As desperation and frills engulf who becomes the presidential flag bearer of All Progressive Congress (APC), Party Chieftain, General Buhari is seemingly in the centre of the storm, reports Ifeanyi Chukwu Nwannaa
Although, many people have shown interest for APC’s presidential flag bearer like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Sam Isaiah Ndah, Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, General Muhammad Buhari and many others, Buhari has been advised to pull out of the race because of the observation by some groups: “Buhari cannot be sold in the South especially in the East and South-South Zones where Christians are highly dominant.
It seems that the General advised himself and now restricted himselfto the one of the leaders of the party. One of the main reasons whythey feel that the Daura Burn General cannot be all allowed again tostep into the destiny of Nigeria is because he sacked the democraticelected Federal and State governments of Nigerian on December 31st,1983, the mass jailing and tortured and removed politicians which leadto the death of most of them. All these are very sore points of hisadministration then.
Another weak point against General Buhari is that, the Christians are afraid of voting the Daura Burn General because of the statement he made some times ago that, Christians should vote for Christians while Muslims should vote for Muslims. Though, he had since denied that statement, but Christians generally, in Nigeria are still afraid that if General Buhari is given the mandate, he would Islamize Nigeria. That is the fear of the unknown.
Now, if General Buhari should abandoned his ambition, from the look of things the APC presidential battle is between former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Chief Sam Isaiah Ndah. For Atiku, he is not a new person in Nigerian politics. He has made history which is indelibly engraved deeply upon the tablets of people’s memory.
On his election as the Adamawa state Executive Governor in 1999, he was elevated to the position of Vice President of Nigeria under Obasanjo. The rosy relationship between him and Obasanjo continued until 2003 when the PDP Governors ganged up against Obasanjo saying that Obasanjo cannot go for the second term. There was political confusion everywhere as the PDP Governors wanted Atiku Abubakar to be PDP the president then. It was clear that PDP Governors always dictate who the president became.
Later, the matter was resolved and Obasanjo had to continue for second term with Atiku. But Obasanjo was not comfortable for that development. The mutual relationship between two of them became non-existence. The feud became so serious that Obasanjo made a move several times to impeach Vice President Abubakar Atiku, he took him to court on various charges but Atiku defeated him in all the cases.
After careful study of the feud then between Obasanjo and Atiku, it was obviously believed that Atiku is a democrat who stood all the political tensions. He does things with wisdom. This is the same Obasanjo that approached the chieftains of PDP and told them that it was Atiku Abubakar that he could work with Atiku as the Vice President of Nigeria. Political analysts said, Atiku had worked with him to the best of his ability and in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Investigation carried out showed that he rejected about N100 million units of shares in Tran scrap which was meant to make him support the third term agenda but the offer was turned down. More so, Vice President Atiku knew then that there was no vacancy in PDP; hence, he had to look else where. He therefore pitched his tent with the defunct Action Congress and later became the party’s presidential candidate.
Obasanjo believed that, various committees he set up to investigate Atiku were not Kangaroos on a deliberate fault finding mission. Some of the committees could not publish the findings of their investigations because it contains statements of payments by Obasanjo and his men which is why their names were not published. The name of the president and his cronies were all involved.
Before the feud deepened, almost all the Governors were still with Atiku but his defection to AC without proper arrangement with his supporters made them to be deserting Atiku one after the other. The first were Governors like that of Abia Orji Uzor Kalu, Governor of Adamawa, Governor of Delta State, James Ibori and many others. While Obasanjo was still hoping of 3rd term agenda but on the 16th May, 2006, that was the day that the Senate nailed the political coffin of Obasanjo’s third term ambition. It became obvious that Obasanjo was licking his wounds from the senate death of third term on him when it unceremoniously killed the bill seeking to amend the constitution and extend his tenure. With this Atiku was relieved. This is because the action of the senate had thereby announced a vacancy at Aso Rock.
But, Atiku Abubakar began to lose his political relevance when he started the frequent visit to Ota Farms which the Former President alleged that his been disturbed by Atiku to facilitate way for him back to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). When the visit and phone calls became too much, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was said to have cried out to Nigerians to beg Atiku to leave him alone. He further said that he had changed his mobile lines many times because of Atiku.
In his home state, Atiku was rejected bluntly by the PDP heavy weights in the state. People like Professor Jibril Aminu and many others insisted that Atiku must return to his ward to re-register as a PDP member, a situation where everything had been planned to rubbish Atiku’s political ambition. But the National headquarter of the party gave a waiver that brought him back to PDP.
His intension was that, President Goodluck Jonathan would vacate Aso Rock in 2015 but his beautiful day dream collapsed when Jonathan insist on a comeback. Political analysts said he was alleged to have indirectly brought the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) to existence. Though, he has denied having hands in the party but called on all his supporters in party to join hand to maintain democracy.
When All Progressive Congress (APC) came on board, he dumped PDP for APC. Though, many political scientists said his main reason of defecting to APC is to further his presidential ambition, pointing out that, if at the primaries he was not elected as the flag bearer of the party, he will still quit the party and may return to the PDP he rejected.
No mater his political short comings, Atiku Abubakar has his own die heard supporters but can they alone help the former Vice President to become the APC flag bearer not minding that there are so many people in the race like Sam Ndah who have no political stain in his record. How is he going to face their political record with his own?
It is true that, politics is a game of number but to get the majority, people need to be educated on the political profile of the person they are following. How prepared is Atiku Abubakar to address the issue of what people call political prostitution. How is he going to convince them that his past political rot would not be repeated?