APC 2023’s Dark Horse – Tribune Online
The dark horses always win in Nigeria and everyone appears looking for the next unknown charger. The cult of Nigeria will reduce our options to their choices. They bring a black horse. Benjamin Disraeli was a late 19th century British Prime Minister, highly distinguished in governance and first class in literary creativity. To his credit, many phrases, idioms and quotes. One of those immortal phrases attributed to her fecundity is “dark horse.” In 1831 Disraeli published a three-volume novel, The Young Duke: A Moral Tale, in which the main character, the Duke of St. James, is favored to win a horse race but the unexpected happens. Disraeli says the Duke enters the race “confident as a universal conqueror”. He came out in his usual valiant state and “went around the course”. He inspired a celebrity, bet with one and bowed proudly to another. He then sprinted into the contest and was shocked by a surprise loss. Disraeli directs the contest commentary better than anyone: “The first favorite was never heard, the second favorite was never seen after the distance post, all ten to one were at the back, and a horse noir, which had never been thought of, and which the careless St. James had never even observed in the list, rushed past the grandstand in overwhelming triumph. The spectators were almost too surprised to applaud…”
Our policy has seen such races more than once, twice, three times and more. He can see it again. So much will happen soon as the parties rig us and choose their candidates this month. So, I ask: if the next president will be a dark horse, who is he and is he already on the list and in the running? Of course, he wouldn’t become a black mount again if known before the contest. This is why job seekers run from shrine to shrine in search of the sacred waters of Abuja Rock. How will the horse emerge and from which direction? Will the heavily monetized delegation system produce an unknown duke who will rush past the popular faces to win the race and shame the donations? There are real big men with real money in the big parties looking to buy off delegates with sums we’ve never seen or heard of before. The dark horse, when it comes, will have to spend more than the big guys to get the delegates. This is so true for both major political parties.
But my focus here is the All Progressives Congress (APC). A massive rush for delegates is underway within the APC as it prepares for the choice of its presidential candidate later this month. But what if there is a sudden shift in the party and it decides to choose its presidential candidate through a direct primary? The direct primary means that all party members will vote and delegates are unnecessary. There will be curses and counting of lost gold coins. The party will go in this direction if the Buhari phenomenon resolves to use its “superior” personalities to do what the majority does in a democracy. And what is that? Oust the bitterly divided minority.
So who is the favourite? First, they said Goodluck Jonathan was the chosen one. Indeed, his boys and his daughters already shared the posts and spoilers 2023-2027. Now I ask, is it always he who comes? No one seems safer than two weeks ago. Those who hold the yam and the knife would date a certain Ahmad Lawan, currently the sitting president of our Senate. A report said this weekend that a section of kingmakers will unveil him as the Khalifa after this sallah feast. But Lawan is from the North and how morally right will it be for Muhammadu Buhari to seek to hand over to another northerner after his eighth birthday? The answer to this question was provided by an Igbo senator, Orji Uzor Kalu, newspaper czar, businessman in business and in politics. Kalu said he was no longer contesting his party’s presidential ticket because non-Southeasts from the South were in the running. How does this logic sound to you? If that sounds awkward, his next statement should make you even more “curious.” Against the aspiration of his Igbo people, the man asked the North to present a candidate to rout the South. He made the roll call wearing the garb of Igbo nationalism and a freedom fighter. Listen to him: “What moral justification does a Southerner who refused to be fair to his brothers have against a Northerner running for president? It would be very insensitive, unreasonable and disrespectful for any Southerner to criticize a Northern presidential aspirant on the grounds that the North has done eight years and power should return to the South… If the next President after President Muhammadu Buhari does not come from the Southeast, there will be nothing wrong and unfair if he comes from Daura. How does another Daura president satisfy Igbo’s thirst for Nigeria’s highest office? Some 48 hours after the senator’s statement, Lawan’s charade was exposed by the angry businessman’s channel. They said that some Faceless Northern elders had offered to recruit Lawan into the race. Now I ask: Is Senator Igbo among the minds who are preparing a dark northern horse for Nigeria? Who else is involved?
