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Governor Okowa: Looking Beyond a Southern President

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By Grade-One Clark

From the onset, I had rooted for a southern president, to takeover from PMB. The Fulani scion has broken all the rules of engagement that moderate the coexistence between the South and North.

He threw the federal character principles into the dustbin in appointments and projects allocation across the country, ensuring the north gets everything.

He turned a blind eye to the atrocities of his militia tribesmen, who without restraint kill, kidnap, maim, rape our women and seize our farmlands.

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I was therefore elated when southern governors across the political spectrum converged in Asaba last year, amongst the various issues addressed agreed power must shift to the South. At that point, I saw the Delta Ekwueme as a bridge builder, a ray of hope and a man we can believe in, to help move the South to the next rung on the ladder.

However, Atiku’s emergence as PDP flag bearer, with grapevine stories of the governor being the architect that pulled off the political heist for Atiku, caused my head to spin like a gyro. How come was the question. That action negated the Asaba spirit of a southern agenda.

The story of how his excellency herded the Delta delegates into the waiting effusive bear hug of the Adamawa fleet footed, former vice president, made me recall the saying that politicians are double faced, and their words must not be taken seriously.

A closed associate jolted me to realities, he asked to know, if I consider myself a PDP faithful, and that if I do, then I must think of a bigger picture.

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He asked that I mention a southern PDP politician with a national appeal, who has the clout to win votes across the country for the PDP, except former President Jonathan, who is now engrossed in his role as an international roving ambassador for Africa.

Well, I had to eat humble pies with tongue in cheek. Wishes are not horses, so the lame knows his place. My south’s presidential quest must be slaughtered on the altar of expedience. A few eggs must be broken to make an omelette.

Every PDP man/woman wants the party to win at the centre. Being in political limbo is frustrating, limiting and gives one a 2nd class status, that attracts the tag of a wailer. The Adamawa politician they say would upset the present political apple cart in favour of the PDP.

All the same, there is a troubling question: does Bola Tinubu or Peter Obi candidature, in anyway, represent southern interest, especially that of the Niger Delta?

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The antecedents of Tinubu are a legion, like an open book, they are there for everyone to see. Tinubu’s brother and Lagos politician, Olabode George, said he would leave for Ghana if his fears of the Jagaban becoming president comes truth. The kind of money Tinubu spent to clinch the APC ticket is mind boggling.

Never before has an individual doled out such huge amount to clinch a party ticket in Nigeria. Chief George in scathing remarks said Tinubu has a conduit pipe connected through his consulting firm Alpha Beta to the treasury of Lagos State, and the same Alpha Beta would be used to drain Nigeria if Asiwaju becomes president, while his adorable wife is crowned Senate president.

The Jagaban he said has compulsive tendencies to grab.

On Peter Obi, I have little to say. Though he symbolizes a breadth of fresh air, he however left the PDP where he could have been the vice to Atiku. When the AIT “oga at the top” Raymond Dokpesi was criss crossing the South at the behest of Atiku, he said his principal will only serve 4 years.

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Obi should have latched on to this promise for his eventual ascension as president. He kicked the can and spilled the oil by jumping ship, to the belaboured LP. Partisan politics is not ruled by whims and emotions, but through adriot calculations. I however wish Obi well and pray that his lines fall in pleasant places in his new political journey.

Having gone through the foray, in analyzing the entire gamut of the botched southern presidential calculus, I here submit that Tinubu is not the dreamed president of the South. He is on a personal quest to fulfil a self aggrandizing mission. His audacity borders on desperation.

His claims and mentality of entitlement, is not okay for a man who sought to lead a nation of 340 ethnic groups of 220 million people. Had I the bouyance, I too will flew with Chief Bode George to Ghana. Atiku also has received knocks from his former boss, OBJ, but saints are hard to come by in Nigeria.

Someone once said it is futile to search for virgins amongst women in the maternity ward. Atiku must abide by his promise of a single term should he win. Though I still root for a southern president.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Daily Report Nigeria

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