2023 MAP: THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CALCULATION!

Agada Ikechukwu

No vehicle can run indefinitely without a refuel, just as no tree can hope to remain sturdy without water and sunshine. Without a doubt, the events of recent weeks have invested in the above quotes with unbelievable seriousness and inscribed this painful truth deeply into the breasts of our national life.

As democracy day advances closer with the speed of light in the face of mountains of social distractions diverting attention from the biting economic conundrum; its high point cannot be treated with kid gloves. Borrowing a leaf from some erroneous decisions (policies) made from the outset of this administration which mutated to haunt it like an explosion of virulent cells, many stakeholders are eagerly waiting with the aggression of a Jewish moneylender for the new blueprint and lists of the field marshals (ministers and other sensitive appointments) that will join forces to salvage the economy from life support. Many are vexed that things are taking south in different fronts and fears that the frequency of the movement could take the economy to intensive care unit if economic emergency is not declared.

Despite politics of godfatherism, ethnicity and religion which normally takes the centre stage during the compilation of ministerial and other key appointments lists, getting it right this time will lorry out our nation from economic and infrastructural stagnancy. This official somersault and political gate-crashing of these lists by lobbyists who have obviously relocated abroad to have conversations with the President and his Man Friday(Abba Kyari), are some of the reasons why incompetent and under qualified individuals make it to the goal posts thereby bringing mental poverty to the table.

The lists should be peopled with technocrats with tall antecedents of economic magic wand marinated in razor-sharp intellect of 21st century (digital) governance. Nigerians with elevated integrity, without any badge of corruption to effectively walk its talk on anti-corruption war. It should look beyond ethnic and religious prisms to pick competent and capable Nigerians using the principle of federal character commission (As every tribe and religion showcases the best) to engender equality, oneness, unity and justice in the polity.

In a political clime where loyalties are bought and sold like bean cake (Akara) and allies turn bitter foes at the drop of a hat, some remains an unflinching masts profoundly flying on single boat. The 2023 Map starts from the National Assembly elections. It is believed that the camp which plants the National Assembly leadership stands at advantage to wear the 2023 Presidential Crown. On the main day, it will be battle of titans, party loyalty and betrayal, rain of cash, raising of tribal and religious flags, etc. Deep horsetrading and extensive alignments and realignments are currently ongoing by different camps to outwit each other in order to install their cronies.

With the division in the ruling party triggered by the 2023 permutations, the grossly underrated opposition party has donned the toga of a giant beater, a mythical cat that has seven political lives and a phoenix that rose from its ashes to dictate the pace of politics in the chambers. A possible replay of the 2015 high wire intrigues loads with the refusal of the ruling party’s gladiators to shift grounds. The underhanded and high handed 2019 National Assembly race, has thrown up three camps.

The Lagos camp led by a godfather who is longing for the ticket of the APC to contest the 2023 Presidential race, the second in command in the country, the national chairman of the ruling party, the house leader, some governors, ministers and other stakeholders). The Kaduna camp led by a serving Northwest governor who is also interested in the APC Presidential ticket, deputised by a South-South minister who want to run with him, some opinion leaders in the North, traditional rulers and some power blocs in the North. The PDP camp that is overtly united and waiting in the wing to reap from the division of the ruling party.

The candidates of the 1st camp can easily pass for the candidates of the party while the Kaduna camp is behind the aspiration of the former senate leader from Borno State who fell out of love with the present Senate President. The PDP camp and some APC stalwarts are backing the candidacy of the former governor of Gombe State. The candidacy of the former governor of Gombe State is believed to be the candidate to beat in the likely event of the former Senate leader being threatened by the EFCC; the reason the former Gombe Chief Executive was pressurised to join the race to ensure that the Lagos camp did not succeed. The Kaduna and PDP camps might unite when the chips are down to frustrate the 2023 Lagos Camp Agenda.

The PDP camp is likely to negotiate for sensitive positions to support a candidate but such candidate cannot be from the Lagos camp because of the no love lost between the Senate President and the Lagos godfather. It is very unlikely that the candidates from Lagos camp would win because no candidate can emerge victorious without a bloc vote of the PDP camp under the influence and control of the present Senate President and House Speaker. The same game is expected to play out in the House of Representatives if the Senate map pans out successfully. Any camp that finally succeeds in planting the National Assembly leadership will likely pick the APC 2023 Presidential ticket which is the main bone of contention of the two APC camps.

As we await the outcome of the National Assembly elections, the ministerial list and other sensitive positions, it is pertinent that those with selfless passion for service to humanity should be considered as opposed to those who see leadership as opportunity to amass wealth.

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