By Charles Kumolu
THE outcome of Nigeria’s presidential election obviously symbolises two things: a set back and a beginning for the political future of many mainstream politicians in the country.
It is such that has significantly boosted and as well diminished the relevance of most actors across different divides.
Specifically, it comes as a curtain raiser for most chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who are poised to emerge as the leading players in the polity, while hitherto strongmen of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are now relegated to the background of Nigerian politics.
The situation is also same for most supporters of the defeated ruling party across some critical sectors of the society like captains of industry, clergy and traditional rulers among others.
Those on the losing side include; Alhaji Adamu Muazu, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, Chief Edwin Clark, Chief Tony Anenih, Sen David Mark, Chief Godswill Akpabio, Chief Olabode George, Governor Ayo Fayose, Mr. Peter Obi, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo and Chief Gani Adams among others
The PDP National Chairman is regarded as the game changer given the relative calm his emergence as the chairman of the PDP brought to the often rancorous party. Within the little period he has been in the saddle, he became so powerful with great appeal among party faithful.
With the amount of influence that is naturally attached to the office he occupies, Muazu is practically the most powerful man in the PDP after President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former governor of Bauchi State was a prominent figure in the electioneering campaign that ended PDP’s 16-year rule.
However, he failed to deliver his state to the president, leading to the President’s defeat.
With his party’s defeat, his influence and political stardom appears to have come to an end. And since the chairmanship of an opposition party in Nigeria lack glamour and powers, Mu’azu would no longer be in the spotlight.
With undisputed peculiar ways of carrying out her unconstitutional role as First Lady, Mrs. Jonathan, has so far been a major actor in her husband’s presidency. The combination of passion for her beliefs and flip-flops, have perhaps seen her becoming the most controversial First Lady.
It was this unfamiliar passion that saw her bringing so much thrills and distractions to the PDP presidential campaign.
With her husband’s defeat, Mrs. Jonathan’s incontrovertible influence in the corridors of power and beyond, has abruptly ended.
Of note is her grip on the affairs of River State, which is also believed to have ended with PDP’s defeat since she would no longer have influence over the instruments of power.
For someone, whose image literally loomed larger than the President, Madam Jonathan comes across as the chief loser in the presidential poll.
As President Jonathan’s leading supporter, Clark has been a source of moral and fatherly support to the out-going President.
The role the erstwhile Minister of Information played in the emergence and sustenance of Jonathan as President, is obviously remarkable.
With his unflinching backing at various times, it was natural for the elder statesman to become one of the authoritative figures of the Jonathan presidency.
There is no doubt that Muhammadu Buhari’s victory, signifies the sun set for Clark’s relevance in the mainstream of the country’s politics.
The Warri based pastor is the leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, a body that has under his leadership, been widely criticised for allegedly being partisan. Though, the presidency of this Christian umbrella body, often attracts relevance to occupiers of the office, Oritsejafor had been variously accused of leaning towards the PDP.
It was this situation that made some analysts to describe CAN as the Christian wing of the PDP. The impression about the CAN president was made worse by the controversy over the alleged $9.3 million smuggled into South Africa in an aircraft allegedly owned by him.
As a friend of the President and outgoing administration, Papa Ayo as he is fondly called may not be among the regular visitors to the corridors of power in the next dispensation.
Akwa Ibom State governor’s influence in the outgoing administration, is not quantifiable.
His leadership of the PDP Governors’ Forum and being in charge of a state with so much oil wealth, made his ascendency as one of the strongest figures in the PDP possible.
Even though, the President won his state with 92.68 percent of the total votes cast, Akpabio is still on the losing side. In the next dispensation, he would be in the Senate as a member of the minority and opposition party-a situation that would deny him the punch and power he had wielded.
The former governor of Anambra State also ranks as one of the major casualties of PDP’s defeat. Obi’s plight is more understood from the fact his dumping of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA—a party that was built around him and late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, was construed as selfish.
Given that he would have emerged as one of the leading voices if Jonathan had won, Obi is in the list of big-time losers.
For someone, who fiercely campaigned for Jonathan’s re-election at the expense of societal values and decorum, PDP’s defeat is something that Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose could never have desired.
A Jonathan victory would have seen Fayose being the Akpabio of the next dispensation among PDP governors considering his experience. But as things are now, analysts consider Fayose as someone at a crossroad.
When it was obvious that Buhari was coasting home to victory, most discourse had focused on what becomes of people like the former leader of defunct Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) who had threatened fire and brimstone if the President was rigged out.
Asari-Dokubo, whose utterances had often times pitched him against the sensibilities of some sections of the country, would no longer have his current seemingly above board image under Buhari.
Already, the former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, has described his party’s defeat as a personal loss.
So painful was the loss to him that he insisted on his pre-election position of going on exile if Buhari should win.
The implication of Buhari’s victory for the retired naval officer is that those he considered his enemies would now be calling the shots at the federal level.
This, he highlighted in an exclusive interview with Vanguard, noting thus: ‘’ “What will I be doing here? I can decide to go and live anywhere. Look at everyone surrounding him (Buhari).
“So, I am not joking about it, what will I be doing here? At 70, what will I be doing here? All we have been doing to restructure the country has been lost. We have been trying to ensure balance in the polity but all that has gone. What else will I be doing here?’’