Vice Presidency in Nigeria; How Useful?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by Izu, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. Izu

    Izu Admin Staff Member

    Vice Presidential position has been described by some of the people who have held the job as an insignificant position that gets attention every four years – during an election when presidential candidates are choosing the other half of their ticket. They proclaim amidst pomp and pageantry – Here's my Vice President, a man of timber and calibre – Prof/Dr/Pastor/Chief/Mr Akpakumenze. Four or eight years after, they hardly transcend to become the President if they even remained in the good books of their Bosses.

    A detailed examination of this trend revealed some shocking data. In the United States, 47 have served the U.S. since 1789. Only 14 became presidents. Out of these number, half was as a result of the death of their boss. In post-apartheid South Africa, only Thabo Mbeki became President immediately after serving as the vice. This is because he served under a man of impeccable character–Nelson Mandela.
    In Nigeria, only Obasanjo and Jonathan became Head of State and President respectively due to the death of their bosses. From Nnamdi Azikiwe and Tafawa Balewa (not basically President and Vice but can pass for the case of this discussion) to JTU Aguiyi Ironsi and Babafemi Ogundipe who was too scared to come closer after the assassination of his boss. He was quoted saying: “how can I be head of state when I do not have the military under my control”.
    Then came Yakubu Gowon and Wey who were mildly removed by Murtala Muhammed, who chose Olusegun Obasanjo as his Deputy. When Murtala was assassinated, OBJ became the Head of State. So, the only reason OBJ became Head of State was death. If Murtala was to be alive, ObJ might never be Head of State. Death brought him luck – luck indeed! Obasanjo Deputy was Shehu Musa Yar'Adua. Upon all his military and political clout, the Head of State position eluded him. Obasanjo handed over to Shehu Shagari. His Vice, Dr Alex Ekwueme HRH was imprisoned by President Buhari after ousting them in his 1983 coup. Ekwueme, the man Igbos used to negotiate power, was jailed. That permutation and calculation that Igbos would be President failed we learn? History will repeat itself if we do not learn.
    Buhari Deputy was Idiagbon. They were both removed by Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB). IBB Deputy was supposed to be the "powerful" Sani ABACHA. However, IBB who is “badder” moved him to Defence and allowed Augustus Aikhomu be his Deputy. Even at that, he was not made the President when IBB stepped aside. Ernest Shonekon was brought in. Subsequently, ABACHA removed Shonekan, Neither Aikhomu or ABACHA succeeded IBB directly. ABACHA administration was brutal. He even arrested his deputy Donaldson Oladipo Diya. Who does that? This reinforces my argument that Vice is simply not good enough. Upon his death, Abdulsalami Abubakar became the head of state while Mike Okhai Akhigbe became the Vice. Who still remember Mike Akhigbe? Vice is a poisonous chalice – do not take!

    In 1999, when Abdulsalami handed power over to Obasanjo, OBJ wanted to play Mr nice guy to his Vice Atiku. He wanted to change and respect the Office the way Murtala gave him respect – perhaps, not sure if that was the reason. The economic team selection and other influential appointments were left on his watch, while OBJ was junketing the world in search of investors. Atiku became so powerful that people alleged OBJ knelt down in front of Atiku for his second term ambition blessing and endorsement. Afterwards, the rest is history. OBJ opposed Atiku's decisions of recommendations with his last blood. If not that Igbos who were the Senate President then sympathised with Atiku, he would have been removed and replaced. Instead of allowing Atiku who would sustain his legacy, a lesser known Governor Yar'dua received OBJ's endorsement while another unknown soldier – Jonathan received the VP nomination. Just like OBJ during his first missionary journey, Jonathan boss died while in office. He became the President and selected Sambo as Vice. When Sambo was chosen, the plan was for him to succeed GEJ. You know the rest of the story.
    From the foregoing – Death of the President is the only avenue for a Vice to become President –Sad. Could it be possible that the SW mirrored their strategy on this hence their unflinching support to an older candidate instead of younger ones that showed interest during APC primaries – Tambuwal, El Rufai, among others?
    As Ndigbo jostle up and down in preparation to play second fiddle come 2019, is this what you wish for us? Why will any Igbo man support our notable best brains, Peter Obi, Ngozi Iweala, Dr Ben Omalu, Dr Ngige, Sen Ekwelemadu, Prof Soludo, among many outstanding candidates with the capacity to turn things around be a Vice – a hardly used spare Tyre? Look at Prof Osibanjo, a professor of Law keeping silent while the rule of law is massacred under his nose and impunity reigning high. What of the Professor of Education, made a junior minister under a journalist and he accepted? He cannot make any decision his boss does not approve which has resulted in the chaos in our educational system. Look at our Own Ike Oha - he can only do things Saraki desires. Any day there is insubordination on his part, he may not survive the political apocalypse.
    My brothers and sisters, Vice Presidential slot, is a "use-less" position that should never be a negotiating tool. Ladies and gentlemen, friends of the Igbos, please do not vote any Igbo man that accepts to be Vice President to any presidential candidate – he is there for his personal interest. Support Igbos, as we prepare to bring out a Nigerian of Igbo extraction for President, come 2019.

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