Reno Omokri: My ideal ticket for 2023



My Ideal Ticket For 2023

Many people have asked me if former President Jonathan is going to contest the 2023 Presidential election and I have refused to comment publicly until now.

The most honourable man in Nigeria today, bar none, is former President Jonathan. If he were going to run, would I even be associating with another candidate? Relax people. The day former President Jonathan declared is the day I will temporary retire from active politics until after the 2023 Presidential elections because I cannot do or say anything against Dr. Jonathan.

And please disregard the news credited to my very close associate, Reuben Abati, that former President Jonathan will soon declare. He never made any statement like that. At best, it is a figment of the imagination of that journalist.

The reason I have refused to speak publicly about this until now is because I am enjoying all the attention that former President Jonathan is getting and I want him to keep getting it. And I know that when and if I debunk these speculations, it will affect the attention he is receiving.

The truth is that that story is just a mere distraction, which would be obvious to people if they would calmly give it some thought without being carried away by the headlines.

Which brings me to the other question that I keep getting asked. I was asked this question on air by the AriseTV crew during The Morning Show of Wednesday April 13, 2022.

Who is my ideal candidate for 2023, amongst those that have so far declared their intention to run.

Of all the aspirants so far, Atiku Abubakar is the best in my opinion. Not the best Northern candidate. The best. Period! He has been prepared since 1993. He has a plan for creating jobs and ending insecurity, which makes sense. As VP, He successfully led the Economic Management Team and drove the deregulation of the telecom sector and by that action, created millions of jobs for Nigerians and exploded our GDP. He helped calm this nation during the Sharia crisis of 2000.

Fourteen years after leaving office, he employs more people than many state governments. He is detribalised. He has already demonstrated that he can get at least 11 million votes. Why bring someone else to come and start from square one?

Peter Obi is an excellent candidate. Of all the Southern candidates, none is close to him in terms of records of past performance. He became a Governor without a Godfather. He fought powers to retain his mandate. And when he got it, he performed. He over performed! He took an educationally backward state and made her the number one in terms of WAEC and NECO results. His businesses are thriving and obvious to all.

Now, don’t get emotional and insult me. If you think I am wrong, then convince me. Come up with facts, as I have done. Divorce yourself from your ethnic and religious sentiments as I have done. Persuade me without appealing to ethno-religious sentiments. Give me cold hard facts. Do not whine to me about turn. None of those I support are ethically or consanguineously linked to me. As the Lord sees my heart, I am not on salary from them. I have spoken my conscience to a nation that is in dire need of leadership!

The easiest way to lose the 2023 election is to allow sentiments cloud your judgment. Politics tends to be a zero sum game. And while you can campaign on sentiments, you must strategise based on reality. The simple reason for this is that you have political opposition. And they are not going to allow sentiments blind them, even if you let them blind you.

Now, what are the realities? Whether we like it or not, the Northwest had the highest voter turnout in the 2019 Nigerian Presidential election, while the Southeast had the lowest. I am not just talking about voter registration numbers here. I am referring to the percentage of eligible voters who actually turned up to vote on Election Day.

Instead of getting angry about this and looking for who to insult or blame, learn to accept facts. That is the first step in improving them in the future.

The All Progressives Congress looks likely to hand its ticket to a person of Southwestern origin. This is almost 75% certain. Any person of Southeast origin who actually coughs up ₦100 million for the APC’s Presidential nomination form is actually delusional.

If you believe that a party jointly controlled by a man who insulted Igbos as “a dot in a circle”, and another man whose wife publicly said “Igbo we no dey trust una” will allow you get their Presidential ticket, you are a big F**L, who deserves to lose his money!

The man in Aso Rock already told you his mind on July 25, 2015, when he said those who gave him ‘5% of their votes can’t be treated the same as those who gave him 97%’. You are a five percenter, and you want to pay ₦100 million for APC’s Presidential nomination form. No be juju be that?

