2007: Where Are The Big Masquerades?


Halliru Sani





The hypothesis made by keen political analysts from across and outside the country is seemingly and desperately going to fail. Those commentators were advocating that, the Presidency in the next year’s general election would not go beyond the effort of one of the three big masquerades that forge ahead contending the seat. But almost all of them notwithstanding the struggles, numerous youth forums and organizations have been dumped in the dustbin of political history.


Now it is seen that, the much-debated northern presidency come May 2007, is realized, since the most populous political party of Africa has given its presidential ticket to one of the northern governors and yet other big parties also gave the mandates to the northern contenders. Meanwhile the fate of the big masquerades is what arouses serious suspense in the polity. These are the people who have either participated in the presidential contest or have been rumoured to be keenly interested in the plum job. They have been big players in government at one time or the other in the past two decades. Two of these men were one after the other victimized by the power-that-be. The influence exerted by those in the corridor of power where the vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Former Nigerian Head of States Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida were dragged away to the surprise of all. This is maybe because they have all the documentary and psychological means to retrieve the past prejudices or they are just not required to be in the system – hence that is the reason why those power hungers are individually frustrated.


Atiku Abubakar is a serving Vice President and said to be one of the P.D.P’s major financer who had also taken long time to search for vanguards and loyalty of electorate to support him realize his dream. Atiku is canvassed by teaming youth across the country and a quite number of organizations pushed forward to see to the realization of Turaki’s dream. With all these efforts, the man is remarkably sold as it’s manifested weeks ago during the declaration ceremony of his presidential candidacy in Abuja by the gross attendance of loyalists who converged at the scene from all the nooks and crannies of the country blessing the occasion. Unfortunately, with his predominant role in the exercise and presence of the likes of Turaki Vanguard the man was humiliated and the rest now is history.


IBB on the other hand was the military president between 1985 and 1993 stepped aside after the controversial annulment of the June 12 1993 presidential election presumed to have been won by the late Chief MKO Abiola on the platform of SDP. The tooth-gapped general did not keep silence in the affairs of the country, he maintained his ideology of capitalism that if democracy, then no one but a member of the class of who-is-who. IBB himself aspires the presidency since, but because of the maradonalism, he kept quite and began to orchestrate and sponsor some parties and/or candidates secretly. In 1999, Babangida was said to be the major force that got the north to agree to powershift and eventually adopt the candidacy of Obasanjo. As a kingmaker, he was said to have made fabulous contributions to the victory of P.D.P. and Obasanjo led the government two tenures of four years each. Very blindly IBB came out seeking the peoples mandate to rule the country, with all the propagandas and speculations, he’s now chased out of the race and nothing could be done to negate the will of those against the wish of the general.


Muhd Buhari was the federal commissioner for petroleum resources during the military regime of General Obasanjo and later became the head of state following the military coup of December 1983, which ended the Second Republic. He sojourned the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF) as chairman under the regime of Late General Sani Abacha. The outstanding outcomes from the positions he held draws to him massive support from all the length and breadth of the country. He tested the sweetness of loyalty and hence became desperate for power. Came out for president, immediately after being ruled out by the Supreme Court and confirmed Obasanjo winner of the 2003 presidential election.


Very recently, Buhari’s admirers affirmed and assured him their absolute support come May 2007 (since they have no candidate but him) and Buhari himself affirmed that no going back in his quest for power. The general maigaskiya is still with his cardinal principles of security, stability and prosperity and he therefore play predominant role in the exercise. But observably, Buhari has not learnt lesson from his 2003 predicament, when he failed woefully in the south southern states and extreme eastern part of the country. His supervising officers there were quoted to have disappointed him, they were quoted to have failed to work effectively in voting for him and defending the votes. Therefore, the Buhari organization and campaign team must think of the trusted and true democrats to preside over in the next presidential election, otherwise the history might repeat itself.


Obasanjo and company are already aware of the targets of Atiku and IBB to clinch the presidency by maneuvering the PDP ticket both of them were humiliated by PDP and yet chased out of the race in spite of the tremendous contributions to the actualization of Obasanjo’s presidency two consecutive tenures. By virtue of such contributions to the crippling of our nascent democracy, Nigerian masses could have laugh at those victimized contenders. Still, the young politicians must learn lesson from the political Godfatherism, money politics and the host of likes.


The P.D.P’s presidential hopefuls most of which are serving governors are hands down defeated and even disappointed by Obasanjo and P.D.P. group who initiated and orchestrated the candidacy of Governor Umar Musa Yan’adua of Katsina State. This man is known to be incompetent and bankrupt of the ideas to lead the country to a promise land. Unless for the fulfillment of the P.D.P’s manifesto, the presidential cap does not fit Yar’adua. All these quagmires are the yields of actions of the Nigerian political fixers most of which are military oriented.  



Halliru Sani

Behind `Yarkasuwa, Gyadi-Gyadi, Court Road, Kano