By Nze Nwabueze Akabogu
The popular saying that some people are born great, and some others have greatness thrust upon them while some other people achieve greatness by sheer dint of hard work and perseverance is very apt in the current discussion on the man of the moment, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (GCON), a former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. (1999-2007). Atiku Abubakar recently emerged as the Presidential Candidate of the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after defeating eleven other aspirants in the keenly contested party primaries during the just concluded PDP National Convention in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
According to Political watchers, Atiku Abubakar never left any one in doubt as to his avowed determination and preparedness to move into the party convention as a front runner and clear favourite to clinch the party’s presidential ticket. Atiku Abubakar, a master planner, political tactician and strategist never wasted any moment in oiling his campaign machinery and mobilized his vast campaign structures across the country which he religiously maintained since he left office as the Vice President in 2007.
Atiku Abubakar could rightly be described as an enigma and phenomenon even as he had constantly pursued his burning desire and quest to become Nigeria’s President with utmost vigour, passion, unrelenting zeal and great enthusiasm.
The PDP historic National Convention obviously had proven Atiku Abubakar’s political sagacity and tenacity by his decisive Victory over his fellow contestants for the Party’s Presidential ticket. The convention itself was a huge success story even as the organizers of the event had meticulously and painstakingly put together what could be described as a fantastic and memorable convention. Everything seem to have worked perfectly well for the PDP during the convention which the Party hopes to leverage as a spring board to launch itself back into power come February 2019.
It will be recalled however that Atiku Abubakar began his active Political career in 1999 when he decisively won the Gubernatorial election in his home State of Adamawa, but as fate would have it, he was later drafted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the then PDP Presidential candidate as his running mate and he ultimately became the Vice President of Nigeria.
With the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the PDP flag bearer, all is now set for the party to immediately unveil its manifesto or blue print to the Nigerian people for their critical assessment and possible approval during the forthcoming Presidential Polls.
The reformed PDP has an uphill task to convince the Nigerian voters that it has the solutions or magic wand this time around, to dramatically change their present misfortune occasioned by the excruciating poverty and untold hardship under the current APC Administration in the country. Atiku Abubakar has a herculean task to convince the downtrodden and dejected Nigerians that he is indeed the long expected “Messiah” that would rescue them from the present inept and incompetent leadership in the country.
Atiku Abubakar therefore, must quickly come up with his vision and mission statement on how he intends to tackle the myriad of challenges presently confronting the nation in certain critical areas such as: (a) The lingering security challenges bedeviling the nation, (b) The unprecedented economic malaise besetting the nation, (c) The intolerable level of disunity in the country, (d) The lack of justice, equity and fairness in the distribution or allocation of both human and material resources bordering on the flagrant abuse of the Federal character principle in the distribution of key political appointments as enshrined in the constitution which is the bedrock of our Federal system of Government. (e) Lack of clear- cut policy for economic growth and development. (f) The growing clamour for the urgent restructuring of the Nigerian State which Atiku Abubakar has already made a campaign issue.
It is heartwarming and a cheering news that Atiku Abubakar’s bid for the Presidency recently received a boost from his erstwhile political adversary Olusegun Obasanjo who had previously sworn not to back his quest for the top job. Ironically, Obasanjo recently made a dramatic u-turn and endorsed Atiku Abubakar’s ambition to become the next President of Nigeria when a high powered delegation comprising of some notable politicians and high-ranking religious leaders held a closeddoor meeting with him at his Abeokuta mansion. It was indeed a moral booster for Atiku who had unfortunately become a subject of campaign of calumny and blackmail from his political adversaries and critics who often question Atiku’s integrity in his public life.
Nevertheless, Atiku Abubakar’s campaign received yet another major boost recently when he announced the choice of the amiable former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi as his running mate presumably aimed at consolidating his anticipated massive votes from the South East Geo-Political Zone which for too long had suffered unimaginable marginalization and utter neglect in the scheme of things in the country.
In the meantime however, Atiku Abubakar was quick to constitute a high powered campaign organization headed by the Senate President Bukola Saraki and which included Atiku’s former Co- Presidential contenders aimed ostensibly to placate and carry them along in the great task ahead. It was indeed a political master stroke as Atiku Abubakar seem not to leave anything to chance in his avowed determination to defeat the incumbent, lame duck, President Buhari in the forthcoming Presidential Election tagged, the battle of the “Titans”.
The country is currently sitting on the keg of gun powder waiting to explode unless an urgent and decisive action is taken to restructure the Nigeria State to reflect the diverse ethnic nationalities that make up the country which will enable each nationality to develop at its own pace and peculiarity
Atiku Abubakar was recently reported to have committed himself to serve for only one term in office should he be elected as the next President of Nigeria in order to pave the way for the people of the South East zone to assume the Presidency which for long had eluded them and which will bring to an end many years of gross injustice, marginalization and inequality in the affairs of the country. It is therefore the hope of the people of the South East Zone that Atiku Abubakar will abide by his commitment to relinguish power and not to seek for re-election in 2023 all things being equal.
There is no doubt whatsoever that based on Atiku Abubakar’s antecedents and pedigree, the nation at this critical period in her history stands to gain tremendously in all facets of nation building should the Nigerian people give him their sacred mandate in February 2019.
Atiku Abubakar is a well known detribalized Nigerian whose socio-political outreach and network cut across all the geo-political zones in the country even as he has zero tolerance for divisive ethno-religious sentiments or tendencies. He fully understands the dynamics and intricacies of the Nigerian Political landscape and will not deliberately do anything to upset the political equation or the apple cart in the country.
As his campaign machinery is set to take off in earnest, it has become absolutely necessary for Atiku Abubakar to re-assure all Nigerians who are already down cast and had since lost faith in the political system that the moment for their salvation has finally arrived. He must also take all necessary measures to meet the people’s yearnings and aspirations as soon as the Nigerian people decide to give him their sacred mandate to pilot the affairs of the country, as the next President of Nigeria come February 2019.