Let me be daring this morning as I critically look at a Bukola Saraki candidacy on the platform of the emerging third force. I want to do this simply because the momentum for a third force is gradually gaining ground and the polity is also lending it enough credence.
The issue of a third force first came into recent national consciousness by the launching of the NIM movement led by legal eagle, Olisa Agbakoba, with people like Donald Duke and other prominent professionals within their bowel. Obasanjo now came in to give it serious impetus with his 13-page letter which is still reverberating all over the country. This was immediately followed by the launching of the Oyinlola movement.
The need for a third force has come into play following the inability or otherwise of political element to use the existing platforms to actualise their ambitions. This remains the albatross of Nigerian politics because this continued alignment and realignment of forces every election circle weakens and undermine political cohesion especially if one observes that the movements are not driven or guided by any political ideology or policy. These movements are driven by primordial, ethnic and usually shallow intentions aimed at getting the very best positions to dispense political gratifications to loyal troops.
But then again, what do you think, when existing structures are seized and kept under the perpetual control of warlords who now use it to dispense favours along selfish loyalty bridges amongst other such type stupefying sentiments. This leads to discontent and the eventual rebellion that leaves the Nigerian populace more than ever before shortchanged.
So in the inevitability of a third force movement, my take is that why not search for a candidate that understands all these seismic movements, has the weight to pull in electoral heavyweights and also has the national prominence to put up a strong fight against entrenched interests.
Bukola Saraki, being a two-term Governor of Kwara State, the Senate Leader and one of the driving forces that led to the new PDP signaling the weakening of the platform leading to the emergence of the APC coalition which finally wrestled power from the PDP readily comes to mind. I am taking this position not because I have any particular interest in his candidacy but because he comes to the table with tremendous political capital that cannot be compared to the names being bandied around.
Get me straight, I am a strong believer in the two-party structure. Also, I believe very clearly that for the system to maintain its cohesion, it has to put in place structures within the two-party system that would enable for a free flow of positions, a level playing field for all aspirants and the entrenchment of internal democracy. This you would agree would be asking for too much from our leaders as we are regularly reminded of secret agreements drawn up without the Nigerian in attendance or involved showing purported agreements to serve only one term and as a result of the principals refusal to adhere to such unholy agreements and righty so we begin to see these fractures.
So for me, it is the excitement of the debate, the contest that I die for. I would not like to see a light weighted candidate who cannot even win his street like the names NIM is parading contest against highly popular and influential incumbent with strong support. I would like to see a game changer push the principal to his very last breath ensuring that all Nigerians are involved in an evenly fought battle that would ensure that whoever wins, the system would have been totally involved. We do not want a walkabout contest. We need the excitement that ensures that we do not know who the eventual winner is until the last vote is counted.
This is why I would like to throw Saraki into the ring. A Buhari/Saraki contest would really enliven the polity; throw in some very lively debates, ensure total involvement of all the country and ensure that the incumbent if he wins ( I am sure he will) will also know that he did not just get it on a platter of gold, making him work better for Nigerians.
Anything less than this would just be a walkover for Buhari and for me that would not be a contest.
So guys what do you think?