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Monday, January 10, 2011

Discourse 316 Jonathan, Buhari, Ribadu and 2011

Discourse 316
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde
2011: Jonathan, Buhari and Ribadu
The emergence of presidential candidates in the next Nigerian elections will be completed in the next few days. From the look of things, the President Goodluck Jonathan is most likely to emerge as the flag bearer of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Little has changed in the politics of incumbency that has characterised that party if we examine the gubernatorial and other primaries which the party has conducted so far in many states. The presidential primaries will hardly be any different.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is most likely to nominate AIG Nuhu Ribadu (rtd). Party members across the country are clearly more favourably disposed to him than to his contender, Bafarawa. Also, Ribadu enjoys one of the largest national spread among presidential hopefuls of various parties.
Maj. General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has already been confirmed as the presidential candidate of another opposition party, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
Though Nigeria has about 57 parties, the majority of them will not nominate any candidate for the presidential polls. Most of them lack the resources and the national spread required to make any impact. Rather, they are most likely to align themselves to one of the above three.
What is likely to dominate the discourse over Nigerian politics for a month after the primaries is the formation of alliances. In the past, many paper parties have endorsed the incumbent candidate of the PDP. That move is often irrelevant because such parties themselves are moles of PDP that are registered to scuttle any effort to form a joint opposition against it.
The alliance that will unsettle the PDP will be of two kinds. One will be from the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and the opponents of President Jonathan within his party. The other will be the alliance between the viable opposition parties like APGA, ACN, CPC and Labour Party.
Members of the NEF have many times made it clear that they will remain committed to a northern candidate even if the President is nominated by the PDP. The promise of the President that they he will serve for only a term has not convinced them enough to abandon their zoning principle. In that case, the Northern elders and the candidates that oppose Jonathan will have no choice than to put their weight behind either Buhari or Ribadu. Our speculation would therefore now shift to examining the possibility of the merger and to who is likely to emerge as the preferred candidate of the opposition.
The opposition has for long nursed the idea of merging into one party or at least aligning itself behind one candidate. This has proved difficult so far. In 2007, about five parties, including Labour party and PRP adopted Buhari as their presidential candidate. AC fielded Atiku while DPP’s flag was carried by its founder, Attahiru Bafarawa. Despite the failure of the merger talks after the 2007 elections that would have produced the so-called mega-party, AC and DPP merged to form ACN. Buhari’s party, the CPC, then was not registered. After its registration a year ago, all efforts to get it merged with ACN failed after many attempts.

