- ATIKU’s Game Plan Revealed!
With the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primaries fixed for August, 2018, all roads lead to the convention ground to decide who will be the standard bearer of the biggest political party in Africa. One of the top contenders in this race is the former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku. Although out of office for about 11 years, Alhaji Atiku, an iconic politician is seen as the man who can lead the PDP back to power again.
Here is a man who achieved greatness, fame and wealth by dint of hard work and not through sheer providence. His decorum, moderation, self-discipline, enterprise and industry are almost legendary. A man of genial and sprawling character, he is a veteran of many political voyages and regarded as the strongest Vice President Nigeria has ever produced in a democratic dispensation. Beside politics, his huge investment in the country’s development in all endeavours is incontrovertible.
His political strength is overwhelming having fought quite a number of political battles to advance the cause of democracy imploring his vast political network to soften opponents.
He has also proven that he is tougher in political skill among the Northern politicians with enough financial muscle to comfortably provide the essential means necessary to win election at any level. He is not the only one running. As at the last count, about 6 aspirants are in the fore front for the plum job. These are Atiku, former Governor of Jigawa State; Alhaji Sule Lamido, former Governor of Kaduna State and immediate past Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee; Senator Ahmed Maikarfi, the Governor of Gombe State; Ibrahim Dankwambo, former Governor of Kano State; Senator Rabiu Kwankwanso and former Speaker and governor of Sokoto State; Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal.
But Atiku Abubakar has a richer C.V. of all the aspirants. He has been in public life for over 3 decades. After retiring as Deputy Director in Customs Service, he voyaged into business holding substantial shares in some blue chip companies. He was a force in the 1992 presidential primaries that produced late Chief MKO Abiola only after his stepping down for the business mogul. He inherited the political structure of late Sheu Musa Yar’Adua in the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) which later dissolved into PDP and contributed immeasurably to the party’s success at the general elections. He was elected governor of Adamawa State in 1999 before former President Obasanjo chose him as his running mate.
No doubt, Alhaji Atiku has used his vast experience in the private sector to great advantage during his tenure in office. He has never been elected President yet, his impact on the economic reform in the drafting of a robust and visionary economic team for the then President Obasanjo was incredible, transforming the entire landscape of the country and winning commendations and laurels from many quarters.
Indeed politics, as practiced by him has become an instrument of socio-economic transformation with his trajectories while in power still clearly visible across the length and breadth of the country. With his superlative achievements in business, it is believed that Nigeria will prosper more under the leadership of Atiku as he would deploy his acumen in the management of the country’s resources and take it out of the woods.
He has continued to confound most people commanding respects even from detractors. He strikingly draws out the fragility of where real truth lies and where sympathy and empathy are genuinely employed in the service of the people. Zealously meticulous in articulating his thoughts, his lectures and speeches whether written or extemporal are rich intellectually and academically inclined.
He holds the belief that any president who wants to change the story of Nigeria should place substantial emphasis on Human Capital Development by increasing the budgetary allocation to education and be ready to tackle the problem of corruption in the political system decisively. In his words; “Nigeria deserves a president who puts the priorities and well-being of Nigerians before personal ambition and lust for power”.
His generosity is said to be astonishing and, at the same time humbling. Besides government, he is the highest employer of labour in his home State of Adamawa with immense investments education, agriculture, media, hospitality, water, oil and gas etc. It is also to his credit that he underwrote major scholarship aids for many promising Nigerian students who lacked means to advance their education. His famed generosity and large heartedness have gained him a large number of devoted loyal followership. He has support and endorsement across the country as the people freely and willingly endorse and support him as a private individual.
More importantly, he has combined greatness with humility and service. He has made tremendous impact on the lives of people irrespective of tribe, religion, age, gender, status or political leaning. He has been described as a gentlemen politician poised to bring renewed life with promises of a better alternative to Nigerians. Here is refreshing departure from promises made, covenant signed but not kept.
According to Atiku, “I am probably the most misunderstood politician around. The rich and the powerful in the society do not understand why I associate with the poor. The poor do not trust me because I am rich and relate with the powerful. But I have since realized that this is a price I must pay for the development of the society”.
Opinions have shown that majority of Nigerians are bored with the present Administration conventional politicians and this is perhaps the golden moment to save the People’s Democratic Party from itself. This is the choice before the party delegates come August.