By Etop Ekanem
The ongoing plot by the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to retain power in the North in 2023 could implode the party, a former coordinator of Arewa Political Forum of Nigeria, Alhasan Farouk, has warned.
According to Farouk, “unless drastic interventions are taken, next year’s general elections may prove the final straw for Nigeria’s 62-year experiment as a highly combustible union of disparate ethnic groups each with an unyielding aspiration to determine its own destiny and a shared suspicion of a nursed domination agenda”.
Farouk, a chieftain of the APC in Bauchi, said President Muhammadu Buhari from the North West, as incumbent, has received widespread criticism from several segments of the society for what has been termed a lopsided appointment policy in Nigeria’s security architecture and several MDAs where the North has been unduly favoured.
According to Farouk, “With the recent spate of insecurity, banditry, herder-farmer’s violence, IPOB agitations, and separatist group agitations in the South-West, it is apparent that the nation has never been more divided. The fallout of the recent violence in Sokoto following the killing of Deborah Samuel, where several Igbo traders and other southerners were harassed as young residents demanded the release of those who perpetrated the killing of the young student is a clear instance of the delicate religious and ethnic balancing act that needs to be upheld in Nigeria.
“With a fractious polity where ethnic and religious strife has seen sectional violence come to the fore in the North Central, South-East, South-West, the South is eager to stake a claim to the presidency to sooth frayed nerves across the country. Nigeria’s fragile unity is indeed at stake.”
“The dramatic but dangerous tussle is best observed in the APC. Formed in 2014 as an alliance between the north and south to oust the PDP which had held power for 16 years, President Buhari emerged as its flagbearer as the representative of the north and with a promise to surrender power to the south in a high-stake power sharing formula designed to promote inclusion and a sense of belonging, an antidote to the inflammable marriage between the ethnic groups.”