By Femi Fani-Kayode
In the light of the fact that Governor Nyseom Wike of Rivers State, a leading member of the G5, has claimed that some APC Governors are meeting with Waziri Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP, in Dubai and elsewhere (an allegation which I cannot possibly confirm or deny), I am constrained to make the following submission.
For those that may be attending such meetings or are considering the possibility of doing so kindly consider the following.
A violation of the sacred covenant and betrayal of the honorable commitment of a power shift to the South in 2023 will take us back to the June 12th 1993 crisis and will have grave consequences for democracy and our national unity. Nigerians were NOT born slaves and will NEVER be slaves.
An Atiku Presidency would represent a violation of that sacred covenant and would be manifestly unjust to the people of the South.
There can be no peace where there is no justice and there can be no unity where there is no peace.
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If Waziri Atiku Abubakar, a Northern Fulani man from Adamawa State, emerges as President in February, Southerners would then be forced to ask themselves whether we are equal partakers in Nigeria and whether we really have a place and stake in the nation.
Nothing would confirm the notion that we are nothing but second class citizens and slaves more than an Atiku Presidency given the fact that we would have just finished eight years of Northern Fulani rule under President Muhammadu Buhari.
If it had been a non-Fulani from the North that was contesting on the platform of the PDP it would have been easier to accept but to have a Fulani to Fulani succession is unacceptable just as it would have been unacceptable for President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is a Yoruba, to have been succeeded by another Yoruba man or for President Goodluck Jonathan, an Ijaw, to be succeeded by another Ijaw man.
In any case this whole ugly and unfolding scenario begs for an answer to a wider question, namely should the South be denied the Presidency for the next eight years having not had it for the last eight simply because we come from the “wrong” part of the country?
Whether you stand with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as I do, or with Mr. Peter Obi, as my friend and brother Bashorun Akin Osuntokun does, is neither here nor there because for either of the two to win there must be a power shift, the North must be ready to let go of power and an Atiku Presidency must not be allowed to see the light of day.
They say politics and democracy is a game of numbers and this is true but it must also be guided by justice, decency, principle and honor.
We are free to make our choices about who to support but let those choices be bound in equity, justice and fairness.
The tyranny and injustice of the so-called majority cannot be visited on the so-called minority without consequence.
History proves that and posterity will confirm it.
In the light of this I say, in the name of God and for the sake of our collective future, let power shift from the North to the South next year, let us avoid the ugly conundrum of perpetual Northern rule and let us, in peace, love and unity, rebuild the bridges of trust between our people and heal our land.
Whether Northerner or Southerner, Nigerians are ONE, but to confirm that, we must pass the baton of leadership between North and South in an equitable, reasonable and just manner.
As we enter the New Year kindly ponder on this matter.
The consequences of getting it wrong would be dangerous, dire, too hard to bear and too troubling to enunciate.
Let us hope and pray that sanity prevails.
Happy New Year!
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