Not tired of attempting, ACN then set two conditions for Buhari if he wants to win its support. He should, it said, join it and, in addition, contest with other aspirants for the party’s ticket. Buhari ignored the demands and went ahead to clinch the ticket of his party, the CPC, last week. ACN will also hold its primaries shortly. It will come up with a candidate who will represent it at the polls should future attempts at the alliance with CPC fail finally.
So we have two outcomes here. The alliance talks may succeed or they may not. If they succeed, we will have a single candidate – Buhari or Ribadu – challenging Jonathan at the polls. If they continue to fail, each of them will have the daunting task of fighting the other and at the same time fighting the incumbent President at the polls.
Jonathan would then have had no problem defeating both, were it not for the lack of support from his internal opposition. If the alliance between ACN and CPC fails and the opposition within PDP puts its weight behind Buhari, Jonathan would have better prospects of scaling through because of the southern and northern minority’s factor.
If, on the other hand, his opponents in the PDP decide to support Ribadu, Jonathan will have a tough time winning the elections especially if they are free and fair. Many northerners who support Buhari would then be more likely to vote for Ribadu in order not to divide the regional vote. This, with the support of southern votes especially in the southwest, Jonathan will have a number of sleepless nights.
The credentials of both Buhari and Ribadu are the same in terms of their fight against corruption. In addition, both are Muslims, northerners and from the same tribal extraction. I do not also believe that the 20 years difference in age between the two would count much in the estimation of Jonathan’s opponents. Many of the elders are older than Buhari. Therefore, the decision of where the opposition to Jonathan within the PDP would rest its support is most likely to be influenced by two factors, both of them not favourable to Buhari.
One, almost all members of that group are opposed to Buhari’s presidential ambition since its inception in 2002. They still see him as a military dictator of the 1980s who is best used to military ways of handling issues.
Two, as they did in their choice for a common northern candidate the northern elders are likely to emphasize spread of support that each of the candidates enjoy across the country. While Buhari has in the past got majority votes in many core northern states and very little in the south, Ribadu has considerable support in the south where his party has four states already and is favourably aligned to APGA and Labour. Ribadu, in addition does not seem to have problems with anyone - northern elders, northern aspirants, and southerners.
One area that Buhari clearly has advantage over Ribadu is the better support he gathered over the past decade among northern masses, being once a head of state and having come when there was no other meritorious candidate was around to face Obasanjo. Ribadu too is well known since he served in his capacity of the nation’s anti-corruption Caesar. Yet, he will need to conquer the northern pedestrian turf as quick as possible.
Fortunately for Ribadu, he is coming at a time when the CPC of Buhari has disappointed many northerners by not proving to be different from other parties. The manner it conducted its primaries in states where it is expected to make a good outing during the next elections has seriously dented its images. The greed with which its national leadership has scrambled to support mostly corrupt candidates in those states left many questioning its ideological credentials. Many supporters are still leaving the party in those states and decamping to the ACN which is seen as more organized and able to give a better progressive leadership.
So, though the primaries will soon be over, Nigerians have still few guesses to make about their presidential candidates. We need a month to have a better idea of whom among the three – Jonathan, Buhari or Ribadu – would make it to the polls in April. It could be all the three or just two of them.
10 January, 2011


Anonymous said...

I am personally for anybody progressive, I hold no tribal or religious sentiment, It would have been a better move for Buhari to have compromised with ACN and see what the primaries will produce. The truth is people seem to forget that in politics you need a structure, ACN is more structured and rooted than CPC which is a party for contestants. you can see how unorganised they are,all they want is to capitalise on Buharis fame to win respective seats and later decamp. My question is has CPC spread to other geographical zones as ACN, or PDP? It is a one man drag team. so, let us stop decieving ourselves, Buhari shall know that a viable structure is required to win a general election no matter how fair the process is or holy the operators are. I have prayed for a coalition between these parties for long, but where Buhari seems not to trust their intentions on his candidature, they also cannot just allow him bear the flag 'without working for it' and to work for it, all must agree on one thing which is virtually impossible. Therefore may Allah in his infinite mercy and love for us produce anybody that will fight corruption and favouratism (Buhari, Ribadu, Sunusi Lamido etc).
B U Getso.

hamza hamza said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

We are talking of elections that may not take place given all the bobby traps that have been set. The 1999 constitution is not a proper foundation for Nigeria and therefore, this experiment in democracy is bound to fail. The only thing going on in the country is the looting of the people's resources, period. There is no governance and the country is decaying further everyday. The situations that led to past military coups are again more than present in 2011. In fact, the reasons that led to past coups are more compelling now. Will this democracy continue its journey to self destruction or will the soldiers come out of the barracks again? I will not bet against the latter.

Anonymous said...

Tilde, I dont think there is any basis for comparison between Buhari and Ribadu if only really we want to avert the catastrophe eminent from the more 10 years of PDPs governance.Buhari is certainly the answer.May God come to our help-Amin.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Aliyu Tilde, thanks for your article. Both Buhari and Nuhu Ribadu are the best candidates for the next election, the third candidate Pat Utomi is not contesting. But the Ribadu option needs to be weighed, and his supporters need to be careful because Negative campaign by Ribadu supporters against Buhari will harm Ribadu in case he becomes the candidate of the alliance because his base in the north is not strong enough, and the time left is not enough for him to make impact. And you know that convicing people to vote for Ribadu over Buhari is not easy in the north.

The strongest point of Ribadu at the moment is ACN-Southwest/lagos-Ibadan press.

