The Corsican-born French Military Commander, Napoleon Bonaparte, rose to prominence during the French Revolution. He later transmogrified into a political leader, abolished the consul in 1804 and declared himself the Emperor Napoleon1 of France. He claimed to be the state, embodying the sovereignty of the state of France. Though the popular revolution had pushed him up the ladder, he nonetheless embraced the subterfuge of power and just as Thomas Sowell explicated, Napoleon incorporated “politics as the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest”. Today, there are likely some more vicious Napoleon Bonapartes in the Nigerian political orbit.
After years of military rule, Nigeria again embraced democracy in 1999 and favourably promoted the idea of a rotational presidency between the South and the North in a gentlemanly way though some members of the political class tend to jettison this arrangement in every election cycle. It has to be said that despite the tendency to abort the rotational principle halfway, the generality of the Nigerian electorate has kept faith in it.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo emerged in 1999 and had eight unbroken years as the President after which power shifted to the North in 2007 when Umar Musa Y’aradua from Katsina in Nigeria’s North-west geopolitical zone succeeded Obasanjo in 2007. Sadly, poor health and finally, death cut short his reign. His deputy from the south, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, emerged through the doctrine of necessity to complete the tenure after some vested interest had erected a stonewall to hamstring him from naturally succeeding his late principal in a seamless transition as the Constitution envisages it.
Trouble, however, started when Dr Jonathan presented himself for election in 2011 and won. True to his name, Goodluck’s emergence, no doubt, exuded considerable elements of happenstance; nonetheless, some northern conservative forces were truly incensed. They felt, rightly or wrongly so, that the South should have wittingly allowed the North its own eight-year of Presidency. Since then, there had been a silent scheme to self-compensate for this perceived ‘injustice’.
Then came President Mohammadu Buhari in 2015. Buhari emerged through just nationwide popularity as his clout turned ‘NEPA bill’ into an acceptable qualification. He was, however, most shielded by the gritty northern forces at the inception of the administration when he had health issues. The decision to retain power in the region had long been a matter of regional interest, though first held closely by these conservative forces. It fueled appointments into key positions, especially the military formations. The military intervention appeared to be an option on the schemers’ table should there be a repeat of Umar Musa Y’aradua’s scenario.
In 2019, there was a mild drama within these forces: the conservative clique’s agenda came under internal scrutiny, resulting in contemplation to support Atiku in order to secure a 12-year chance of presidency in the north but there was no consensus. The conclusion was, however, not ambivalent nor ambiguous: there must be concentrated efforts to retain power in the north beyond the plausible eight years in order to recover the’ lost’ years of Y’aradua’s presidency. It was no longer a hidden agenda at some point. What was hidden, perhaps, was the varying options of strategic considerations by the forces.
In plain terms, I had told many in my circle since 2021 that the South would need more than the usual efforts to have the presidency come 2023. I also mentioned clearly that if the elections were held in 2023 at the set dates, the handover may not happen, depending on who wins, eventually. I was not blabbing, after all.
I remember warning, also, the supporters of Vice President Yemi Osibanjo and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on social media in the build to the All Progressive Congress presidential primaries in 2022 to desist from destroying themselves as none of the two camps would enjoy the support of the Buhari presidency, which turned out to be the way I had initially projected. The self-destruction was a sweet end favoured by the cabal who wanted power to stay in the north beyond Buhari.
There had been a long conclusion on candidates of northern extraction in the two leading political parties at that time. The emergence of Senator Ahmad Lawan as the consensus candidate was not a happenstance or fluke; he was the product of a long-hatched plot long in the pipeline. The final decision was taken right at the heart of the villa. It may be safe at this point to skip many other details regarding the multi-headed strategies the proponents deployed, even to the southern political space which later boomeranged.
The Tinubu cyclone, consciously backed by the northern ‘progressive’ forces, overwhelmed the plot in the ruling party during the primaries but not without the resolve of the internal enforcers to frustrate his candidacy. The pain of defeat from the primaries became a perfect alibi to enlist more strategic hands into the plot. For some, it was a vendetta mission; to others, it was a surviving political orchestration. Many more were actively hauled into the illusory circus without the knowledge of the larger picture, regrettably.
From the emergency currency change(confiscation) to many other intrigues and subterfuges, the internal conspiracy against the APC candidate, Bola Tinubu, was unprecedented. The Napoleons at the highest echelon succeeded in turning personal interest into national interest, wielding the emperor-like power to make and unmake, gauging, also, apparently, a fallback position if the polls failed to deliver on expectations. Feelers had it that the said option has always been on their table. It was said to be the military option the country’s Secret Service later ‘exposed’. It, however, became somewhat prying when this option suddenly got echoed from the pulpit as prophecy!
Too many questions. Are they seeing their plans from the spirit? Have the Napoleons expanded the circle? Could they have possibly conscripted some men from the pulpit? I should have shrugged off the mind-boggling suggestions but I know you cannot take anything away from this political ecosystem. How else would they have designed the required acceptance?
But I am a believer. I know God speaks. I know God sees even the most hidden thoughts in the heart of men. Also, I know God is not an author of confusion.
Funnily, the aftermath of the 2023 electioneering process has further heightened the misapprehension. Political Crisis, instability, and selfish Interests are some of the reasons for military intervention in a democratic setting. Selfish interests, therefore explain the subtle call for military intervention by defeated politicians and their collaborators with military contacts. Some are curiously doing that lately.
Something else caught attention. A love-lost ally of President Buhari, Alhaji Buba Galadima, on primetime programme on Arise Television, berated the secret agency for not uncovering the interim government plan long before the 2023 elections. In his word, “The DSS has not been harvesting intelligence, because if they do, they should have uncovered this (the interim government plan) over one year ago”. Need I say more that the plot has nothing to do with Peter Obi neither was it designed to favour him? The prophecy that included him in a plan we knew was long designed for a purpose that is antithetical to his ambition thus caught my attention.
Is it possible that the Napoleons had a cut into the vulnerable circle of men of the collar to give what they would have described as first-hand intelligence with the assurance of its certainty while adding Obi’s name to buy in more unsuspected groups? What awaits Nigeria on May 29th? Whose report do we believe? Are we hearing, truly, THUS SAITH THE LORD OR THUS SAITH THE PLAN?