It is logical that if the North will have had the presidency for eight years by 2023 that the South should produce the successor to President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
After all the South conceded the office to the North in 2007 when President Olusegun Obasanjo of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) completed his two – term tenure of four years each with late President Umaru Yar’Adua from Katsina State, like Buhari, succeeding him.
The governors of the 17 states in the South therefore did the right thing when they called on the APC and PDP to choose southern candidates for the 2023 presidential election. But I don’t think it was proper for them to have said that the South will not vote for a party that does not have someone from the three zones in their region.
This has now created the situation in which the 2023 contest will be seen by the Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri and other ethnic groups who are in the majority in the North as one between their region and the South.
Since Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State is the only Muslim among the 17 in the South, the contest may also be viewed by northerners, majority of who are Muslims, as one between Christians and members of their religion.
So far it is only the APC the party of northern – born President Buhari that is likely to have a southerner as its presidential candidate in 2023 and that looks to be Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Governor of Lagos State (1999 – 2007). Or Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo who some people are now urging to contest in 2023. Are the southern Governors who belong to the PDP (5 in the South – South, 1 in the South – West, 3 in the South – East and 1 APGA in Anambra State going to vote for the APC candidate? Or will they boycott the presidential poll?
Is the PDP not free to choose its candidate from the North if the majority of the members believe that is the way they can win the presidency in 2023? What I think southern governors should have done was to have appealed to the PDP in the interest of national unity to consider having its candidate from the South.
As I wrote and published in this column in September, last year I want the president in 2023 to be an Igbo man from the South – East. This is because the Head of State will need should be either a graduate of economics, a banker or businessman of international status. In the whole of the North the only politician who fits the bill is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP. In the South – West it is only Senator Tinubu while in the South – South it is only Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.
It is only in the South – East we have more than one in former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, a former Governor of Abia State, Professor Charles Soludo, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Dr. Kingsley Moghalu, a former Director of the CBN among others. There is also the fact that the Igbo have more big – time businessmen and are the most skillful and talented in commerce and the economy. So, a president of Igbo extraction can mobilize his people for the economic rejuvenation or revolution needed in the country.
But as a realist I also know that with the situation we are in Nigeria an Igbo is not likely to emerge as the president next year and this was why in the series I wrote in September last year I advised them to take the matter to God.
To this end, I suggested that if there is an Igbo man or men the Lord speaks with one – to – one as He does with me that the person or persons should raise the issue with Him. If I had not done so for late Chief Moshood Abiola in 1993 there was no way he would have won the June 12 election of that year.
The Most High confirmed this to Dr. Ore Falomo, Abiola’s personal physician on September 24, 1994 and until he died in 2019 he never denied my story which I wrote on in this column about four times from 2010 – 2019.
If the Igbo do not produce the president in 2023 it will be because they have nobody who talks directly with Almighty God. And if there is one or more, it was because he or they did not heed my advice to place the matter before the Ancient of Days.
As things stand today, the South – West is likely to produce the president in 2023. The first reason is that the majority of voters in the country are in the North – West and South – West, the zones of President Buhari and Senator Bola Tinubu.
The second is that most of the population in the three zones in the North, that is, North – West, North – East and in the North – Central states of Kwara, Kogi and Niger are Muslims. And they would want Tinubu, a Muslim, to succeed Buhari who also belongs to their religion. And for ethnic reason the majority of the Yoruba in the South – West are likely to also vote for him.
The understandable desire of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to have a nation for the Igbo as some Yoruba activists also want for the South – West, is another reason many Hausa and Fulani people in the North are not likely to vote for an Igbo to be the country’s president in 2023. But I pray that one day, and sooner than later, that an Igbo will become the President of Nigeria and set the country on the path of greatness if none of those before him or her was able to do so.
10 topmost immigrant Lagosians – Alhaji Mohammed Shitta–Bey (1824 to Wednesday, July 14, 1895)
The only Muslim among the 10 topmost immigrant Lagosians, he was the son of Alhaji Salu Shitta and his wife, Aishat. Mohammed added Bey to the family’s name when the Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Hamid II in recognition of his exemplary philanthropy gave him the title of Bey.
This is a title given by the Sultan of Turkey to people with special lineages to the leaders or rulers of variously sized areas in the numerous Turkic kingdoms, emirates, sultanates and empires in Central Asia, South Asia, and The Middle East.
Shitta – Bey’s parents were slaves rescued by the British West African Squadron when being taken to the West Indies or the United States and who were resettled in the village of Waterloo in Sierra Leone. In 1831, when he was seven years old the family relocated to Fourah Bay where his father became the Imam of the town’s Muslim community.
In 1844 the family left Sierra Leone to live in Badagry in Nigeria. But the town of origin of the Shittas in Yoruba land before they were captured is not known. As a result of a serious crisis in Badagry in 1852 the Shittas moved to live in Lagos.
Shortly after they arrived in the town, Mohammed who was then 28 years old became an agent to the firms of Pinnock B & Co and Messrs. Miller & Co and made significant money which enabled him to buy a tract of land in Egga, a town along the Niger where he built a factory.
He was so successful that in 1881 he acquired a steamer (steamship or steam – driven ship) to convey goods from River Niger to Lagos, trading in such commodities as ivory, kola nut, egusi (melon), gum copal, hides and clothes.
Popularly known as Olowo Pupa, owner of red money because of his famous gold cowrie coins, he also expanded his business activities to Sierra Leone.
Alhaji Shitta – Bey was a philanthropist who made funds available for the growth of Islam in Lagos and Sierra Leone, including building mosques in both countries, among which was the Jamiul Salaam Mosque in Foulah town. In particular, he was the major donor for the construction of the Lagos Central Mosque in 1873.
In appreciation of his invaluable service he was elected the first Seriki Musulumi of Lagos (the Leader of the Muslims in Lagos) and the premier patron of the Shitta – Bey Mosque in Lagos.