2023 Presidency: Will the North Cede Power?
By Mohammed Dahiru Lawal
2023 may well give Nigerians the chance to choose between progress and status quo, but going by the way citizens are reacting to some names that are already gaining traction in the circle of presidential hopefuls, it can be assumed that in the next four years and probably beyond, the country will still be orbiting around the question of whose “turn it is” to (mal)administer it.
For the liberals therefore, the possibility of the next Nigerian electioneering campaign to be based on issues that will afford Nigerians the option of electing among an array of distinguished candidates, one that proves capable of driving the needed movement towards a more advanced state, remains a pipe dream. This may continue to be the case until restructuring comes to the rescue.
With contenders from all the geopolitical zones now beginning to rear their heads for the nation’s top job, the power rotation debate is on, and, it appears the North will still determine who will wear the crown.
Though viewed negatively by other parts of the country, the North remains highly politically wired, being the only region no presidential candidate can do without due to its population advantage.
An average northern house houses an extended family, having an average of at least five children, which proportionally increases voters who do not take their franchise for granted accordingly.
The implication is simple; irrespective of zoning system, number of ethnic groups in Nigeria, politically, the North will always rule or decide who rules. However, in the likelihood of a division – which can easily be staged – the South may form a powerful, organized minority and the table may turn eventually.
So, the 2023 Presidential election is at the moment hinged on whether the North will decide to retain power or hinge it on whom it thinks the crown fits or the South will form an organized powerful minority including alliance with sections of the North to wrestle it.
The risk of such kind of political orbiting remains at the expense of National growth and development. For instance, it will be recalled that in April last year, statistics released by the Ministry of Education shows that only 28 candidates from Zamfara state, registered for the National Common Entrance Examination for Admission into the 104 Federal Government Colleges where 4,810 candidates registered for the same exams in Rivers state.
In the next few years, those that make up the default population of unregistered candidate in the North will be eligible voters and their choice will majorly affect who becomes Nigeria’s President.
If this pattern continues, candidates may not emerge on credentials but on sentimental appeal. This trajectory may breed a fertile ground for poverty to prosper and cause development to stagnate.
M.D. Lawal is a student of the Department of Information and Media Studies, Bayero University Kano and an intern with the PRNigeria Center, Kano and can be reached on: firstname.lastname@example.org