An elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has accused some cabal within the corridors of power as responsible for the upsurge in the number of aspirants jostling to pick the presidential tickets of both ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This is coming just as another prominent Nigerian and the Convener of the Northern Elders Forum, Professor Ango Abdullahi also accused the political class of seeing politics as a money venture rather than as an opportunity to serve the people. Echoing the same sentiment is the former President of Igbo think tank group, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Nwazurike who lamented that politics has become a business venture for politicians who lack a clear cut ideology of moving the nation forward. In separate telephone chats with Saturday Telegraph, they are unanimous in their thoughts that the situation has become a mockery of the country’s democratic process.
Commenting on the development, Yakassai blamed the upsurge in the number of presidential aspirants especially in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on shenanigans of people close to the government. The former presidential aide said that the move might also be the plan of power brokers to scuttle the ambition of some other aspirants towards the emergence of their preferred aspirants. Yakassai said, “Those close to the Villa” might be urging more people to come out as part of their plan to take the primaries to a runoff if possible.
“My suspicion is that they want to make it difficult for somebody to emerge at the first round, scatter the support base of some of the aspirants, so that there will be a second round of the primaries in which case they will manipulate the second round in favour of the person they are supporting to emerge as the winner.” He added that “I suspect that the proliferation of aspirants in the coming presidential primaries at the last minute might be the handiwork of some people close to the Villa.
Those people might be urging more people to come out. To him, the number (of presidential aspirants) has nothing to do with the country but those responsible, adding that “I also believe such people are experts in duping and conspiracy.” Speaking in the same vein, Ango Abdullahi stated that the process of charging exorbitant fees for aspirants is a prelude to fostering official corruption. “This is what we have been saying for a long time and the media has not helped matters by challenging this aberration. How can you charge such a humongous amount of money to get a party nomination and you expect the best from the process that throws up the leadership that would emerge after?” he said. ”Many of these people jostling are not really going there to earn a salary, they are going there to make profits and this is the corruption that we are talking about in the political parties.” The former university don said.