Alignment, counterbalancing and reengineering of forces are some of the activities that would dominate the political landscape in the country this year.
Those activities will be geared towards positioning candidates for the 2023 presidential election, which the incumbent will be unable to contest because the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended forbids him to be in office after eight years.
New National Star investigations reveal that these political gladiators are going to be active on the political scene throughout this year. They are:
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
He was a two-term governor of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007. Currently, he is called National leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), a title that is not in the APC constitution. He is believed to have invested heavily in human capital as five of his aides became governors, some were made members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), and some became Chief Executive Officers of Federal Government agencies and parastatals. Tinubu who holds the honorary traditional title of Asiwaju of Lagos and Jagaban of Borgu, Niger state is believed to have a very deep pocket. He is interested in becoming the President and Commander – in -Chief of the Armed Forces in 2023. Asiwaju Tinubu is going to do a lot of political marketing this year and is likely to formally announce his intention to run for the office of President.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
He was the Vice President between 1999 and 2007. Alhaji Abubakar holds the title of Waziri of Adamawa. He initially won the gubernatorial slot in Adamawa State before former President Olusegun Obasanjo picked him as his running mate. He contested and lost against President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and 2019. He began skeletal political manoeuvres last year when he inaugurated his zonal contact men and has been consistently criticising federal government’s policies and programmes. He holds the highest traditional title for a non-indigene of Tiv kingdom, Zege Mule U of Tiv land, Benue State among other titles he bagged all over the country. He is also believed to have a very deep pocket. He is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike
He is the current governor of Rivers State. A lawyer man who speaks his mind on any issue no matter whose ox is gored, he strongly believes the leadership of his party, the PDP, has been compromised and wants it changed. To Wike and some party chieftains from the South-East and South-South, the South should produce the presidential candidate of the PDP in 2023.
Governor Kayode Fayemi
He is the current governor of Ekiti state and current Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum. He belongs to the ruling APC and is deeply interested in succeeding President Buhari. He has started his underground moves by securing a befitting campaign office in Abuja and delivering a lecture at the Arewa House, Kaduna. Although he was one of the political associates of Asiwaju Tinubu when the 4th republic took off, Governor Fayemi to many political observers is no longer on the same page with the Jagaban Borgu. His tenure as governor of Ekiti state ends in 2022.
Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima
He holds the title of Sadauna Zamfara and was a two-term governor of Zamfara State before becoming a Senator of the Federal Republic. He introduced what former President Obasanjo called “political Sharia” in the country. He too wants to move into Aso Rock immediately after President Buhari.
Governor Ayo Fayose
He was a two-term governor of Ekiti state. Former Governor Ayo Fayose is one of the influential leaders of the main opposition party in the country. Although he belongs to the PDP, Fayose has tremendous respect for Asiwaju Tinubu.
Governor Rabiu Musa Kwakwaso
He was a former governor of Kano state. A grassroots man whose solid base is with the downtrodden, he started a movement called Kwankwasiyya. He is also oiling his political machine.
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai
Current governor of Kaduna State. He is believed to be one of the political leaders in APC who want a young person to succeed Buhari. He has indicated his preference that the President in 2023 should come from the South. Political pundits say the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory,(FCT) is interested in becoming the Vice (President) to a southern candidate, preferably, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu
A two-term governor of Abia state and currently a Senator. He is a newspaper mogul and has an interest in other sectors of the economy. He too is believed to have a deep pocket and a high network of friends in the North and the South-West.
Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal
He is the current governor of Sokoto state. A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tambuwal is believed to have a strong network of friends across the country. He is expected to unveil his political plan this year, although political watchers say he is eyeing the presidency.
Prince Uche Secondus
He is the current National Chairman of the main opposition party. He is from the South-South geopolitical zone. He has a major role to play in who becomes the standard-bearer of the party. Some political analysts are of the opinion that should Prince Secondus decide to support the ambition of candidates from the north to spend another term as the PDP chairman, some aspirants in the party from the South may defect to another party.
Governor Yahaya Bello
He is currently the governor of Kogi state. Governor Bello is believed to enjoy some favours from the President who has allegedly adopted him as a son.
Governor Dave Umahi
Governor Dave Umaahi of Ebonyi State recently defected from the PDP to the APC and political watchers believe that the move is to position himself to contest the presidency in 2023 through the ruling party. He is said to be close to President Buhari.