Talking about popularity, I am sure many know about Isa Pantami’s ascendance in this regard. This can be gleaned through cursory observation and research. He has grown to command respect amongst people, owing to his sociability, integrity, capacity and good public relations.


Let me refer to Dele Momodu’s “Pendulum” of Saturday, October 26, wherein he professed about Tinubu’s destiny in terms of the presidency. He pointed out reasons why he felt Tinubu has a date with destiny regarding becoming the president in 2023. One of the key reasons, which I also agree with, is Tinubu’s capability of identification and management of critical human resource. This happens to be one of the formidable capacity that has eluded a lot of Nigerian politicians, who despite their humongous resources cannot command credible followership and loyalty. We witnessed the examples in how lots of them who hitherto predicted electoral outcomes could not attain these in 2019. This therefore makes such suggestion by Dele Momodu a credible one.

Going from the above, every reasonable Nigerian, especially the politician, pundit or strategist will understand that the race for 2023 has begun in earnest and whatever strategy that anyone is willing to employ must have started by now. It is becoming clearer perhaps, that the 2023 presidency for the All Progressives Congress (APC) will most likely be a South-West affair. The only thing that was not detailed in that “Pendulum” piece was the ‘how’ of the wish that Bola Tinubu becomes president.

Again, while the “Pendulum” has given us a reason to understand that Bola Tinubu has an interest in the 2023 presidency, it is pertinent to note that other eminent people from the APC South-West are gearing up to test the waters, as it is within their rights to do so. But in all of it, the most important part of the South-West strategy must be about how to manage the area of a northern vice-presidential candidate, considering that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is sitting in the corner and waiting.

So, I and a friend were having a conversation over the weekend about the “Pendulum” piece, Bola Tinubu, APC, PDP and the South West, and we both agreed that the choice for a northern vice president was the critical of the choices any of the candidates had to play, if they were to make it through, even though the possibilities are pretty high. We mentioned and analysed a couple of them, but the one that sat most with the analysis was Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

Let me then summarise why the analysis felt his choice was going to be a back breaker. First, the main and first issue would be the Muslim-Muslim ticket and we felt that had been demystified already, since Buhari has not Islamised Nigeria in his almost five years in power and with no indication of any intention of his doing so. We should remember also that Deaconess Senator Oluremi Tinubu is a top member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, which makes Christianity to be a part of Tinubu’s home and life. The other candidates may even be Christians or Muslims, who have spouses in similar situations like Oluremi Tinubu. These issues and more could easily surmount that challenge.

Analysis of the opinions of the public has showcased him to be the most popular of the Next Level ministers for the most positive reasons related to practical capacity and capability.


Secondly, we know how young Nigerians have been clamouring for a young and digital person who understands newer media, including such phenomenon as the Twitter, Facebook and the likes to be in the steering of the management of the country and Ali Pantami has been the first person to move the digital from mere rhetoric into reality through the transformation of the Ministry of Communications to the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. If young Nigerians, who constitute over 70 per cent of the voting population, are serious, they would quickly latch on to this and even mobilise others to join in it. He has always and continues to be one of the top people who acted several times on issues regarding complaints associated with his Ministry through the twitter, with the latest being the suspension of the planned charges by telecom operators over usage of the USSD service.

Then again, we analysed the area of capacity and found out that the man has been focused on the digital part of the economy, which is the most critical tool needed to even be a better Nigerian vice president, since it was the primary assignment of his last office. Imagine digitalised processes of economic activity in Nigeria – this would mean increased data and revenues for the utilisation of the public good. Analysis of the opinions of the public has showcased him to be the most popular of the Next Level ministers for the most positive reasons related to practical capacity and capability.

Talking about popularity, I am sure many know about Isa Pantami’s ascendance in this regard. This can be gleaned through cursory observation and research. He has grown to command respect amongst people, owing to his sociability, integrity, capacity and good public relations. We should remember that big political names have continued to reduce in significance in the political cycle of Nigeria, as sustained strategy and goodwill are what matter lately.

The 2023 race has become one that will usher Nigeria into the ascent into political maturity and that will mean that every minute from now on matters, as far as critical strategy is concerned. The 2023 presidency will be very difficult to predict up till the day of the election. In view of this, the principals are further reminded of the importance of critical strategy as we edge close to the time and as for my fellow Nigerians, let us brace up for a pretty interesting political game going forward.

Hashim Suleiman can be reached through oneheartnaija@yahoo.com.