Executive Mistakes Threaten APC's Support Base in North

Byline: Mohammed Bello Doka,
Abuja Network News. 

In a surprising turn of events, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) is seeing a decline in support from its most populous base due to two critical decisions made by President Tinubu's handlers and advisors. This comes less than 100 days into the highly anticipated Renewed Hope government.

During the recent 2023 general elections, President Tinubu received more votes from the North Western states of Nigeria than any other region, narrowly defeating his opponents Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party. One factor that contributed to his victory was the controversial choice of a Muslim running mate, creating a Muslim-Muslim ticket that faced significant opposition.

However, two decisions have caused turmoil within this crucial support base. Firstly, President Tinubu's role as chair of ECOWAS led to a call for military intervention to restore democracy in Niger Republic. This decision is severely eroding trust, support, and popularity in the core North, which largely influences the political direction of other Northern regions.

Many perceive any attempt to fight Niger by a Nigerian-led coalition as a threat to the already fragile North, plagued by armed banditry, tribal tensions, Boko Haram extremism, and other challenges. The close proximity of Northern Nigeria to Niger Republic, with seven different borders, heightens concerns. Moreover, Northern Nigerians have strong familial and kinship ties with Nigeriens, Cameroonians, and Chadians, making any conflict with Niger Republic appear as an attack from a Southern President on the North.

Secondly, the removal of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai from President Tinubu's ministerial list is perceived as a betrayal in the North. El-Rufai's contribution to President Tinubu's success in the recent elections cannot be overstated. Although El-Rufai expressed his intention not to accept any political appointment after his tenure as Kaduna state Governor, President Tinubu insisted on his inclusion in the cabinet based on El-Rufai's capabilities and proven track record.

President Tinubu's sudden lack of trust in El-Rufai has led many to view it as a betrayal of one of the North's finest minds and sons. Consequently, clerics and traditional institutions in the North have united in condemning this action, which could have devastating consequences for the ruling party and the President himself.

It is evident that President Tinubu's advisors may have their own self-interests at heart, potentially leading to his downfall. However, there is still time for the President to address these issues before they spiral out of control.

Political analysts argue that President Tinubu needs to regain the trust and support of the North by reassessing his decision to intervene militarily in Niger Republic. A diplomatic approach that focuses on engaging with regional leaders in finding peaceful solutions would be more appreciated and well-received.

Regarding Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, President Tinubu should consider reaching out to him personally, acknowledging his contribution and expressing his regret for any mistake made. Offering him a significant role or advisory position within the government could go a long way in mending fences and restoring faith in the leadership.

Furthermore, President Tinubu should strive to surround himself with advisors who prioritize the interests of the Nigerian people above personal gains. This will help him regain credibility and ensure that his decisions are grounded in the best interests of the nation.

In the face of these challenges, the opposition parties are watching closely, hoping to capitalize on any further decline in support for the ruling APC. President Tinubu must act swiftly and decisively to address these concerns if he wants to maintain his hold on power and secure a successful tenure.

The North represents a crucial voting bloc in Nigerian politics, and losing its support could have far-reaching implications for President Tinubu's ability to implement his agenda. It is vital for him to listen to the grievances of the North and take earnest steps towards reconciliation and rebuilding trust within the region.

In conclusion, President Tinubu's government is facing significant threats to its support base in the North due to two critical mistakes. The decision to call for military intervention in Niger Republic and the removal of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai from the ministerial list have created divisions and discontent in a region that played a pivotal role in Tinubu's electoral victory. To prevent further deterioration, President Tinubu must act swiftly and rectify these missteps, demonstrating his commitment to the well-being and unity of the nation.

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