Here are the various scenarious in my opinion:

Buhari/Alliance Vs Jonathan + Free and fair election= Buhari presidency

Buhari-Alliance+Ribadu candidature Vs Jonathan = Jonathan presidency

Ribadu/Alliance Vs Jonathan + free and fair election= Ribadu Presidency + or -.

Ribadu-Alliance+ Buhari candidature vs Jonathan=Jonathan presidency

Extrenious variables + or -

1. Atiku plus northern elders factor

Political apathy in the north in the absence of Buhari candidature

Allah knows best

Anonymous said...

Does it mean that to Tilde, ANPP no longer exist? Surprisingly he did not mention anything about it in his analysis of issues.

Abubakar said...

ANPP is no longer a factor, eventhough they will secure 2-3 states. From the gubernatorial primaries PDP is still community devillish comity. However i am hopeful of a alliance between Buhari and Buhari's structures. I dont blame either Bukari taking his time not rush into the union. Atiku will be blown either tomorrow or by the primaries. The northern block, IBB and most especially Atiku will come to play a role in defeating GEJ. Atiku knows the both the dirty and the holy sides of our politics, but will not succeed at the primaries. But i am afraid afraid Dr Tilde, you are a public commentator but with interest definately in partisan politics that tends to influence your recent analysis when Buhari is involve. The Bauchi signature going by what the street opinion indicates suggest something. I advise you go neutral on Buhari factor or nemesis in Bauchi otherwise we get 'biased' analysis.

Abubakar said...

ANPP is no longer a factor, eventhough they will secure 2-3 states. From the gubernatorial primaries PDP is still the devillish comity. However i am hopeful of a alliance between Buhari and Ribadu's structures. I don't blame either Buhari taking his time not rush into the union. Atiku will be blown either tomorrow or by the primaries. The northern block, IBB and most especially Atiku will come to play a role in defeating GEJ. Atiku knows the dirty and the holy sides of our politics, but will not succeed at the primaries. But i am afraid however Dr Tilde, you are a public commentator but with partisan interest that tends to influence your recent analysis when Buhari is involve and on Bauchi. I advise you go neutral on Buhari factor or nemesis in Bauchi otherwise we get 'biased' analysis and it make us sick having an unpalatable tonic for days until another trivial comes.

Anonymous said...

I neither believe in the regional sentiments nor do I like the way our resources are been stolen.Buhari or Ribadu with a government of Nigeria loving cabinet can wake Nigeria up from its deep, century long sleep.
Nigerians we must accept that our country has fast deteriorated to some thing else rather than a state. God see us through.

Anonymous said...

Haba Tilde and allies !!! I don't think is long enough for us to forget about the roles Ribadu played under OBJ. He even need to apologize to Nigerians for the OBJ "KARAN FARAUTA" roles he played. He was declared wanted by NPF. Our dear Buhari is with us masses, for better for worse.
Ali A. Bichi.

Ibrahim Jibiya said...

I'm seriously puzzled about the analysis of today's discourse. As long as we cherish credibility, trust and leadership qualities, Ribadu is not a match to Buhari who the later's boss, OBJ declared trustworthy. Moreover, the later's fight of corruption during his heyday as EFCC boss was skewed much to selective indictment as a result of his subservience to OBJ, who supposed to be the EFCC prime suspect for his involvement in corruption especially during third term agenda.Pls dr refer back to your previous analysis on Nigeria's' most corrupt leaders and assess the level of Ribados' commitment and objectivity in fighting corruption.Forget about Northern elders and their guiltiness, for guilty ones are always afraid. NIGERIA SAI MAI GASKIYA INSHAALLAH! Ibrahim Jibiya

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy readingyour honest analysis but this one typically revealed indirect bias against Gen. Buhari's broad baseacceptance in the North and to some extent even in the south. Again, your comparison of Gen. Buhari and Mr. Ribadu indicates a bit of your desire to allian with Ribadu's p olitical persuation. Nothing with expressing your opinion but objectivity always helps most of us that believe in your intellectual prose. In my honest opinon, I would like to see PDP gone forever. As a political slogan goes, Nigeria sai Buhari.