Now, bear in mind that in 2019, the Southwest delivered almost 4 million votes, while the Southeast delivered 2 million votes.

So, as a mathematician, if the All Progressive Congress picks someone from the Southwest as their Presidential candidate, and that person picks his or her running mate from either the NW (8.2 million votes in 2019), or the NC (4.5 million votes in 2019), how does the Peoples Democratic Party intend to win by picking its Presidential candidate from any zone with a weaker voting strength than the Southwest, Northwest, Northeast (4.3 million votes in 2019) and North-central?

As I have previously said, elections are won by votes, not by sentiments. Sadly, Nigeria’s politics has not evolved to the point where a political party can win an election based solely on what a candidate brings to the table intrinsically. I would like for Nigeria to be like that, but we are not there yet.

Even Christ said:

“Suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?”-Luke 14:31.

The reality is that you can actually predict the outcome of an election based on where the candidates come from.

So while I empathise with those who believe that a particular candidate, who happens to be my friend, and who is in his 60s, should be given the PDP ticket on a platter of gold, because he is the best candidate in their opinion, I know for a fact that the PDP will LOSE if it is foolish enough to try that.

I come from a microscopic ethnic minority. My ethnic nationality may very well be one of the smallest in Nigeria. We have compensated for our small numbers by knowing how to think and act devoid of sentiments, and with political precision.

In 1999, the Southwest got the Presidency on a platter of gold because, to correct the historical wrong of June 12, 1993, both major political parties conceded their Presidential tickets to the Southwest. Barring a repeat of that, any region that wants to produce the President of Nigeria has to achieve that by making ruthlessly precise political moves.

Merely stating ‘it is our turn’ and insulting the life out of people who do not agree with you (instead of attempting to persuade them, which people of this mindset are not even making the slightest attempt to do) will just lead to four more years in the political wilderness.

Consider also that a particular group and a particular man have made a particular geopolitical zone very unpopular in the North, especially in the last four years. This is the bitter truth. And if you want to be told sweet nothings, then please just wait to be disillusioned on Election Day. But I am not prepared to join you in your disillusionment.

Let me use the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, as an example to some regions. This man is from the Northwest. His zone delivered 8.2 million votes during the 2019 Presidential election. Yet, he is gentlemanly going round Nigeria consulting, appealing, persuading, kneeling, stooping, and genuflecting.

Now, how do you expect to defeat someone like him, or others from the NE and NC, when instead of persuading, you are so antagonistic to anybody who cannot see 2023 exactly as you see it?

You cannot be advised, or counselled. The minute anyone tries to give you insight, you either lecture them, or you heap opprobrium on them. Ore wa, the problem with you is you.

Many people think the Southeast has the lowest voter numbers because of low population. False. 8 study politics like a science. The reason behind their low numbers is because South-easterners don’t turn up to during voter registration in the quantum that other regions do!

Too often, they drive down their numbers by moving to other geopolitical zones for commerce and the result is that their numbers are not concentrated. Igbos go home for Christmas. Northerners go home for vote registration and elections!

Having said that, let me also say that It is so sad that Ngige is now publicly attacking Peter Obi and de-marketing him. How many of the Southwest Presidential aspirants are publicly selling-marketing each other? Peter Obi is probably the best Governor Nigeria ever produced. As a fellow Igbo, Ngige should not de-market Obi because of APC ticket you will NEVER get.

Google it. I am not Igbo. I am not from Anambra. Yet, when the Onitsha market fire occurred, I donated money to the victims. Ngige is from Anambra. How much did he donate? Chicken change. Yet he has ₦100 million for APC nomination form. People like Ngige love power more than they love their people!

Reno Omokri

Gospeller. Business Insider Magazine’s Business Influencer or the Year, 2022. Deep Thinker. #1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years. Avid traveller. Hollywood Magazine Film Festival Humanitarian of the Year, 2019.