On Friday, the third force movement, Labour Party, which is consistently shaking the social media to its root and subtle rattling political giants in the two dominant parties; the All Progressive Congress, APC, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, announced former lawmaker, Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed as Peter Obi’s running mate.
That singular announcement has sparked even more excitement among the social media warriors, or more so, the formidable righteous followers or the Peter Obi popularly identified as ‘OBIdients’.
Baba Ahmed comes with a rich profile in politics and the business world and of course, has the perfect age advantage to win prospective voters clamouring for change over to the ever rising Labour Party.
He might have lived for 53 (Born 7 July, 1969) years, but Baba-Ahmed is new to the Twitter world and that is the headquarters of the Labour Party ‘unstructured’ movement.
Joined (Twitter) in early days of July 2022 and Baba Ahmed has already gathered a massive followership of over 34,000 in eight days!
A little more profiling into the new bride of the Labour Party as earlier reported by Quest Times: He is among the thirty-three children of his father, Baba Ahmed, who was an Arab cattle-trader from modern-day Mauritania who later became a notable professor and expert on Islamic jurisprudence.
The 53-year-old is an academic and businessman and was once a presidential aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2018.
He was a member of the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007 and was elected Senator for Kaduna North, in Kaduna State, Nigeria in April 2011; running on the Congress for Progressive Change ticket, with a remarkable record of the credit of sponsoring important legislation within a short time.
Baba-Ahmed has four degrees; a BSc and MSc in Economics from the University of Maiduguri, an MBA from the University of Wales, Cardiff, and in 2006, he completed his PhD studies, earning the title of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Westminster. He is also the Proprietor and Chancellor of Baze University, Abuja, and Baba-Ahmed University, Kano.
Senator Baba-Ahmed is a well-accomplished philanthropist. Among many of his corporate social responsibility projects; he built and donated two junior secondary schools with a total capacity of 4,000 students. It is worthy of note that the schools have graduated over 6,000 students to date.
In 2015, Senator Baba-Ahmed was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Hope Alive Foundation – which campaigns for the post-service economic survival of corps members who suffered permanent disability during service.
He has been there and about youthful dealings and his recent interview on Channels Television also opened the eyes of thousand others into the deep intelligence of Baba-Ahmed; safe to say he belongs to the same school of thought with his principal, Peter Obi, in quoting numbers at the top of their heads, that, of course, is a plus as only a few have thrived in the number politics in Nigeria.
But politics in Nigeria is about to be tested if the voters are now ready to separate candidates capacity from political parties.
One of the names that come to mind in northern (in fact, Nigerian) politics is Abubakar Atiku; a retired customs officer, astute businessman and a political figure for more than three decades having entered the big scene in 1989.
Atiku is a perennial presidential aspirant, it is safe to say he is the longest standing presidential aspirant in today’s politics.
He has not always lost elections; he won the governorship election in his home state, Adamawa in 1999 before he joined President Olusegun Obasanjo at Aso Rock as his Vice President.
With bottomless pit of financial resources from business and politics and very strong influence that cuts across all political landscape, simply put, he is a master of the game.
Atiku once boasted that pulling over a 11 million votes in the last election is not an easy feat.
With the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the ballot box for the first time since 2003, Atiku is widely tipped as the next big wig with a somewhat above-average northern acceptance and might be winning it on paper.
His biggest challenge right now is managing the war inside the PDP where the number of aggrieved members are increasing by the day. Chief of them all are neglected Vice Presidential hopeful Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who is already being romanced by governors of the ruling party, APC.
Another upset within the PDP crack is Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, he called Atiku a betrayer for neglecting Wike as VP choice.
And a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose thinks power should return to the South and by implication is not in support of Atiku’s candidacy.
The APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, call him BAT if you like, maybe Jagaban, a northern title that is now adopted as a national title by his supporters.
He is the kingmaker that got tired of the exalted office of making kings, now he wants to be king, he is on track, “Emi lokan,” he said in an explosive briefing at Abeokuta.
Riding on the coast of the ruling party who has earned hard knocks by critics for getting Nigeria into hot waters economically and worsening the average cost of living, which once earned Nigeria the poverty capital of the world at a time.
Tinubu’s candidacy is almost a hard sell any way you put it for the APC. But can Tinubu count on Buhari’s over 12 million votes when he first lost to Obasanjo in 2003 to the over 15 million he got to become president in 2015?
Of course, majority of APC’s vote came from the north in previous elections, which at a time provoked the unpopular phrase from Buhari when he said he cannot leave those that gave him over 95% votes to focus on those that gave him 3% (paraphrased)
With Umar Ganduje, the Kano State governor, controlling the most politically relevant state in the north also in Tinubu’s camp, he might just have a grip on the likely outcome of that state and region.
One more problem for him like Atiku is internal, I mean within his on self; his state of health.
No matter how we pancake it, the APC candidate has a fragile state of health, videos in different public spaces have proven it, not even the day he won the party ticket; it took a Buhari, an assumed ailing president to provide a third hand for Tinubu to get a grip on the party’s flag. The party chairman, Adamu Adamu, was also the other pillar that sustained Tinubu’s other hand; it was that bad.
Then there is a former governor of Kano, Rabiu Kwankwaso, a Senator, former Minister of Defence and more importantly, a very local, grassroots politician.
He has a movement, they call themselves Kwankwasiya, a very strong unrepentant, sworn disciples of the Kwankwaso school of politics. It would have been more worrisome for Atiku and Tinubu if Kwankwaso’s New Nigeria Political Party, NNPP, with Peter Obi’s Labour Party reached a compromise in their merger talks.
But of course, that fallout was why Baba Ahmed is in national news again.
No doubt, Kwankwaso’s interest in presidency is a big deal for whatever APC or PDP are expecting to get from Kano State.
I am sure Kwankwaso is sure winning the election is a tall order, but its weight among northern states would be felt and might just be another opener for Labour Party to sneak in on the trickles.
Of course, Baba Ahmed is not a small fry even in the north especially with huge family connection, but how he would pull his weight running against power bloc like Atiku, Ganduje, Kwankwaso and others remains to be seen.
But with subtle revolution developing on social media and the rush for voters’ cards by some ‘OBIdient youths’ who are vehemently against the continuous reign of APC and PDP, there might just be an unclear chance for Baba-Ahmed, Peter Obi and the Labour Party to explore.