Opinion: 2023, Participation is one thing; winning is another

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Participation is one thing; winning is another thing as well. Some analysts have suggested that this 3rd Force project may go all the way to the Presidency at the first attempt, while others envisage it could finally take two election cycles to click. But one thing is sure, this crop of young Nigerians has chosen not to fold their hands and watch their future being gambled away by our politicians.

Therefore, it is wise that the leading candidates of this 3rd Force movement, particularly Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, find a way to work together, build bridges and make the political concessions needed to achieve a collective objective of a society we so desire.

I understand there are already mechanisms to explore an alliance directly and via intermediaries. I may not know how far these talks have gone, but I would suggest a proposition called the “4 + 8 agreement”.

This “4 + 8 agreement” takes cognizance of the fact that since the return of democracy in 1999, by the time President Buhari completes his eight years tenure in 2023. The North must have done a combined 11 years of Presidency (3 years Umaru Yar’Adua and eight years Buhari), while the South might have done a combined 13 years of Presidency (8 years Obasanjo and five years Goodluck Jonathan). This means the North still lags behind the South by two years.

Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is a seasoned administrator who has served as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, two terms Governor of Kano, Senator and Defence Minister. His infrastructure and human capital development in Kano is a testament to his capacity. And such a person can work with an equally capable Peter Obi, who has public and private sector experience and has served as a two-term Governor of Anambra State.

These two famous individuals who have found wide acceptability amongst young Nigerians outside the main two parties (APC and PDP) must find a way to work together to retire the old generation of politicians who have wasted our commonwealth and years of development.

Kwankwaso didn’t serve two uninterrupted terms as Governor of Kano; as such, I believe he perfectly understands what it means to perform a one-term Presidency, which takes the North’s total tally from 1999 to 15 years. Then Peter Obi can go for eight years of Presidency. After eight years of power in the North, the ideal thing would have been a shift of power to the South. But desperate situations call for desperate measures, and as such, these leading figures should be pragmatic in their approach to ensure Nigeria works in our lifetime. I also believe a two-way concession should be on the table, where Peter Obi can go first as President and Kwankwaso as Vice President from 2023.

In all this, Nigeria’s work is the goal and not the personal egos of the political actors. If they desperately wish to see Nigeria work just like this “Soro Soke” generation of youths are, then no sacrifice is too big to make to see this happen.

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Diana-Abasi Alphonsu Udoh, PhD
Public Affairs Analyst and National Rescue Movement (NRM) Senatorial Candidate for Akwa-Ibom South Senatorial District

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