On one hand, the momentum is gathering for factors that will decide alliances and possibilities ahead of the 2023 presidential poll, on the other, political analysts are busy with their permutation over the election which is expected to be an epoch-making one.
As the quest for who will take over from President Muhammadu Buhari heightens, three powerful bigwigs from the southern region stand out as forces to contend with.
The fact that these high-ranking public servants are of southern extraction amid increasing calls for the zoning of the presidency to the region leaves much to be considered.
These persons are:
1. Yemi Osinbajo
Although in a Punch publication, the Nigerian vice president had made it known through his media aide, Laolu Akande, that he has no intention to run for the presidency, the expectation among a considerable number of well-meaning citizens is that he should take his political career a step higher.
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2. Governor Kayode Fayemi
The Ekiti governor who seems to have a very small list of detractors naturally endears himself to the hearts of those who still believe in the leadership.
As the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Fayemi is in a clique of influential governors who can pull massives strings when it comes to the presidency.
3. Babatunde Raji Fashola
Loved more as a technocrat who evidentially knows his onions than as a politician, the minister of works and housing often command rapped attention whenever he speaks.
Countless Lagosians are of the view that if this former governor gets the chance to become president, Nigeria will experience more of the swift positive changes Lagos state witnessed under him.
4. Governor Dave Umahi
Even if the Ebonyi governor may not be extremely popular because of insecurity challenges characterised by IPOB/ESN members' activities in the state, his recent defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) draws him nearer to power at the centre.
It may not be a mere thing of chance that Umahi's defection to the ruling party coincides with growing agitations for an Igbo presidency from the southeast.
2023: New poll indicates VP Osinbajo is the best candidate to succeed President Buhari
Earlier, as conversations around who would emerge Nigeria’s next president in 2023 gradually took centre stage, pundits positioned Osinbajo ahead of other eminent Nigerians listed in a poll published on Monday, July 9.
The poll followed an interview of former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida conducted by journalists on who should be Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Aside from educational qualification, Babangida cited age and experience as important determinants for selecting Buhari’s successor in 2023, stating categorically that an energetic individual in his 60s should be considered by Nigerians for the job.