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2023 Election: Freedom Square Discusses Vice Presidential Candidates And Issues Arising

Seasoned broadcast journalists on Saturday in a radio interactive program, Freedom Square, on Solid 100.9 FM, Enugu, analyzed the current political developments in Nigeria with respect to the choice of vice presidential candidates for the three major political parties – namely PDP, APC and LP.
The nation has witnessed a lot of political intrigue in the past few weeks as different political parties’ presidential candidates picked their running mates. Alhaji Atiku Abubaka of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) picked Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa; Alhaji Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) picked Alhaji Kabiru Masari; and the trail blazing Dr. Peter Obi of the Labor Party (LP) picked Dr. Datti Ahmed as his vice presidential candidate.
Reacting to the development whereby Ayo Fayose led some APC governors to see Gov. Nyesom Wike who appears agitated for missing the PDP VP slot, Mr. Wordshot Amaechi, a writer and on-air personality, said that for the typical Nigerian politician, party is insignificant. He maintained that the parties are association of men who want the same thing and that politicians keep switching sides to get at advantageous position.
“These men you saw visiting Wike were not party members of anything. They are politicians who want to know if they can move from one position of advantage or less advantage to a position of more advantage. So, Wike that you are seeing at this moment could as well be Wike of Labor Party, Wike of APC, or Wike of new party.
“It doesn’t really matter. What matters to him is his position in 2023. He wanted to be president and I can tell you clearly that if he can get it possibly from a new party, assuming he is not going to the infracting the law in any way, he will go, he will port, that is the latest word now.”
He pointed out that Wike may have learnt a lesson to stick to his region, the south, and remain loyal to his people, having been betrayed by Gov. Aminu Tambuwal who decided to vote against him in favor of his Northern brother, Atiku.
Mr. Amaechi is of the opinion that our politics should be about the individual candidates and not political parties that lack clear ideology and are easily hijacked by political gladiators to the detriment of the people. “Nigeria needs a credible individual, a motivational leader at the moment,” he added.
In his own submissions on the South West APC governors’ visit to Gov. Wike in Port Harcourt, Mr. Uche Gabriel, General Manager, Solid 100.9 FM, pointed out that the Yorubas are not interested in parties as they meet across parties. He said that they are all rooting for their clansman, Bola Tinubu, irrespective of which political party each one of them belongs to because of their regional interest.
Mr. Uche observed that it was challenging and took time for Tinubu to pick a vice presidential candidate because Nigeria is stuck with ethno-religious politics and that it is the same both in the North and in the South.
In his words:
“There is this so much noise about Christians and Muslims, downplaying other people who probably don’t even pander to any of the two. Shouldn’t we be as bothered about Christian/Muslim – are we not excluding other people?”
He said that religion or ethnicity should not be an issue if the constitution works and that the high level of political awareness in Nigeria now is healthy for our democracy.
The analysts were of the opinion that Dr. Peter Obi of the Labor Party got it right by picking Dr. Datti Ahmed as his running mate. For one, he is sound intellectually and has a good track record. He also strikes the South/North cum Christian/Muslim balance in the power sharing formula of Nigeria.
There have been wide objections to the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC whereby people express apprehension about the fate of non-Muslims wherein we have a Muslim President and a Muslim Vice President in office.
Hon. Uchenna Cyril Anioke PhD, media guru and the anchor of the radio program, however, maintained that it does not matter if we have a Muslim-Muslim or Christian-Christian ticket, what is paramount is that we have credible leaders who can solve our problems and move the country forward.
In conclusion, the guests agreed that Nigeria’s problem is neither ethnicity nor religion, however, politicians use those diversities to divide the people in order to advance their selfish interests.

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