiscal resources that can be effectively used to work for the State if one kept itching fingers from them. He is yet to complete his first year in office, andImoState’s major cities of Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe and hardly recognizable by those who were around last May.

However, it would seem a distraction to begin to break heads now over 2015, a clear two and a half years from now.

With clear cut parameters for measuring the achievements of both past and current Governors, mid-2013 will still be long enough to enable a nominee  from the South East to move around the country to better appreciate his future territory and also be seen and known by more of his compatriots.

The scenario painted here is purely theoretical and speculative. In realpolitik things change so dramatically that one often pants for breathe to catch up. As they say, there is a wide gap betwixt the lip and the tea cup.

In politics, 24 hours could be a very long time to frustrate all permutations and calculations.

But please, let’s leave the executives alone to pursue their projects. To  engage in the bla-bla of 2015 now is to cause them unnecessary distraction.

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Christian Voice