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The Essential Farooq Kperogi

by Isiyaku Ahmed
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Ahmed Yahaya – J oe

The following from Prof. Kperogi entitled, “Forecast Of What Atiku, Tinubu, Or Obi Govts Might Be” is a Christmas gift of sorts to the nation because it is a careful dissection of what might play out for each leading presidential candidate in office.

While the rest is left for Nigerian voters to understudy, I consider Farooq’s intervention this cold harmattan morning an unbiased and non-partisan assessment. The well-informed musings of a quintessential pundit, enjoy;

“(Peter) Obi will be stymied by two lumbering burdens should he become president. The first is what sociologists call the crisis of rising expectations. Like Buhari before 2015, Obi has presented himself—and has been touted by his supporters—as “different,” as the “savior” that Nigeria needs to take it to the Promised Land. That’s a dangerous expectation to create for a politician, any politician.

Obi is just like every Nigerian politician who, like Buhari, is being estimated beyond his pay grade. The overly optimistic expectations built around him will ensure that he is closely marked. Being overrated is always a disadvantage because it makes the bar to impress almost impossible to attain. Underrated people have an easier opportunity to impress because the bar isn’t raised high for them in the first place.

In one of his most watched videos, he described Nigeria as a motionless car with a dead engine. Instead of fitting the immobile car with a new engine, he said, we keep changing the drivers in a forlorn effort to get the car to move.

 In a March 25, 2022, article, “It’s interesting that Obi is now putting himself up as another prospective driver to move a motionless car with a knocked-out engine. Perhaps, he wants to be the driver who’ll tell us that we need to change the engine,” I wrote. And that’s where his second problem lies.

If Obi becomes president, it’s almost certain that the National Assembly will be dominated by the APC and the PDP both because the Labour Party hasn’t fielded candidates in all National Assembly positions across the nation.

Should Atiku Abubakar become president, his most immediate burden would be dealing with a deeply divided nation. It’s obvious that the prevailing sentiment in the South is that a southerner (and, for some, a Christian) should succeed Muhammadu Buhari. And that’s not an unreasonable sentiment in light of the power of symbolic representation in a complex, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious country like Nigeria.

Atiku’s election after Buhari would be made worse by the fact that they both share the same ethnicity. Although Buhari doesn’t speak Fulfulde (the language of the Fulani), is culturally and linguistically Hausa, and can only imagine what it means to be culturally Fulani, he nonetheless self-identifies as Fulani and is phenotypically Fulani. Atiku is culturally and linguistically Fulani. And they are both Muslims.

The sense of righteous indignation that the emergence of Atiku as president would provoke in the South might convulse the foundations of Nigeria. It would also deepen the alienation of the Igbo and probably push Biafra’s agitation to the mainstream in the Southeast.

The Southwest might also partake in calling attention to “northern domination” and recoil to its “Yoruba Nation” shell, which would embolden other subnational fissiparities.

A Bola Tinubu presidency would be hamstrung by multiple burdens. The first is a moral one. His U.S. drug forfeiture in the 1990s, which is now more public knowledge than it has ever been, would perpetually undermine his moral authority as a president. He is also clearly physically and mentally unwell and would have a surrogate presidency that would be worse than Buhari’s.

But it would be a factious surrogate presidency. Remi Tinubu, his wife, would head one faction. Seyi Tinubu (whom I learned isn’t the son of Remi) would head another. In other words, it would be another Buhari presidency, except that it would be on steroids. It would become clear that the fears about a Muslim-Muslim presidency were groundless since both Remi and Seyi are Christians.

I also foresee an open confrontation between Kashim Shettima and Tinubu’s inner circle, and the confrontation would assume a regional coloration. Shettima is a studious, strong-willed, and self-assured personality who would revolt against his exclusion—unlike Osinbajo. It won’t take long for the North to sour on Tinubu and for regional animosities to ensue.

Of course, a Tinubu win, like an Atiku win, would most likely add fuel to the flames of Biafra agitation and mainstream it. It isn’t just because people in the Southeast rightly feel that this is the time for a president from their region but also because Tinubu doesn’t seem to show any warmth toward them. His election, like Atiku’s, would exacerbate the sensation of alienation in the Southeast.”

See details at, https://tribuneonlineng.com/forecast-of-what-atiku…/

Compliments of the season, my friends

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1 comment

Peter Hassan Tijani December 26, 2022 - 11:13 am

This is really deeper analogy with great substance from Farooq.

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