Opinion: Is Atiku a lesser devil?


By Erasmus Ikhide

THE emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) standard bearer offers Nigerians the delicate option of choosing between two devils: President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar. A few months ago, Mr. Atiku returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Then, he received serious clapback from Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who signposted him in a bad light and addressed him by his proper name: political prostitute!

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Is Atiku better than Buhari? 

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Atiku’s candidacy as the (PDP) flag bearer for the 2019 presidential election speaks ill of a nation in transition and trauma. This is tellingly so because of the recent polls conducted by newspapers in Nigeria on who is better suited to be president of Nigeria between President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar. While Muhammadu Buhari scored 21% of the conducted poll, Atiku Abubakar 54%, and 25% said they would vote for neither candidate.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s blind ambition or constant quest for power has been invalidated by President Buhari’s failure: persistent hunt for power is no yardstick to one’s preparedness to governance. Besides, Nigerians are tired of recycled political elements whose pasts have been responsible for the chaotic politics, utter wretchedness, sub-human poverty and retrogression.

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Mr. Atiku’s duplicity and style of politics is archaic and retrogressive. Nigerians are yet to believe that a single political individual is capable of becoming a conservative republican, at the same time, a progressive democrat. Who can convince the people that two such competing ideological convictions could emerge from the same source? “A little to the left….a little to the right of IBB’s fame! That is a product that is neither fish, meat, nor vegetable.” You may have to ask yourself – does the manufacturer of such mutation in the person of Alhaji Abubakar pretend to the possession of two brains, not complementary but at war with each other?

How are we sure that Mr. Atiku believes in them before he keeps floating between the two political parties of supposed variant ideological propositions? Of a truth, it’s not possible from any single mind except of a kind that despises the people to whom it dictates. Speaking from both sides of the mouth at the same time is a trick politicians employ to gain and retain power. When such become the summation of a people’s political foundation, it is nothing but grand larceny, and the bastardization of the very principles of political parties’ formation and failure of governance process.

Atiku Abubakar has been trying to extricate himself from the crutches of corruption which he’s firmly welded, not knowing that perception is everything in politics. Confronted recently of his refusal to visit the United States of America, Atiku quipped: “I applied, but wasn’t issued a visa. However, they did not decline me categorically either. They’ve only said my application is going through administrative process. It is the sole prerogative of America to determine who they want in their country or not. I’m not running away from America.”

Mr. Atiku further added that such administrative denials were not unique to him, saying President Muhammadu Buhari could not also enter the country for years due to his religious views. Two of a kind? Yes! History will not forget them simply because we forget it. But it might just be polite to mention ancient bones when an old woman is passing!
It’s on record that the U.S. government is hostile to corrupt credentials of Mr. Atiku Abubakar and President Buhari’s grandstanding as an Islamic bigot who has unleashed his terrorist Fulani herders on the nation.

For Atiku, his trouble with the U.S. authorities stemmed from a broadband contract award to iGate, an America company which William Jefferson, then U.S. federal lawmaker from Louisiana, had interest in. Mr. Jefferson was said to have used his political influence and friendship with Mr. Abubakar to ensure that the contract went smoothly in Nigeria with intentions to pay some kickbacks to Nigerian officials, including the former vice president.

Mr. Jefferson revealed in a secretly recorded conversation with the FBI that Mr. Abubakar stood to benefit up to $500,000 for helping influence the broadband deal in Nigeria at the time. Although Mr. Jefferson lost his representative seat and served jail term in America for the deal, Mr. Abubakar was never prosecuted in Nigeria. It is clear that Mr. Atiku is seen by the U.S. government as an unwanted bad influence in America society.

Strictly speaking, Nigeria has been a victim of serial rape by her primitive leaders, which has become agonizingly worse under the President Muhammadu Buhari government. Ever since Buhari took office in 2015, unprecedented affliction has seized every corner of the economy with its viral imperative.

Nigerians are still waiting for holistic explanation as to why the National Carrier crashed without a single flight under Buhari after spending a whopping sum of N1.5 billion, coupled with the fact that N45 billion has been spent to maintain the 10 aircraft at the presidential fleets which the president promised to covert to national carrier six months into his presidency.    

Under President Buhari led-government the staying power of the naira has crashed beyond what has been witnessed since Independence; jobs loss and relocation of companies from Nigeria to other African countries hitting the roof top, internationalization of slavery of Nigerian citizens is replete in Libya and elsewhere, the unviable states of the Nigerian State, repressive tactics of Buhari government as a bulwark against constitutional rightness, northernization of political appointments, the rise of Fulani herdsmen fundamentalism, prosecution of perceived political enemies, and the faded sloganeering on anti-corruption deceit.

Mr. Buhari’s Presidency was substantially premised on war against corruption, curbing the security crisis, power generation and job creation. The number of deaths recorded in the last two and half years is well over 10,000 citizens in the hands of Boko Haram militia and Fulani herdsmen. Buhari’s monumental failure in this respect is due largely to his inability to rally the economy to stability and take political decision. While prices of goods and services skyrocketed astronomically, minimum wage of civil servants remained stagnantly at N18,000!

Clearly, President Buhari made mockery of his anti-corruption preachment with the disclosure on how Mr. Maina made his way back into the civil service and all the allegation that he choreographed Mr. Maina reinstatement. Mr. Maina’s saga is just one of the many individuals who exploited Buhari’s nepotistic penchant for sectionalism. And this has darkened his presidency, ultimately. Buhari’s failure is premeditated as an end to ideological zealot, a known closed minded character and an unyielding Islamic irredentist.

The horrors of the Buhari Presidency and the unimaginable privation in the last two and a half years is debasing. For whatever it’s worth, his total failure should redefine Nigerians resolve to either remain destitute or slaves in their own country under Buhari’s leadership or reorders our collective destinies. Nigeria will simply go to the dogs – if by stroke of ill-luck – Buhari resurfaced in Aso Rock with his bigotry mindset.

As we move towards 2019, the odds against Buhari and his deceptive (APC) are growing by the day. The number can only increase as long as injustice, Fulani herdsmen destroying people’s crops on the farm, killing and raping women, prosecution of known political enemies, banal repression, pretenses on anti- corruption deception remain parts of our daily experiences.

Any other person with an open but Buhari can rule Nigeria better. Nigerians need to break free from the evil crutches of the likes of President Buhari, if we ever hope for a better Nigeria.

follow me on Twitter @ikhide_erasmus1


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Opinion contributor
This opinion was received by Today News Africa in Washington, District of Columbia. The views expressed here are those of the writer(s) and not ours. You can send your own article to todaynewsafrica@gmail.com


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