Anonymous said...

I think the response of majority of respondents so far says it all-respected Dr, you goofed on this one!

How can you ever compare Ribadu with the inimitable Buhari!Buhari is light years ahead of him as far as fighting corruption is concerned and just like someone said earlier, Ribadu has lots of explanations to make regarding the ignoble role he played in Obasanjo's failed third term bid.

On a final note Doc., I will advise you remain objective in your analysis rather than being pathetic to Ribadu's cause.

Sai Buhari!!!

Hamisu said...

To me, Ridabu is nobody to be compared with Buhari. I wish to refer to one of Dr Tilde's article on Ribadu's involvement in curruption and invite Tilde to explain his basis behind the credibility of Ribadu as ACN candidate. I suspect he is being used by Mr president to divide the votes of the notherners between him (Ribadu) and Buhari so that Buhari impact will be less felt. If there will be free and fair election, I belive even the families of Jonathan and Ribadu will not advice them to contest for the presidency. It is high tme for Nigerian's to vote for the right candidate, before its late.


My mentor ALIYU, truth is bitter as you know better,the northerners hate the NORTH more than the southerners do, because all our political backwardness are caused by who? who brought OBJ? what was the motive? who sold the idea of third-time and campaigned for it? what was the motive? who single-handed killed 3rd-time? indirectly, who brought Jonathan? who masterminded creation of PDP-zoning? is it democratic in nature? where is the northernism? without doing justice to these question, I DONT THINK if we have a northern political umbrella, but greedy northern political elements with very shallow political future thinking and determinations.
In summery,IBB and co. produced OBJ, the motive was to satisfy their immediate-needs but he turned against them, can we 4get the roles of I.Mantu-jos,Tafida-zaria and co. during 3rd-time, surprisingly, Ken Nnamani(the great) tactfully capsized the boat by open-ballot 4mula. The southerners realized that,once you can satisfy immediate-needs of handful northerners, they can help you in any political-war against the north. Now we have 2 presidential candidates from the north, while south produced 1, who is fooling who?. In fact, am absolutely convinced that 1. problem of the north is within the north 2.our political carrier will soon extinct and produced a president is a mirage, 3. the northern traitors will suffer the consequences more, because they will lose influence and power.

Anonymous said...

Desperate situations call for desperate measures. We are desperate in our quest to get a northerner to be president and we are obviously at a disadvantage, no doubt. If we want to be honest and sincere with ourselves the only way out is to support Atiku, take it or leave it. It is our only way out and our saving grace. I urge you all to think over this very carefully without a jaundiced eye. I was never an Atiku man I doubt if I will ever be, but you know what they say, necessity is the mother of invention. I coursed the day I came to this painful conclusion but it is the sad truth.

Hassan A Karofi said...

I am a follower of your articles since it inception and I have never seen an article not worthy of being responded to as this one. You did not only goofed but you showed your malaise against Buhari probably due to your failure to clinch the ANPP Senatorial ticket in the previuos election and may be you think he has a hand in that event. Pls be objective, fair and careful or else you lose your followers.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...

I thank all readers for their comments. A writer is not worth his ink if he will always follow the popular view. Courage is required to write opinions contrary to the general. In this article, I doubt if I have compared the personalities of Buhari and Ribadu. The anti-corruption prince, as I called him during Obasanjo days, has fought corruption within the impossible atmosphere of Obasanjo's government. We can't take that away from him despite his contrasts and shortcomings. If you listen to Buhari's critics, you will also learn about Buhari's shortcomings in fighting corruption during his days. We are human and we can do even with the best of intentions only as much as the environment cooed permit. In addition to the two, there are many people too who have fought corruption in various capacities.

What I simply did was to weigh the chances of both making it to the polls in 2011 and with less emphasis on the outcome of the election itself. The essay is more on the alliances that are likely to be formed in the next one month. I wonder how mere evaluation of chances would become a sin or how objectivity would be determined only by a support to a single person.

I am glad that the writing has achieved it's objective of making the alliance talks imperative such that the Buhari side will take it more seriously. The reality is that unless the alliance is formed, the hope of Buhari alone beating Jonathan is greatly impaired. Any objective person knows this.

Finally, I am used to being different with the man on the street in Bauchi. In 2007 I warned him against Yuguda but he defied reason and followed sentiments. His disappointment today with that choice is self-inflicted. If we the elite will be guided by people on the street as one of the respondents advised, then we are doomed. And that is exactly the problem of the North. The critical elite follow the masses in public and disagree with them privately. I have chosen to be different whenever I am convinced that it is the right thing to do. That is my sad role. It may not be popular but I am always vindicated. Such stands that are contrary to public opinions are dangerous, as Machiavelli said, but they are necessary if we are to make progress.

Anonymous said...

I still reserve my vote for Buhari, though a strong PDP member in my locality, but lt's us agree that Buhari has a problem.

For instance, in Kano most of people who represent Buhari as his closest supporters have criminal tendencies politically.

And, also, the popularity of Ribadu is negatively perceived by northern elites, since we must agree that he's being used by OBJ.

My final opinion on is that, we have a very big challenge stopping Jonathan in 2011. This is "Rana zafi inuwa kuna"... a Hausa proverb

Sanusi Bature Dawakin-Tofa

Anonymous said...


I am deeply happy and triggered by the analysis on the subject matter and I feel the question is how to get PDP out of office. We are now talking of 'General Election' to take place very soon and where we have same masses who suffered in the hand of PDP for almost twelve years could not come together organize themselves to kick PDP out. The issue is not GEJ or Atiku, the problem is PDP which have failed in all aspect to put Nigeria and Nigerians in a better position comparable with the previous military administration. Now, here is the better chance to remove them. Whether Buhari of CPC or Ribadu of ACN, the issue is let one among them succeed so that hope for change could be possible for the common man who have been suffering for decades in the hands of the crooks and hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

When will we outgrow this politics of North and South and deal with substance?

Anonymous said...

A bit better, Dr TILDE!
That is a bit better, Dr Tilde, but you must learn to take corrections on your obvious short comings.That is the only way to excel. There is absolutely no basis to compare Buhari with Ribadu, no matter your personal sentiments. I pray that this time around those predictions of yours are NOT vindicated. If only we mean Nigeria to be out of the time bomb, Buhari is the solution.

Muazu Usman said...

Kai Dr. Tilde! I advise that you should concentrate on assisting Buhari & AC to bridge d gap between them and forge ahead with the alliance rather than this fruitless effort to popularise Ribadu against the already tested and trusted General.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm!, I am suggesting for the marger of three presidential candidates if emarged as Flag bearers. these are Buhari, Shekaru and Ribadu, I am confident that these people are competent nationalists, dedicated, trustworthy and equal to the task when given the opportunity.
B. Wudil

Lawal said...

Ribadu could have been a good option as young and vibrant person but for the way he allow himself to be used by the despotic regime of OBJ to haunt even the innocent people that are not in their good books(I;E the so called corrupt politicians).
on the other hand Buhari did not appear serious to build a credible party that will wrestle away power from the incumbent government.
one need to see the way CPC goes in his home state of katsina. its really unfortunate and people like me who begin to see hope and an alternative in PDP are begening to loose hope.
the truth remains as they say SAI BUHARI come 2011

H A KAROFI said...

Yes Dr; objectivity is a prism. It depends from where and in which angle your view is. I advise that you regard the flury of pro-Buharism comments as objectivity in themselves and simple expression of opinions as you do see yours, afterall blogs are flat forms for constructive discussions, some times destructive blitz-yours I am certain is the former. But most importantly they (pro-Buhari responses)are answers to where the pendulum of support between the two is.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...

I am really fascinated at the rate that the world is publishing this article on different websites and newspapers better than anyone I have written before. May be the world is seeing something in it that many of us are not seeing here. Mashaallah.

Anonymous said...

