October 2, 2022

It was on May 28, 2022, a few minutes after 12pm that the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention, former Senate President David Mark, declared former Vice President Atiku Abubakar winner of the 2022 PDP presidential primary election.
This set the ball rolling and changed the calculations of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to firm all its presidential aspirants, considering the political might Atiku enjoys from the North to South, especially as he is favoured by the northern demography.
Since then both international and national media, especially the social media have been awash with the filtering news of Atiku defeating his closest rival Governor Nyeson Wike of Rivers state, Bukola Saraki, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state, and other notable aspirants. 
Atiku’s victory speaks volumes on his decades of experience and long-term investment in politics and how he has mastered the game over the years. Since his debut in Nigerian politics in 1993, Atiku Abubakar has unsuccessfully contested five times for the Office of President of Nigeria in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 and now on his sixth trial. The 75-year-old Atiku has tested his popularity in different political parties. They include SDP in 1993, ACN in 2007, PDP in 2011, APC in 2015 and PDP in 2019 the flag he is flying in 2023. The PDP presidential primary election further showcase the parts readiness to work as a team to take over power. 
Buhari’s northern 12m votes
Political demography has always favoured President Muhammadu Buhari since joining active politics in 2003. He has maintained a range of 12m and above votes in the North with more than 50% of such votes coming from the KK states. According to Governor Aminu Tambuwal  of Sokoto state, the PDP must consider demography as the first step of reclaiming power from the APC. This may have guided his patriotic decision to step down for Atiku. It is clear now that PDP gave winning the next elections preference to pleasing the southern presidency agitators.
However the emergence of Atiku Abubakar has shown the readiness of PDP to take over if at all demography will continue to decide the Nigerian presidency. Political analysts are of the view that those 12m votes will go for Atiku should APC field a  southern candidate. Orji Uzo Kalu strongly advised APC to ensure that their ticket goes to the North if they must retain power. Nigerian democracy has not matured beyond tribe, religion and region. As it stands, APC seems to have zoned its presidential ticket to the South even though Senate President Ahmad Lawan and  Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state, among other northerners, are also jostling for the ticket.
Should Tinubu win the APC ticket
All eyes are now on the ruling All Progressives Congress national convention scheduled for June 6, 2022, to decide their presidential flagbearer. Bola Tinubu seems to be another Atiku in the APC because they share similar vast experience in Nigerian politics as no single political page can be flipped without blinking on one of the two political lions.They have been in politics for decades and paid the supreme price for Nigerian democracy. Both can boast up hundreds of boys with some being governors, ministers and legislators. 
However, Atiku’s torch currently can light a million of kilometres for his political party’s chances of winning the presidential election against Tinubu whose ambition is tied to who will be his running mate. Each time his name is mentioned the next question, even in rufan mai shayi (tea join), is who will be his vice from the North?
The annulment of the June 12, 1993 MKO/Kingibe presidential election (Muslim-Muslim) ticket is currently itching deeply in our democracy – PDP and Atiku’s chances are now brighter with the South-south slotting in for VP.
Tinubu’s emergence at the next APC national convention cannot affect the chances of Atiku unless VP Osinbanjo or Amaechi clinches the ticket. Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and secular divided as Muslim North and Christian South.
Since 1979, the cultural political practice has always been either a Muslim northern president and Christian southern vice president or otherwise; unless the Jagaban will rewrite the history of the nation’s ugly political narrative that has chased away competency and credibility to politics of our own.
Sad as it may be, Nigerians are forced to believe and stand by this theory that only a Christian candidate whose running mate will automatically be a northern Muslim can compete with Atiku. The major problem of Atiku ticket is who will deputise him between Wike, Okowa, Udom Emmanuel and Emeka Ideoha.
The South-east are in a dilemma of losing both the presidential and vice presidential slots as none of the political parties can take the dark risk with the increasing sit-at-home order by IPOB. Why if Simon Ekpan issues an order of sit-at-home on elections days? APC will definitely not give its presidential ticket to the South-east. should the South-west lose then the next door neighbour is the South-south unless they listen to Orji Kalu to reconsider the North.
The inability of the South-east to unite against their dream of winning the presidency does not go beyond issuing press statements because with 285 PDP national delegates only 14 voted for Anyim Pius Anyim. 
The APC greatest challenge is how to manage massive defections that may hit the party after its national convention, especially if Tinubu fails to clinch the party’s ticket.
Strong indication is that the Jagaban is working on an option of joining the Social  Democratic Party, a platform he won his senatorial seat 29 years ago.
The APC must get it right otherwise its desire to retain power may end up a premature retirements as PMB has only a year to go.
Atiku is out to end the North-east’s 62 years power drought. 
Danaudi, National President of Arewa Youths Advocate for Peace and Unity Initiative, writes from Bauchi via danaudicomra[email protected]
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