“They think twice about letting the power back to the South,” a knowledgeable friend from the North told me last week. And what was his own opinion? “I told them that they needed to have a country before they could exploit it. Maintaining the dominance of the North could mortally wound the country. It was pretty deep and, I think, patriotic. But are the engines of the process listening to wisdom and its warnings? They think they are mighty and their iron is so strong it can never be bent. The Hausa looked at the arrogance of their greed and said: “even Niger is obliged to have an island”. And, in Ibadan, those people who did not even see a stream in Kudeti were carried away by the river goddess. Nigeria’s manipulators will not stop. They will use the big parties, especially the one in power.
So please leave what you are doing now and pay attention to the ruling party and its ways. This will determine whether you will be happy or hungry; safe or sad this year, next year and the next after the next. There is a force in the APC that considers itself a hurricane. He believes he can wreak havoc and get away with it. He closed Nigeria’s land borders three years ago for no compelling reason; it reopened the borders last week for no compelling reason. The party has just shown us what it could do with the power at its disposal. You have also seen how the ‘progressives’ party confirmed its non-poor status with its outrageous N100 million presidential nomination form. The country’s democracy has long left the people behind. It is now the exclusive property of the buccaneers who inherited from the widows of the people’s struggle for freedom.
What we run, or what runs Nigeria, is the political version of the witches and their coven. Everything they do there belongs there, unknown and unseen by the unwashed eyes you and I wear. The Lawan kite is already in use. Let’s wait to see how this plays out in a party with threatened alliances. How about if the party does what it did with its last convention? A consensual arrangement – having all but one of the candidates give up their aspirations because the real power in the house is interested in someone from somewhere. There will be noise; there will be protests. So what? Things will also go so far if the minds of Abuja feel sufficiently threatened by the superior firepower of the donations and are unsure of another victory from delegates or party members. Think of the Lagos/south wannabes and the billions they may have already spent in the states. But won’t there be consequences for this ultimate subversion of Nigeria’s diversity? There will be, but who cares? I think they’ll care when day breaks. The soon-deceived big spenders we see will unleash more than “the wrath of Achilles son of Peleus” who “brought innumerable evils to the Achaeans”. Many brave souls sent him rushing to Hades…” Achilles, the best Greek fighter and hero of the Trojan War, was deceived by the commander-in-chief of the Greeks who snatched his girlfriend from him beloved. Achilles did not retaliate physically but retreated to his tent sulking. Then, with him out of the field of battle, the Greek army began to suffer a series of defeats, losing men, ground and power. The commander-general was sorry, he begged Achilles, the warrior replied sulking. He was offered rich gifts, but he still did not fight. His daughter was returned to him but Achilles still sulked as the battle floundered. for the Greeks. What those who plot to replace Buhari in the North will suffer in 2023 could be worse than the fate of Greece in a battle without Achilles. The resistance will not sulk. Do you remember what happened to the Bible House of Israel when a king refused to give the branches their fair share of the kingdom? Every lion has a den; each tribe a tent.
What I’ll be writing next year about Globacom’s Mike Adenuga
Next year Globacom Chairman Dr. Mike Adenuga will have 70. He had 69 last week. Next year when he reaches that milestone, I will write about his roles that Nigeria may have forgotten. I will tell millennials who make really long phone calls today that two decades ago it was financially suicidal if we made such long calls. I will explain to you that at the beginning, we paid for minutes that we did not use on the networks that existed before Adenuga’s Glo. If they don’t understand, I’ll ask them how they would feel if they made a ten minute phone call and were charged for 60 minutes. I will tell them that it was this pricing regime that Adenuga perfectly beat with his company’s per-second billing that came about when his first call was made at 11:45 a.m. sharp on Friday, August 29, 2003.
The ax forgets but the tree remembers. I will also tell those too young to know that when GSM service started from 2001 to 2003, a SIM card cost at least N30,000 in Nigeria. I will admit I couldn’t afford it, my salary was 39,000 naira per month. I will write about Globacom coming in and selling its own lines for N9,999 – and how, very soon after, it crashed it to N1 (one naira) only. I’ll talk about how every other operator chased after his initiative, panting and struggling to catch up. Like seeds on a windy day, his good deeds spread everywhere. I won’t forget to add that Adenuga’s Glo also sold both a SIM card and a handset for just N18,499. I will draw attention to the lessons that we don’t need to be in government to impact lives and make a positive difference.
Next year, in April, he will be 70 years old; four months later, his Glo will be 20 years old. May we be here in peace and in very good health. And may we not miss when the time comes. There are many, many stories to tell; and we will tell them.