Suddenly, brother hates brother. Friend no longer sees eye to eye with childhood friend. Vitriol flows from all directions. All because of politics. All because of the different alphabets our wannabe leaders have combined to fashion out their brand. At the last count, there were 91 such combinations with Accord (A) being the first and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) being the last in alphabetical order.
You don’t need to search far on social media to see how politics has divided us. The Big Two – All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) account for most of the scalps so far harvested in this festival of bile. Supporters of the incumbent president brand themselves Buharists while those loyal to the PDP candidate describe themselves as being Atikulated. There is no dull moment when the unstoppable force of Buharists collides with the immovable Atikulated object.
CHYKE: I have never been more convinced about an issue in my life. Atiku will defeat Buhari in a landslide. He will split the votes in the North, clear the Middle Belt, win the Southeast and South-South and have a good showing in the Southwest.
CHYKE: We are at the same stage we were four years ago when APC took advantage of PDP’s loss of popularity. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Jonathan was a better president than Buhari and Atiku will be an even better president than both.
HADU: Haha, that is not what your record says. Under PDP, the central bank was an extension of the party’s purse; ministers became dollar billionaires; judges routinely took bribes to deliver custom-made judgements; overinflated contracts were never executed; the foreign reserve was mercilessly looted; everything PDP touched turned to dust.
CHYKE: But we have apologised to Nigerians. The nation will witness a rebirth with our rebranded PDP.
HADU: You don’t know the meaning of that word. You destroy the biggest black nation on earth in 16 years of kleptocracy and you think a simple apology is all it takes to return to power?
CHYKE: Why not? The same corruption is going on now, only that the actors are different. In any case, now that most Nigerians want restructuring, Buhari is finished. Everyone knows that he wants the decadent system preserved because it serves his purpose. He will be disgraced in the entire south.
HADU: How simplistic! What are your calculations?
CHYKE: According to INEC records, the Southeast has 7,028,560 registered voters; I expect 60% turnout, which is 4,217,136. Atiku will clear 80% of the votes, that’s 3,373,709. The Southwest has 14,298,356 registered voters. If 60% show up, that’s 8,579,014. Atiku will score 45%, which is 3,860,556. The South-south has 8,937,057 registered voters. If 65% of them vote, that’s 5,809,087. Atiku will score 60%, that’s 3,485,452. There are 7,675,369 registered voters in the North Central out of which I expect about 65% (4,988,990) to vote. Atiku will score 55% which is 2,743,944. The Northeast has 10,038,119 registered voters but because of security challenges, only 50% will vote; that’s 5,019,060. It is Atiku’s home region and he will score 60% which is 3,011,436. The Northwest has 18,900,543 registered voters. If 65% turn out, that would be 12,285,353 voters. Atiku will score 38% which is 4,668,434. Now, total all those figures and you will see that a man who scores 21,143,532 is the next president.
HADU: All your calculations are childishly flawed. Look at the South-south. Have you forgotten that Akpabio has tilted the scales in Akwa Ibom State? Then, is Edo not an APC state? Also, you don’t know that two of the three senators representing Rivers State are in APC? Then, your analysis of the Southeast is simplistic. You can’t take the Southwest from Buhari, no matter how much you try to sow bad blood between him and Bola Tinubu. Yorubas are wiser than you are willing to admit. And in the North, Atiku will be smashed roundly. In the Northwest, for example, the number of registered voters in Jigawa is 1,852,698; Kano 5,135,415; Katsina 2,931,668; Kaduna 3,565,762; Kebbi 1,603,468; Sokoto 2,065,508; and Zamfara 1,746,024. Buhari will clear more than 70% of the votes there and in Atiku’s Northeast. Mark my words. Yes, North Central may be shared but Buhari will add new votes from South-South and Southeast. It will not even be close. Unfortunately for you and your type, Buhari is known nationally as incorruptible. He is not perfect, but Nigerians trust him. They will never go back to their vomit.
HADU: What you fear most will overtake you when you discover that you’re stuck with Buhari till 2023. Accept my sympathy in advance.
DESCENT TO THE PAST?
Journalist Lasisi Olagunju recently caught my attention with the following: “The owners of Nigeria are no longer pretending. They are out, abducting the destiny of Nigeria right here in the open field. The beautiful ones may still be unborn; they may be doing press-ups in the belly of time, but the powerful ones are born, they are here already – and their spirit is the soul of the new Nigeria at work.…”
My counsel: don’t lose your friends because of partisan politics. They may be your only possession when politics is over.