The Oasis Reporters
November 23, 2018
Soon after Atiku Abubakar emerged as the People’s Democratic Party, PDP presidential candidate some two months ago, he hit the ground running, catching everyone else breathless by announcing his would be running mate.
Atiku wanted to be everything Buhari is not, who took a whopping six months to announce a predictable cabinet of old and tired hands brought in from deserved retirement.
The choice of Peter Obi was so sudden, so unexpected and so pleasant. Apart from bringing in the south east geo-political zone into mainstream national politics, the frenzy of furore and jubilation it generated showed that it was a strategic masterstroke, and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC appeared to be jittery over the underlying and unspoken statement Atiku Abubakar was openly passing out.
Before delving into mind reading on the dictates of Atiku’s choices, this piece would go back into the history of choices in President Barack Obama’s time.
He was once a candidate seeking for the nomination of the Democratic Party in the United States of America.
Asked what would inform his choice of a vice presidential running mate, his rhetorical question was, ‘Is he ready to be president’?
In other words, who ever his choice of a running would be, mentorship and continuity would be part of the package.
It seems therefore that at the back of the mind of the 72 year old candidate Atiku Abubakar, he is deliberately choosing young hawks who are performance driven and have credible pedigree to fill his kitchen. Not only would they work to deliver growth and prosperity to Nigeria, they would be worthy successors to take Nigeria to a better or greater level, for Nigeria’s problem seem to emanate solely from poor, visionless, unintelligent and parochial leadership, making the nation more divided, chronically debt ridden and infrastructurally backward.
Atiku’s vice presidential candidate was governor of Anambra State, a quintessential democrat who used the instrumentality of the rule of law to retrieve his stolen mandate from the forces that rigged him out.
On retrieving his mandate, he simply continued from where the removed governor, Dr. Chris Ngige stopped.
There was no witchunting, no recriminations as he declared that both he and the forces that conspired to remove him were all ‘Anambrarians’.
When Peter Obi is juxtaposed side by side with his then contemporaneous governors, he was miles ahead. A few of his policy thrusts would easily explain this.
What Anambra State was receiving was not too different from what a state like Oyo or Osun was receiving from the federation account.
But how come Peter Obi was able to pay salaries as at when due while many other States owe workers for at times, more than 12 months?
The answer is in his prudence, one and secondly, breaking new grounds for industries to thrive while he collects taxes.
As Governor, Peter Obi left N75 billion saved for his successor, while many other governors would be leaving huge debts in billions for generations yet unborn.
Obi had good policies in education, such that Anambra topped the charts in West African Examinations Council, WAEC academic rankings. Cut off point for Anambra State students seeking admission to higher institutions became the highest in the country.
“When Governor‘s Lodge and Govt House were burnt before I came… With a proposed budget of 400 million and 300 million, I repaired them for 42 million and 80 million respectively. They wanted to impeach me that I did not spend by due process… Following the awarded Contracts and contractor…. I saw a table.. That my predecessor used, they said its old… I asked them to renovate it… That all i needed was a table to write as Governor… ”
” So I was able to save money and made sure that Anambra has the best road network than any other state in Nigeria..”, quoting Peter Obi.
In addition to all that, Mr. Obi as governor worked successfully and amicably with three successive police commissioners, all from the north as a demonstration of his ability to blend with people who are different in religion and culture from him. This cannot be said of certain governors especially from the north who fuel schisms based on differences in their state.
It is obvious that at a time that there is profligacy in government with record unemployment, $2b lost from fleeing foreign investors, between 9 – 16 million Nigerians out of work since 2015, Inflation increasing from 8 percent in 2015 to an average of 16 percent currently, external debt increasing by $11.47 billion over the last three years, NSE growth reducing to 1 percent from 29.7 percent, industrial production down to 3 percent from 13 percent, all making Nigeria the global capital of world poverty, the choice of workaholic Peter Obi who once headed the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, Atiku Abubakar was baring his mind, pointing out where his passion is: the economy and governmental best practices.
Peter Obi is young, in his fifties. Atiku at 72 must also be thinking of succession plans, perhaps after a term or two, should he win and when power would rotate to the south, preferably the south east.
Let’s examine who Atiku Abubakar has drafted into the kitchen to mingle with Peter Obi.
One of them is Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano state, a man well known for his ability to deliver on infrastructure. He knows a thing about strategic planning to get his people water to drink into the future, assisting the electricity body to provide power to industries and to the people under him. Atiku looked at his score card and got him into the kitchen.
Atiku Abubakar also looked at the north east and picked another governor who’s sterling performance in governance stood him in good stead such that when the Buhari gale swept across the north, he was one PDP governor that remained standing, with head held high.
Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (PhD) is headed to the Senate after his two highly successful tenures as governor of Gombe State in Nigeria’s north east.
Dr. Dankwambo is easily one governor that looks very much like Peter Obi. They both ran successful economies in their home states, practically adopting the same economic modules that reduce debt, increase Internally Generated Revenue, IGR and provide infrastructure. The much liked Dankwambo was able to fend off the religious crisis that bedeviled the north east from Gombe State.
In all indices like in education, economic planning, equitable provision of infrastructure, Dankwambo and Peter Obi run neck to neck.
Curiously, despite hailing from the north where all eyes are trained on crude oil revenue allocation to develop, Ibrahim Dankwambo believes in human capacity development and industry under an atmosphere of peace and prosperity to enable him collect taxes for the government.
[ Read more about his economic policies here : http://www.theoasisreporters.com/gombes-low-debt-high-igr-dankwambos-prudence-sets-tone-for-growth/ ]
Come to think of it really, in succession terms that would deliver greater growth for Nigeria after the Atiku presidency, God willing and the votes of Nigerians who believe that Nigeria can grow like India, Singapore, South Korea, China etc, who best can flow and pair with Peter Obi if not Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo?
Think about it.
For now, they are all in the campaign team together under the debonair ex governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, another astute performer himself.