2023: Why North prefers Fayemi as next President, Prof Mahatu
By Samuel Ogunsona
The North will support the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi as the next President of Nigeria in 2023. The Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Sa’ad earlier said at a conference in Kaduna that Fayemi was the adopted son of the late Saarduana of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello an indication that the North may have made up its mind to back Fayemi for the Presidency in 2023.
Speaking in a media interview, Prof Danladi Mahuta a prominent Islamic Scholar and lecturer at the Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto said Dr Fayemi meets the criteria more than any other aspirant from the Southern part of the country.
He said “One, none of the two politicians have announced intention to contest,so we can only guess. Tinubu is old (experience and age wise) but, politically well connected and rich which is a big factor in Nigeria politics but carries a lot of baggage which is not unknown to us.”
According to him, Fayemi is young and energetic, but, not well known by many.
Mahutu said “The struggle for power between the duo(old warhorse and the greenhorn) is a generational fight if I must say. Let me use Kebbi as an example of this generational battle. Tinubu became governor in 1999 and so is close to Adamu Aliero who is a godfather now, but Fayemi is friend of Atiku Bagudu who is the present governor. You can see why I said it’s a generational battle? After the Buhari experience, the thinking in the north now favors a younger, educated leadership and Fayemi scores higher in that realm.”
Mahatu said the North is ready to mobilise her people to give full support to Fayemi.
He said “I’m not sure if we are ready for someone of the same age with President Buhari again in view of our present experience. That’s not taking anything away from Atiku Abubakar and Ahmed Tinubu, but age is definitely not on their side anymore. In America, they can have a Trump or Biden because they have institutions that run on auto-pilot, we don’t have such luxury here, so we can’t continue to recycle aged people and end up with semi-senile leadership.”
He said further “Even in the north, there is a great agitation for generational power shift.”
He said the system in Nigeria is still susceptible to ethnic, religious and other abuses, hence we need agile and 24 hour- eagle-eyed monitoring.
“Health, integrity, age and education are critical requirements in this regard. Like I said earlier, if people of the south are comfortable with a Muslim/Muslim leadership, they can present a Muslim presidential candidate, but the one coming from the north must be a northern Muslim. That is not negotiable.”Mahatu said.
He said only Fayemi meets the set creteria by the North.
“Going by what we itemized as requirements, only Fayemi fulfills these qualities thus far. But you know others like the VP will still come out. He’s younger, went to three great schools (University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and King’s College, London and carries no baggage.”
Mahatu also said most political leaders in the North prefers a Catholic Christian to others.
He said Fayemi is a Christian, so he can conveniently pick a Muslim northerner to balance the ticket.
“You may not know this, we in the north find adherents of the Catholic faith the most amiable, cosmopolitan and reliable Christians, I learnt Fayemi is a Catholic, that makes him super acceptable to us Northern Muslims and Southeasterners who are majorly Catholics” Mahuta said.