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REALITY CHECK: Is Atiku Not Far Better Than Buhari?

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Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standingI was by no means joking when I wrote an article titled, “Anybody but Buhari”.

As far as Nigeria politics is concerned there are two people I trust more than others – the erstwhile governor of Anambra State , Mr. Peter Obi and the former president, His Excellency Goodluck Eberchukwu Jonathan. Of course, I loved and had high hopes in late Umaru Musa Yar’adua despite the fact that he was a Fulani man. I’m aware that most Nigerians did too. Sadly, the hope we had in him was short-lived.

However , owing to HE Atiku Abubakar’s open-mindedness , his refusal to be subdued by anybody, especially since he fought against his then boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo’s third term bid , I have always accorded him with deserved respect. Atiku despite being regarded as a kingmaker in Nigeria politics, has always accepted outcome of every election he participated in in good fate. Really, not recognizing such sterling quality would be grossly unfair.

But somehow some people would try to turn the screws against a man who has demonstrated appreciable understanding of democratic principles.

I had argued with my elder friend, Nda Okee Eric, who maintained his stand that Atiku is too old , and has been insisting that we must stop recycling old leaders. He hardly considers Turaki’s ability and eligibility to be the president of Nigeria. Well, I don’t expect everybody to believe in and accept Waziri of Adamawa … if that happens, I may likely become afraid of Atiku.

Now here comes the reality check;

Is Atiku too old to be our President?

This is the major point some use and are likely to continue using against him. Atiku indeed is no longer in his kindergarten days but truly not too old. And he is evidently very fit!

How old is Donald Trump, American President? Has his age in anyway affected his performance so far?

How old is Pope Francis? His position is much more tedious and demanding than the position of presidency of any country, yet he is old and discharging his duties with agility.

Similarly, there are youths who are doing well in politics and leadership just as there are youths who are incompetent…youths who have ridiculed our “not too young to run campaign”.

Therefore, I wish to say again that being a youth is not enough to be entrusted with leadership, being old is not enough to be denied the opportunity to lead if the person is fit and has what it takes to be a good leader.

We must stop recycling old politicians…

Some of those who said we shouldn’t recycle old leaders voted for PMB in 2015, is PMB a fresh mind? These same people have quickly embraced OBJ’s Coalition government ideology. A scheme that will bring him close to power for the third time.

Is OBJ new in our political affairs?

Who among those jostling for presidential seat has not tasted power before and even presently?

Why attacking Atiku hypocritically?

Luckily for Turaki he is experienced and up to date with current trends in Nigeria and beyond. Recycling or not he will fit into the system quite seamlessly.

Is Atiku not a Northerner? Must it always be them?

I am sorry, but we shouldn’t deceive ourselves. I mean we should face reality.
Both APC and PDP have zoned presidency to the North. This is the reality which we must accept. Trying to change the status quo is as good as chasing one’s shadow.

Someone told me that Peter Obi or Donald Duke can win presidential election without the help of Northerners which I find amusing.
This will likely happen if the candidate is a consensus candidate, though such scenario is far from playing out in Nigerian politics.

Atiku is a Northerner, he is not better than Buhari

(Smiles) I am not sure but some people said that late Abacha is better than Buhari.
Well, in my own opinion there is no politician Buhari is better than.
Yes, Atiku is a Northerner , late Umaru Musa Yar’adua was a Northerner too.
Again, since it is going to be a Northerner eventually shouldn’t we shop for a person who is completely an opposite of the incumbent?

He (Atiku) will not make a good president…

I have read and heard some persons say dismissively that Atiku will not make a good president. Given his antecedents he is in a better position to help Nigeria out of her present sorry state.
Waziri Adamawa led from the front in wrestling to the ground the injustice molded within the third term bid of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

He respects the rule of law which will in turn bring about fairness and justice to all citizens.

Atiku I believe has the technical know how to revive our economy, because he is learned and open-minded. I have no doubt that he will work with the best economic and financial team like in the days of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Our problem as a nation stems from ethnic bigotry and unpatriotic political leadership. Most of our leaders since independence have preached the gospel of a united Nigeria but never putting into action what they preached.

Atiku is a man loved by every tribe (ethnic group) in Nigeria, I stand to be corrected but, Atiku is neither an ethnic nor religious bigot.

Atiku is desperate for presidency, why?

If you and I have our ways we would want to be the president too.

Recall attempt by Ghali Na’abba-led House of Representatives to impeach President Obasanjo in the year 2003. Atiku, who was the vice president then, swiftly put into action a reconciliation strategy that brought all conflicting parties to dialogue and eventually listened to the voice of good reasoning and peace.

While most perspicacious politicians in his position would have prayed and worked secretly to ensure that the impeachment was successful for them to accede presidential office, Atiku preferred to wait for his time. He was not desperate then and he certainly isn’t now. He doesn’t covet power either. He is simply a man who wants to use his good qualities and wealth of experience to aide his country quest for greatness.

This brings us to the pressing need to elect a president who has the inherent ability to restore peace and unity in Nigeria.

If Nigeria doesn’t need Atiku ,I wouldn’t be supporting him.
We may not like to admit it but we really need this great man and desperately too.


———————————–   Sharon Oparaocha


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