Tough! Tough!!
Can someone tell me whether the so-called North, North, we talk about actually exist? Perhaps it used to.
It appears most Nigerians are disenchanted with the performance of the PDP and would want alternative. If this were true, then why do we find it difficult to takeover the leadership of this great (wishful) nation from it?
If we are serious, we should do it otherwise we go to sleep with our individual pride while the party weather the storms and continue to rule us. If that happens we better stop lamenting and swallow whatever pills it forces through our throats. As usual, we shall continue to pray/wish (albeit in vain) for the party to be voted out someday.

Dantala said...

Thanks for the article. It provide some insight into the presidential race ahaed. As a Nigerian I will support who ever emerge as the president after the April 2011 Election. May we have a progressive president that will take our nation forward.

sadeeque Abba said...

Salam, Sakirajo am,

First, the number of registered parties in Nigeria is not 57, but 63.

I want to believe that outside sentiments, mischieves and blind biases in politics, Buhari is probably the most suitable candidate Nigerians could ever wish for.Ribadu is too young to lead a complex country like Nigeria, while Jonathan is simply too innocent contemplate such a monumental national assignment, especially if viewed from his present performance with our foreign reserve and excess crude account.
overall, my heart bleeds for this country, Buhari is regionally base, Ribadu is travelling on an ego train and Jonathan is a political bait for glorified criminals at the corridpor of power.
May Allah bless Nigeria, Ameen.

habiba said...

Dr.!What do you have against Buhari...?pray,tell.How could you compare Buhari and Ribadu?Ribadu was merely an instrument of witch hunting and if he were sincere,he should have started or at least finished with OBJ no less.Sentiments aside,right now there is nobody on the political horizon who has the capability to remove Nigeria from the doldrums like Buhari,he has proved his mettle before.
Ribadu has no experience,Jonathan no direction and Atiku is only out to prove a point.You'll be surprised at the amount of support Buhari has behind the scenes and from least expected quarters too....cos people know he can be trusted..and we are praying,somehow Buhari will make an alliance that will make all the difference,InshaAllah.We are tired of crooks in any guise or disguise.This is the year that Nigeria will be saved from the wicked and Buhari is the MAN!

Anonymous said...

I love reading Dr Tilde's articles wherever l see them. Buhari is one candidate i always prefers amongst all the presidential aspirants who i know he will rule this country better. I strongly beleve he will face out bribery and corruption in Nigeria thats why our corrupt leaders will never want him to rule but they should not forget that power belongs to Allah only. And let them not forget, no matter how long it takes, He will one day give us a leader who will lead this country ot the admiration of the whole world. My advice to Buhari was for him to have compromised with ACN to form a coalition.

bakar said...

Dr. Tilde, it appears most of our readers are missing the point. You are actually helping Buhari to reorganize his house so that he could possibly win. I do not think you are comparing both Bukhari and Ribadu on credentials as it appears people are gleaning from your article. Among what you are saying is the tight chances of him Buhari winning; going by the unstructured house of his party as it stands now. I think if Buhari reads this article, he will know that he needs to form alliance with ACN so as to have a better chance of winning. He does not appear to have support outside the North. I do not think you are comparing both on say their credential etc. You are only analyzing the chances of them defeating PDP on formidable grounds.

Anonymous said...

I am really surprised at the accusation that this article is biased against Buhari. Nothing can be further from the truth. I guess there is no disputing the fact that in order of best choice, the line up would be Buhari, Ribadu then Jonathan. But realistically speaking, Buhari has no state control, neither does he have any governors backing which leaves him with very little chance of upseating any ruling party in any state (going by the law of incumbency which only exists in Africa by the way). ACN at least has a chance of winning the SW which in turn gives it more edge over CPC in defeating PDP in the general elections if only the northern masses would vote tactically.

Anonymous said...

On trial in the next and crucial election is the whole of Nigeria and the incumbent President Jonathan. If Nigeria can peacefully change a government that has been on the saddle for about ten years, indeed a government with a mediocre performance, or even with a superlative performance, will be a big plus for even the present president, eventually; as well as for Nigeria as whole! JOF, Akure.