One of the distinguishing characteristics of a man about town Bachelor is the knowledge of all the sensible eateries in his area. I like to pride myself as one and that was exactly how I found myself in this familiar kitchen few days ago when hunger visited me unannounced.

Across me sat a hefty man whose name goes before him. I didn’t recognise him until another young man ( the personal assistant to the Honourable representing the constituency I reside) , strolled in and hailed him. They were both politicians but of different parties. The PA was younger and being Yoruba, deferred to the older man. They shared a table and bantered.

Expectedly both men soon began talking politics. These guys are big time players within the state and have their ears to the ground so I activated the only consolation for my poor sight, my sharp ears. They began with the ambition of the former of Governor of my state who is a Presidential Candidate in the forthcoming General Election.

Now realistically, it is nearly impossible for someone outside the Northern region of the country to emerge as the President of Nigeria in 2019. If the new crop of young aspirants in the race are blinded by ambition or passion, such crude fact can’t possibly escape a two time former Governor of a Southwest state. This has been a favourite topic among political pundits. What’s the former Governor’s game? He’s too experienced to know better. Blah blah blah.

Before now, using my layman’s small sense, I’d imagined the medical doctor turned politician shopping for a Vice Presidential slot using his Presidential ambition as a decoy. But event overtook my fantasy. I later found out from conspiracy theorists that my man, like another two time former Governor of a Southern state was strategically positioning himself for a runoff in the 2019 Presidential polls. I took this new explanation seriously having witnessed what became of the recent Osun gubernatorial election.

But the fresh insight I got from eavesdropping on Hefty that few days ago put many things in perspective for me. In fact, it critically answered a question my boss threw at me a week earlier. Why can’t the younger Presidential candidates unite and form a common front to displace the incumbent next year? Well according to Hefty, my former Governor who I have a soft spot for is more interested in 2023 than 2019 and his ambition is just a foundation to a carefully planned 2023 plot. After Buhari’s reelection, Southwest or more loosely South is the next stop according to our rotation by convention and the most well positioned and qualified persons are going to be the favourites.

At the moment, the number one politician in Southwest is the Lion of Bourdillon. Despite his growing frailties, the old fox is still actively interested in presiding the country. This explains why younger former governors from the Southwest like the one from my state and the one leaving office to go back to the Senate where he’s been before are readying themselves by seeking political offices with more national outlook.

Politics especially in Nigeria is deep. After gleaning here and there from the table of the politicians, I paid for my meal and left. But their discussion kept reverberating in my head. These people don’t care about us. They only care about themselves. Doesn’t this also explain why the Moghalus, Sowores and that clown who wasn’t on ground during the gubernatorial in his Ekiti hometown can’t unite?

The one that isn’t being sponsored among them is sensible enough to know that being on the ballot box in 2019 is critical to being in the scheme of things in 2023 when presidency comes South. Another conspiracy theory you think? Go and check the list of Presidential candidates for 2019 on the INEC website. The mere fact that there is no single unconventional ‘young’ candidate from the North speaks volume.

This morning I woke up to the news that the former Governor of my state has dropped his presidential ambition to contest for the Senate. This singular action validated my new enlightenment. Everyone ( politicians in Southwest )is positioning themselves to be in a political office with a national clout as they wait for 2023. It doesn’t matter if the seemingly lifeless incumbent run the country aground with his trademark ignorance.

Maybe as game players, these politicians understand these things than we the game watchers but one thing is clear. They don’t care about us.

In Nigeria, it is all man for himself and God for us all.

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