The Oasis Reporters
September 8, 2017
Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar who is nursing a presidential ambition, may turn his back on the ruling party, the All progressives Congress ( APC) and may be on his way back to his former party – the PDP which he helped bring down in 2015.
The Adamawa chapter of the party had in July set up a committee with the mandate of returning Atiku back to its fold, noting that he is being under-utilised in the APC.
The former Vice President also on Wednesday opened-up that he has been sidelined by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari despite using his contacts and resources to help the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeat the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2015.
On Wednesday, a minister serving in Buhari’s government, Aisha Alhassan stated that she called Atiku Nigeria’s President in 2019 because “we all hope he is going to contest,” adding that she would rather support the former Vice President for the nation’s plum job. She was immediately summoned by the ruling party for explantation.
In an interview aired during the morning programme of the Voice of America, VOA, Hausa Service, Atiku said he was edged out soon after the formation of the Buhari government which he said he helped to power in the 2015 presidential election.
According to him, “Honestly speaking, I’m still a member of the APC; I was part of all the processes, including campaigns until success was achieved.
“But sadly, soon after the formation of government; I was side-lined, I have no any relationship with the government whatsoever, not even once have I been contacted to comment on any issue and on my part, I kept my distance.
They used our money and influence to get to where they are but three years down the line, this is where we are.”
He took a pot shot at Buhari’s fight against Boko Haram, in which the former Vice President said “it was not yet time to celebrate as the government in power had failed in many fronts” .
“Yes, there were successes but not comprehensive success because the Boko Haram miscreants are still very active, killing our people and many local government councils in Borno and Yobe are under their firm grip. People dare not go back to their dwellings
“This thing baffles me; I never imagined that Nigeria will fight a protracted battle with Boko Haram for five years. At a time, we fought the Biafra war( war against the Igbos in the south eastern region of the country), which was more complicated because of the terrain in the South but the Biafran soldiers were roundly subdued in 30 months. But here we are, fighting an endless battle with the Boko Haram and there’s no end in sight.”
Atiku, who stated that very little has been achieved in the fight against corruption, asked: “How many people were arrested, prosecuted and jailed? How much was recovered from the looters?”.
“When we in the PDP came on board in 1999, we recovered between $4.5 and $4.7 billion from those that looted under (Late Sani) Abacha,” the ex-Vice President added.
In pursuit of his presidential aspirations, Atiku Abubakar from Nigeria’s north east has been peripatetic, moving from the PDP to the ACN, then back to the PDP and later to the APC where he currently is but feelers indicate that he may be on the move again, if his fellow kinsman, president Muhammadu Buhari decides to go for a second term in 2019.
They are both Fulani tribesmen, like the former late president, Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
Coming twenty years ahead of them in 1979 was Shehu Shagari, who was president for four years and three months before being overthrown by General Buhari.
Shagari is also Fulani, concluding the fact that all of Nigeria’s civilian presidents that ever emerged from the multi ethnic northern part of Nigeria, have always been Fulani Muslims in a region that is multi religious, multi ethnic and multi cultural.
Hausa is the dominant language in northern Nigeria, but it’s most populous tribesmen, the Hausa people, remain politically irrelevant, except to vote for others.
Christians from diverse ethnic groups constitute the bulk of the population in large swathes of the Middle belt, seen as an outpost of the old Northern region, but hardly ever constitute enough political clout to produce a president for Nigeria by using their numerical strength and building enough synergy with other religions in the region.