The Oasis Reporters
October 9, 2018
October 7, 2018 in the Rivers State capital city of Port Harcourt, venue of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primaries, after the voting, collation and counting of votes, it became crystal clear that the former Vice-president, the Wazirin Adamawa had emerged the winner with an overwhelming result.
The former Vice-president during the Obasanjo administration, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku previously had sought to be a presidential flag bearer in about 3 previous attempts coming third in the last under the platform of the All Progressive Congress ( APC ) after Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Musa Kwankwaso a former governor of Kano State.
Like president Muhammadu Buhari before him who had taken 3 shots at the presidency and failed only to succeed in 2015, the Wazirin Adamawa kept the faith and has finally clinched the ticket to contest for the presidency come 2019. His victory was convincing and obviously well deserved thus setting the stage for an epic political confrontation between the PDP and the APC, the 2 only viable political parties in Nigerian. I did hear a political commentator describe the political engagement as that between the forces of good and those of evil except that he did not elaborate further.
I tried to make conjectures as to which of the parties between the PDP and the APC could be described as either good or evil as things now stand in the context of Nigerian politics. Atiku’s clinching of the PDP presidential ticket has the potency to generate a political tsunami that could bring about very strong winds, waves, heavy rains and even mudslides.
By this post, I am congratulating Alhaji Abubakar Atiku for the tenacity of purpose and the courage to keep faith with the sometimes acrimonious politics of Nigeria. The Waziri has weathered many a political storm but never kept his head down. He has variously been called many seemingly derogatory names such as ” A political prostitute” for jumping from one political party to another in the quest to be president.
Perhaps, if he had acted the script written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo during his presidency perhaps he could have ended up Obasanjo’s anointed at the expiration of the tenure of government.
Wait a minute though, was Chief Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo actually ready to relinquish power even at the expiration of his term? From Obasanjo’s antics and body language then, the answer to the question above is an emphatic NO. As Obasanjo’s THIRD TERM agenda began to take shape, his Vice- president in Atiku Abubakar became uneasy and justifiably so as he also had an eye on the presidency having been vice-president himself. Sensing that the third term agenda might be endangered, Obasanjo deliberately engineered the impeachment of the then Turakin Adamawa accusing the Vice president of DISLOYALTY. The dogged fighter in the Turaki went to court for an interpretation of who between the president and the nation was deserving of LOYALTY. In that epic ruling of the Apex court of the land, it confirmed that the nation Nigeria as the Sovereign and the only institution to which our loyalty should be directed in that particular case and not an ordinary mortal even if such were the president. Prior to that ruling, many a Nigerian had paid the supreme penalty some with their lives and many others either had their careers violently terminated or frustrated particularly in the Nigerian Military because of the dubious interpretation of to who loyalty should be . With that epic victory at the Supreme Court, Atiku Abubakar became instantly my hero.
When back in 2015 after some political parties had conflated to form the APC for the sole purpose of wrestling power from the PDP, it was clear that the PDP which had been in power for 16 of the predicted 60 years had become jaded and tired, ruined by the murder of INTERNAL DEMOCRACY, the stage was set for what most Nigerians refer to as the Buhari storm which swept many of the PDP political dinosaurs out of power, since then it has, to borrow from the title of Chinua Achebe’s epic novel ” No longer at Ease ” for many from the stables of the PDP.
The APC in my view has largely betrayed the hopes and aspirations of many of our country men/women to the level of complete frustration, disappointment and hopelessness. In spite of the almost 90 political contraptions bearing political party names, none could elevate itself to a position strong enough to challenge the governing APC except the fall back political party the PDP. We must not forget that the transition to the APC was aptly “Putting Old wines in New bottles ” since many of the decampees were former members of the APC including the Wazirin Adamawa. When the Waziri again abandoned ship returning to the PDP many people thought that he was of an unsettled political mind and laughed off the decision but the Waziri believed in himself and went about strategizing for the emphatic triumph in Port Harcourt at the weekend..
Given the mass defections from the APC back to the PDP, the stage is set for the ” Mother of All Political Confrontation” between the APC and the PDP. If the realities on the ground nationwide are anything to go by, given the poverty level, the insecurity nationwide and the general ineptitude of the Buhari government, Atiku Abubakar unless he does a terrible job of his campaigning is almost certain to be president in 2019. Atiku has age, experience, exposure and the ability as well as the capacity to take quick decisions well and above president Buhari. One issue which has endeared Atiku to many Nigerians is his belief in the urgent need for RESTRUCTURING of this country unlike the Buhari government which is largely conservative. Presidential candidate Abubakar Atiku must not make the blunder of not continuing and reinvigorating the FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION, I expect him to pursue this war much more vigorously without sparing anyone even if such were former presidents. The truth is that the current fight against corruption has been too selective and largely directed against perceived opponents of the current government in my personal view which has blighted the credentials of the administration.
I recall the Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed saying when some people were criticizing the Buhari anti corruption war particularly in their opinion that it was not only selective but directed only towards opponents of the current government, he replied, saying, ” We are investigating their yesterday, tomorrow, let them investigate our today ” I pray for Abubakar Atiku to win next year’s presidential election while Lai Mohammed who some people are now calling humorously as ” Lying Mohammed “is around for his exact words to be played back to him. I pray also for Atiku to muster the courage necessary to continue with the anti corruption war so that the current government can be dissected for Nigerians and the world to judge. If you have attended a PDP rally recently, you would have heard the people shout “Akore yunwa” in response to the acronym PDP being raised by a speaker. In the Hausa language, ” Akore yunwa ” means ” let us drive away hunger “. This reply very aptly captures the state of affairs in this country as many of our people are hungry. A new government particularly an Atiku led government must put the Nigerian people, their security, welfare and general well being first. Indeed when the Buhari administration came on board, we knew that it was not going to be easy in the short term, but there can be no excuse for the travails our people have gone through up to this time.
The RESTRUCTURING of this country must be accorded top priority so that the nation’s massive potentials can be released from the present FROZEN state for the growth and development of our country.
If Atiku Abubakar eventually becomes president, he must keep aside religious bigotry and ethnic proclivities. Every part of this nation must be home to all Nigerians not minding their States of origin.
Finally, I venture to advice on a running mate. Atuku should look for a younger person someone with leadership potentials, experience and a good education, that someone could be the former governor of Cross River State Donald Duke who should migrate from the current stables of the SDP back to PDP for the purpose of serving this nation. I once more congratulate Atiku Abubakar for emerging victorious in the PDP presidential primaries.
To God Be The Glory.
Written By Col. Gora Dauda (rtd).
He writes from Kaduna, North West Nigeria.
Postscript: Donald Duke has already emerged as the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP.