Atiku, PDP and 2015 election By Richard Chilee
Sometime ago, I predicted in one of my articles that as the 2015 election draws close, more and more dramas will continue to unfold in Nigeria’s political atmosphere. In that article, which almost shared the same title with this, I talked about the then newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) and how they were getting it wrong by moving to the direction of parading Muhammadu Buhari as their presidential candidate.
Today, that prediction is becoming truer, not in the sense of the APC presenting Buhari as their presidential candidate, although this has not been written off entirely, but in the sense that more drama, even more than I predicted, are unravelling in our political environment.
One of the many dramas geared towards defining the Nigerian 2015 presidential election is the comeback of the erstwhile political stalwart, a master-minder, who has been lying low since the 2011 presidential election and whose presence and moves are sending huge shivers down the spine of the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains. He is Atiku Abubakar.
Since Mr Abubakar announced his comeback by gripping the social media circles, I have found it strange that many young Nigerians, particularly those from the north, have been announcing the comeback with fanfare, while others have described him as the long awaited messiah that will deliver Nigeria from the many economic irregularities and infrastructural devastations currently plagueing the country.
But then let’s sit back and get answers to these important questions; is Mr Abubakar sincerely the right man for the presidential job? Is he the missing link in the chain of sustainable personalities needed to drive the change we greatly desire in Nigeria? Is he the trusted and strategic mind we need to move us away from this economic quagmire which our ignorance has placed us? Or do we want him simply because he is a northerner and 2015 is the “turn” of the northerners to rule Nigeria.
I ask these questions because I need sincere answers. Mr Abubakar’s recent moves have not given me any good reason to vouch for the veracity of the claim that he is the right man for the presidential job; he has been acting desperately like a man whose right has been denied and who will fight like a wounded lion to get this back. His first move was the formation of a new political party – People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) while still under the umbrella of the ruling PDP. As though that wasn’t enough, he led a faction of predominant PDP governors to form an anti PDP under the ruling party.
For me, these are moves of a man whose thirst for power is unimaginable; he has clearly set his sails and will not hesitate to run over anyone who stands in his way, irrespective of principles. And these are the kind of personalities that aren’t good for our fledgling democracy. I believe that if Mr Abubakar is sure of his weight in Nigeria’s political environment, he should stay and canvass support for himself in his PDM and avoid the PDP totally, instead of causing undue rancour and acrimony within the PDP, a rancour that isn’t painting Nigeria in a good light.
Although I don’t wholly admire Mr Jonathan’s approach to government policies, and although he has not been the best of presidents, I think he isn’t the worst we have had, and some of his economic and structural policies are pushing through the undergrowth seeking for ways to make us progressive as a nation.
I have consistently said that 2015 is a time for rebirth; and if Nigerians think we should move forward, we just have to beware of people whose definition of the struggle for power is to go by any means possible.
What we should be clamouring for is a Nigerian president not a northern, eastern, western or southern president. We should seek for a president who has the interest of Nigerians at heart, not the interest of a select few godfathers and ethnic group. We must look for a president who has the mentality of responsibility and whose idea of power involves accommodating the dissenting views of opponents.
2015 is the appointed time to tell the world that Nigeria has passed the era of choosing her president on the basis of ethnicity and manifestos; we are now in the era of choosing our presidents on the basis of manifestations and principles.
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