Hopefully, by February 17th or the 18th, barring any unforseen events, Nigerians will have known the winner of the February 16th Presidential election, an election that will for sure much determine the trajectory in which the nation’s development, stability and progress will largely travel upon.
Much as this race has a number of candidates, the election however is a near two horse race between the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP contender. Both candidates have a number of factors going for them, as well as a few backstops.
Not withstanding these factors as well as backstops, yours sincerely will be rooting for a Muhammadu Buhari, and my decision is not rocket science nor is it steeped in esoteric mysticism,no, it is based on what i feel is in the best interest of the nation and her citizens who have suffered terribly in the hands of past leaders. Writers are the conscience of any nation and i much intend to do be just that.
The prospect of an Atiku Abubakar in Aso Rock would be most calamitous, off all the perceived failings of the Buhari administration, worse than these failures would be allowing Atiku into Aso Rock, a man who would do incalculable privation to Nigeria.
Yes, the Buhari admininistration has not been able to deliver on all its promises, no leader be he endowed with dictatorial or democratic powers can right all the numerous wrongs done before In one term of four years. However, the very thoughts of an Atiku presidency ought to verily raise a squawk like protest amongst those who truly love Nigeria.
Atiku’s antecedents, as well as his campaign rhetoric so far, justify any progressive’s fears of the terrifying prospect of Atiku and his half baked message of restructuring in power.
Atiku, would work to reverse the cleansing of the Nigerian stables so far achieved by President Buhari, heres a man indicted by the United States for his money laundering activities; a man, whose former boss described in uncharitable terms, forget that the same man is amongst those who now call for Buhari’s ouster, that sadly is the former leader’s ego tripping character, and a lot of Nigerians are not amused. Atiku’s record of public service has been nothing but an avenue to helping himself, his family and friends to our national chattels, a promise he reiterated recently that he would make money for his friends, many who, i may remind you have become bankrupt, since access to state funds appears to no longer be there! He as a customs officer( One of the nation’smost corrupt institutions before the emergence of the Buhari administration) set up Intels, a logistics firm that was largely strangulating the Nigerian economy before the present day government raised its eyebrows over its monopolistic hold over several of our ports from which it raked billions of dollars without Nigerians benefitting from its own wealth, matter of fact, it was the clipping of Intels that aggravated Atiku, prompting him to rejoin the People’s Democratic Party PDP, a party he had described as a platform nothing ever good could come out from, naturally, he was back with fellow looters of the Nigerian commonwealth and even handed their presidential ticket on a platter of gold.
Not only will Atiku dissipate away the nation’s new journey to progress and an egalitarianism never ever witnessed in the annals of the country’s history, he will as well implement economic and social policies that will be beneficial to a few Nigerians like himself,a process his defeat at the polls in 2007 stopped him from actualizing.
Atiku also masquerades himself as a democrat, this is indeed laughable, as even the most critical of President Buhari’s actions will mock Atiku’s attempt at pietism. Atiku, as a former Vice President presided over the most fraudulent of electoral processes in the 2003 elections, that returned him and his boss to power; he threatened to flog a judge for annuling the election of one of his political henchmen and, even instigated his home state’s legislature to pass a law in record setting manner to stop a political opponent then interested in the presidency from declaring his own ambition.
The law passed the first, second and third reading procedures in a swoosh of 30 minutes.
Again, Atiku’s choice of a running mate in a former Governor of Anambra State, in the person of Governor Peter Obi has not helped his ambition much. Obi, a tribal and religious bigot will naturally make a George Wallace feel at home with segregation and is naturally bound to elicit a number of votes against Atiku as pay back for his time as governor, where he largely carried out a number of activities that pitted Catholics against Anglicans and the Igbos against a number of ethnic groups, especially the Yoruba ethnic group, where the present Vice President hails from, with 14,626,800 voters, the second largest after the Northwest, which is Buhari’s strong hold and has 18,505,984 voters.
A vote for Atiku is a vote for a return to the nation’s dark ages, Nigerians however will like Tenneysson’s poem much prefer to cross the bar with a second term for President Buhari!
Igboeli Arinze writes from Abuja, Nigeria.