Why Obi’s 2027 Political Ambition Scares Soyinka (3)

  • Kanu, APC ‘s trump card for 2027?

By Simon Njoku

In his widely publicized recent interview, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka stated that the Federal Government made a mistake keeping Nnamdi Kanu in detention since 2021.
I have previously discussed why Obi’s 2027 political ambition scares Soyinka. I have also explained how the anticipated political collaboration between Atiku and Obi’ s political camps with respect to the 2027 Presidential election has thrown the ruling APC and Presidency into a state of panic and confusion.
We are still looking at APC’s responses to the expected political alignment.

Soyinka, methinks, as the arrowhead of the APC propaganda machinery, going by the opening paragraph of this piece, seems to have given us a hint of what the APC/Presidency may likely do to reverse their ugly political predicament ahead of the 2027 Presidential Polls.
In other words, the release of Nnamdi Kanu may rank high in their plans. What Prof had done, to every discerning political observer, was to put the issue of Kanu’s release on the front burner of national discourse, as a way of justifying a Presidential Pardon or court acquittal of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB leader.
There is a precedent to this political
course of action.

Going down memory lane, we remember that in the build up to the 1983 General Elections, the ruling National Party of Nigeria, NPN was desperate to shore up its sagging popularity among the voter population. Like the present APC government, its unpopular policies and high level of corruption in the system had alienated it from the populace. Political warhorses like Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the Owelle of Onitsha, Rt Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe strongly held sway in the SouthWest and South East respectively. But NPN was so anxious to take the South East, Imo or Anambra State, particularly Anambra State. They hatched a plot on how to take Anambra State, Zik’s home state.
They got Professor Chuba Okadigbo and others to make contacts with the exiled Biafran leader, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in Gabon, West Africa. They negotiated with Ojukwu albeit secretly. Later, President Shehu Shagari announced an unconditional Presidential Pardon for the Biafran warlord. The Igbo nation was agog with celebration the day Ojukwu returned to Nigeria and Igbo land from exile. It was the kind of celebration that has never been seen again in Igbo land till today. For the Igbo, it was on that day that the Nigerian Civil War, the Nigeria- Biafra War, officially ended. However,
Ojukwu, against all advice, joined the NPN. People described his decision as part of the agreement for the Presidential Pardon. The NPN used the influence and popularity of Ikemba Nnewi to neutralize Zik’s influence and rigged the election massively in Igbo land in both the Presidential and governorship elections. While they took Anambra, surprisingly, Ojukwu, the Ikemba Nnewi, on whose back they rode to victory, lost his Senatorial bid. Yes, keeping a word of promise to his ear and breaking it to his hope (Shakespeare, Macbeth). Neither did they remember him in their appointments. NPN and Shagari used and dumped Ikemba.

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Countrymen, here we are again. The cloud is once more gathering. What are the APC/Tinubu, Senator Ifeanyi Uba and others up to?
APC, like NPN desperately wants to win in a state in the South East, Obi’s stronghold. They may decide to use Nnamdi Kanu to achieve this, just as the NPN used Ikemba Nnewi to accomplish their objective. But Kanu is very much alive with history and cannot be easily hoodwinked by their antics.

Yet, this could be a major APC trump card for winning the 2027 Presidential election. They may want to create a bandwagon effect even as we ask, “where will their votes come from?”

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Moreover, APC, as in 2023, may still use the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to accomplish it’s objectives. Contrary to expectations, INEC could resort to inflating electoral figures like total voter registration during the voter registration/ review of voter register exercise. Normally, going by facts on ground, total number of registered voters for the 2027 polls ought to be less than the 2023 figure for obvious reasons – voter apathy due to misgovernance and fallout of the 2023 polls. But, trust INEC, the 2027 total number of registered voters will likely surpass that of 2023. The hike in total number of registered voters is what aids electoral – vote allocation to favoured candidates. So, how do citizens counter INEC’s excesses as its officials constitute a law unto themselves?

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Expectedly, power of incumbency surely has its limits. For APC, 2027 is the limit for its power of incumbency and impunity.

Now, should the APC drop the Nnamdi Kanu plot, among others, what other option is available to it? Well, as desperate as many of them are to remain in power, it might not be out of place for them to collude with their surrogates in the military to stage a coup d’etat in which they will play a part, directly or indirectly in the ensuing government. And the fear is, that may hasten the long awaited revolution in the polity or plunge the nation into another Civil War.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed and shine our eyes as we watch unfolding events.
Prof Soyinka may speak more on this in the weeks ahead. The 2027 polls are fast approaching but Nigerians need to be reminded of the words of Dr M. I. Okpara, former Premier of Eastern Nigeria, during the 1983 political campaigns, “First fool no bi fool, second fool na proper foolish!” In other words, come 2027, Nigerians must resolve to defend their votes and democracy in their fatherland. This is the pathway to a glorious dawn for Nigeria, a New Nigeria, the Nation of our dream!!!

Simon Njoku, May 2024.

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