As Nigerians look forward to 2019, the year that the nation will go to the polls to either elect a new set of political leaders or re-elect those currently holding the office, the year promises to really be interesting, as current political development already gives a pointer to what to expect in the election year.
While many political watchers are looking at the development and the accompanying intrigues, wondering what it portends for the country, many others are already looking at the development from a positive outlook.
While it is not a surprise to many that politicians are showing their usual colour in this era, some are wondering what some of the developments holds for the people, as they fear it could lead to crisis and possible confrontation between political groups whose leaders seem to be towing opposition political views and incumbents.
As it stands today, the Nigerian political landscape promises a shift from the usual development, as incumbents who are always almost sure of their ability to turn the arm of the clock whichever way they desire now seem to be losing out as their seems to be a new zeal to stand against ‘orders from above’.
Looking at the development from Lagos to Adamawa, Imo to Ogun or other parts of the country, the situation seem the same, as there seem to be a new boldness to stand up to the boss.
In Lagos State for instance, it is no longer news that the incumbent governor, Akinwunmi Ambode’s second term bid is seriously threatened, as there seem to be a grand plan to make him the first governor in the state since 1999 not to have a second term,
as the structure in the state seem to have left him and pitched tent with another person, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, who has declared his intention to replace him on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), his party.
This is just as the Lagos East Senatorial slot seems to be slipping from the incumbent, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, as the strongman of Lagos Assembly, Hon. Adebayo Osinowo, popularly called Peperito, has declared at a carnival-like event his intention to replace him and it seems it will only be a matter of time before Ashafa loses out.
In Ogun State, the governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has declared that he is returning to the Senate where he had served before becoming governor, with the intention to replace Dr. Lanre Tejuosho, the incumbent.
He also declared that he will be handing over to a preferred candidate that he has already announced, but in a surprise move, he is receiving very stiff opposition to both positions, as the party members are bent on ensuring that the governor does not have his way,
and they are pressing to ensure that rather than the indirect primary for the party primary election, that will help incumbents manipulate the delegates, they are rooting for a direct primary that will ensure equal opportunity for everyone.
The story in Adamawa State is not different as there is stiff opposition to the second term bid of the governor, Alhaji Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow, who has insisted that he wants the party to have an indirect primary,
but majority of the stakeholders seem opposed to that and will rather opt for direct primary, where they are sure they can floor the governor and truncate his second term ambition.
The story in Imo State is also not too different as the opposition to the governor’s choice of a replacement is coming from within, his estranged deputy.
Governor Rochas Okorocha has declared that he plans to hand over the governorship seat of the state to his Chief of Staff, who happens to be his son-in-law, because as he said,
he trust his competence to do the right things, but his deputy, Prince Eze Madumere will not have any of that, as he has vowed to ensure it does not happen.
Madumere is not alone, as many other frontline members of the party have already lined up behind him and as a sign of their seriousness, they moved against the governor during the congresses and took the party structure from him.
It took the intervention of the national leadership of the party to help Okorocha regain control and they have declared that the battle is not over.
Though some people see the development as worrisome, many political commentators are however elated by the development, as they say that for once since the return of this political dispensation, the people seem to be regaining their voices.
We are of the opinion that the emerging scenario is a welcome development for the Nigerian political system. This is because going forward,
it will help in throwing up the right leadership that the people desire as political office holders will now be more conscious of what they do in office as they will need the people to come to their aid when the chips are down.