It hurts our sensibility when anyone says PDP jettisoned zoning on the basis of “competence” and thus given the ticket to the North instead of the South on that account.
Isn’t that strange? What manner of competence can we find in the North that could not be found in the whole of the South? They should just tell us the choice was strategic, and only then will they be making sense!
The choice of Atiku was premised on the ground that no Southern candidate in the party could command Atiku’s kind of capacity to defeat the ruling party, APC while banking on the huge Northern population to do the trick; an indication that the opposition party considered winning the presidential election as far more important than any other sentiments.
More so, knowing fully well that Peter Obi’s revolution is real and palpable in the South-East, the PDP also bypassed the SouthEast to choose its vice-presidential nominee from the South South. These choices are strategic and are targeted at winning the presidential election.
By default, APC, which has decided to respect zoning and returned power to the south after a Northerner is winding up its 8 years as president, was also left to choose a Vice Presidential candidate from the North. Considering the weight and capacity of the PDP candidate, who is from the Muslim dominated North, the party decided to look for a strong Muslim candidate who would be able to match the almighty Atiku strength with strength, and that’s what gave rise to Kassim Shettima.
By implication, the APC’s choice of Shettima is strategic and not as if Tinubu and APC are trying to undermine the relevance of Christians in Nigeria. The fact that an Atiku from the north, instead of the expected Southern candidate, emerged as the PDP candidate altered the whole calculation. It will be hard and difficult for a Northern Christian to match an Almighty Atiku strength with strength in a zone dominated by conservative muslims. That is simply the strategic reason a Shettima was chosen. It is not about any islamization, not about undermining the relevance of the Christian population, but all about forging ahead a winning formula.
However, many people do not seem to understand such logic about winning, and I think APC need to do a lot of explanation. We cannot continued to grandstand as if nothing strange has happened. Although the ticket is simply of a North-South arrangement, but many have been led or misled into believing it to be a Muslim-Muslim ticket aimed at serving a religious purpose. Therefore, the more energy we exhaust in explaining to the people about the strategic basis of the decision, the more it will help the party as we approach the election.
Many are already boiling, confused and deceived into thinking of a possible Islamization, even though such is not possible in this country. And now that the APC campaign committee is about to be inaugurated, they should focus primarily on averting the resulting frenzy that the Muslim-Muslim ticket has generated. There is surely a lot of work to do to re-orientate the deceived.
~ Fattykolly Ibn Alimi
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