The Hausa-Fulani caucus leaders and those of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) have concluded a deal to wrest power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, a political intelligence report recently made available to the Presidency has revealed.
The report prepared by some loyalists of the president was reported to have detailed the deal between the Yoruba leaders, mostly from the ACN under Senator Bola Tinubu and Hausa-Fulani elite under General Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the report, the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) is to select its presidential standard-bearer from the North, while the vice-presidential candidate is to come from the South-West geopolitical zone.
The report noted further that opposition adopted this approach because of the conviction that the Hausa-Fulani and the Yoruba have the votes and the majority to deliver at the polls, especially as both Kano and Lagos are expected to fall into the hands of the opposition in 2015.
The deal also reportedly envisages giving a key portfolio to the South-East and the North-Central even as it suggests that the Hausa-Fulani population in the North-Central is growing by the day.
The deal has a mathematical undertone based on the electoral strength of the political zones in the country.
According to the report, the opposition had reasoned that the South-West, currently controlled by ACN, has 19.4 per cent of the national voting population which in real terms translate to about 14.4 million voters.
The North-West has about 26.9 per cent of the votes, meaning about 19 million votes while the North East has about 15.8 per cent of the votes which is about 11.6 million votes.
Opposition's calculation, according to the report, is to claim, at least, half of votes in the North-East and another half in the North-Central, meaning about 11.5 per cent while the North-West and the South-West both controlled 46.3 per cent of the national voting population.
The South-East and the South-South is regarded as having low voting threat even if bloc votes are delivered for the president A friend of the president and a former top minister, who is privy to the report, said the deal would have been ignored but for the danger it poses to the electoral strategy of the ruling party if the president decides to stand re-election.
"We are legitimately worried. The Hausa-Fulani connotes Muslim affiliation, even if you are a minority in the north. That widens the scope to include many states of the North-Central which is our base. We don't want to dismiss the agenda without bringing it to the attention of the president," the former minister from the North Central said.
According to him, "We have also done our political calculations too but we need to address this emerging threat. We must have our own inclusive strategy."
There are, however, reports that the Presidency, even before the report, had commenced moves to address nagging issues affecting the fortunes and image of the ruling party in the South-West.
A top party chief, who is directly involved in the feud rocking the party, disclosed that political solution is being considered on such issues as the disputed office of the National Secretary and the zonal executive committee election scheduled to hold after the Ramadan.
According to the politician, "People have stepped into the matter to find a political solution. We are waiting for a resolution at least to reunite the party in the zone," he said.
Some PDP bigwigs in the South-West were also reported to have used the launching for the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to push for further acceleration of implementation of federal projects in the zone.
Meanwhile, it was not clear what the response of the ruling party is to the report on the core north-Yoruba deal while it is also not clear yet how practicable the opposition agenda will be in reality.