Shocking Things City People Found Out
This is the story of 2 friends who have now become sworn enemies. It is the story of Pres. Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who served as the Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, during the presidency of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Recall that he ran as governor of Adamawa State in 1990, 1996, and in 1998, when he was finally elected, before he became Obasanjo’s running mate during the 1999 presidential election and was re-elected in 2003.
Atiku Abubakar has run unsuccessfully for the President of Nigeria 6 different times, in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019, and 2023. He ran in the Social Democratic Party presidential primaries in 1993, but lost to Moshood Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe. He was a presidential candidate of the Action Congress in the 2007 presidential election coming in third to Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP and Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP. He contested the presidential primaries of the People’s Democratic Party during the 2011 presidential election losing out to incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. In 2014, he joined the All Progressives Congress ahead of the 2015 presidential election and contested the presidential primaries losing to Muhammadu Buhari. In 2017, he returned to the Peoples Democratic Party and was the party presidential candidate during the 2019 presidential election, again losing to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
In May 2022, he was chosen as the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate again, this time for the 2023 general election after he defeated Nyesom Wike, the current Governor of Rivers State, in the primaries. He came in second in the general election, being defeated by Bola Tinubu, though Abubakar joined other opposition candidates in demanding a revote.
Right now, Atiku is angry with the results of the Presidential election petition tribunal which returned Tinubu as President and as the rightful winner. He has told everyone that he is heading for the Supreme Court. According to him, “as you already know, I approached the court following the declaration by INEC that the APC and its candidate are the winners of the February 25, Presidential Election.”
“My decision to go to court is anchored in my belief that the court is the sanctuary of justice. The journey of my political career, as you know, holds so much to the courage and fearless decisions of our judiciary.”
“Indeed, I am no stranger to legal battles, and I can say that I have a fair idea of how the court system works. All through my career as a politician, I have been a fighter, and I must say that I have found the judiciary as a worthy pillar to rest on in the pursuit of justice.”
“The last presidential election in our country and the way it was managed by the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, leaves behind unenviable precedents, which I believe the courts have a duty to redress. Our gains in ensuring transparent elections through the deployment of technology was heavily compromised by INEC in the way it managed the last presidential election, and I am afraid that the judgement of the court as rendered by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal yesterday, failed to restore confidence in our dreams of free and fair elections devoid of human manipulations.”
“Like I did say at the beginning of this legal battle when I instructed my lawyers to file my petition challenging the outcome of the presidential election, my ultimate goal in this pursuit is to ensure that democracy is further strengthened through the principles and processes of fair hearing.”
“The decision of the court of first instance on this matter utterly falls far short of that expectation. Though the judgment of the court is respected, it is a judgment that I refuse to accept. I refuse to accept the judgment because I believe that it is bereft of substantial justice. However, the disappointment in the verdict of the court can never destroy my confidence in the judiciary.
“Consequently, I have asked my lawyers to activate my constitutionally guaranteed rights of appeal to the higher court, which, in the instance, is the Supreme Court. It is my conviction that the electoral process in Nigeria should be devoid of untidy manipulations and that the outcome of every election should be a perfect reflection of the wishes of the electorate. I believe that such is the only way through which our democracy can have a manifest expression of its true meaning. Whether I prevail in this quest or not, the record of my effort in ensuring an order of credible elections in Nigeria shall remain for the future generations to evaluate.”
“On this note, I urge all my supporters to remain steadfast. I urge them to take solace in an immortal lesson I learned from my leader and mentor, the late Shehu Yar’Adua, that losing a battle is less important than losing the war. We might have lost a battle yesterday, but the war is well ahead of us. And I believe that with our hopes in God, we shall win the war of restoring confidence in our electoral system.”
But how did Atiku lose the elctions to Tinubu? Opinion is divided. Many people believe that it was because Atiku miscalculated and didn’t play his game well.
He had high hopes of winning the election. He was confident he was capable of defeating the APC candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, but in the end, things did not work out for him as planned.
What went wrong? How did Atiku, an experienced politician who had been taken shots at the presidency for decades running, lose to Tinubu, who was taking his first shot? Many political analysts have given several reasons for the inability of Atiku to win the presidential election. The most obvious reason will surely be his fall out with the G-5 Integrity group led by Governor Nyesom Wike. The group had insisted the national Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, had to resign because the party’s presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, was from the northern region of the country just like Ayu. And the party’s constitution states clearly that such arrangement is unacceptable. But Atiku called the bluff of the G-5 and insisted he would go ahead with the elections without their support. In the end, the PDP lost several states such as Rivers, a PDP state to APC. It also lost Oyo to APC, lost Benue to LP, etc. And these were states PDP expected it would put in the bag.
The Peter Obi factor was also a major set back for the PDP. In 2018, Atiku, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 election named former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, his running mate. In 2022, Peter Obi resigned from the PDP when he discovered that he won’t be given the 2023 presidential ticket. Obi who eventually joined the Labour Party became the darling of youths who call themselves Obedients. With the Obedients, Obi was able to capture the southeast, his home region alongside millions of youths who are tired of the old order of politicians. Traditionally, the southeast has been the stronghold of the PDP. However, it fell to Obi with a wide margin. Even in Lagos State where the PDP traditionally gives the APC a run for its money, the party did so poorly leaving the APC and the Labour Party to share the spoils between them and Peter Obi won the state with a slim margin, beating APC to it.
Many also believe one of the reasons Atiku lost the presidential election was because he was up against arguably the biggest political strategist in the land in the person of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC. Tinubu has consistently shown that he is The Master strategist when it comes to the game of politics. He never lost any election before and he showed the desire and hunger to win this one more than any of the other presidential candidates. He had a gruelling campaign tour that took him round 35 out of the 36 states of the federation. Asiwaju was cleartly the most prepared for the election. He had a better structured campaign tour and worked with some of the best hands you can possibly find in the country. Most of them are veterans when it comes to electioneering canmpaigns. These are men who breathe, sleep, think politics and campaign strategies. Call them the most prolific campaign strategists in the land and you won’t be wrong. A few of them are Mr. Dele Alake, Femi Fani Kayode, Bayo Onanuga, Festus Keyamo and a few others.
Another reason political observer gave for the inability of Atiku tro win the just concluded presidential election, which many already believe will be his last shot at the presidency, is his arrogance and failure to listen to superior arguments. Some say it is a Fulani attitudinal problem. They feel they know it all so they barely listen when you try to make them see things from a different perspective. It has been said that those around Atiku Abubakar are often careful when dealing with him. His mood swings puts them on the edge all the time. You have to be sure when to offer a word of advice because he could snap at you and embarrass you with a scathing remark. The arrogance is something many of his aides still can’t deal with.
For instance, when the brouhaha with the G-5 reached a point where it looked pretty clear the group was not ready to bulge, there were calls from within the party on Atiku to accede to their demand and ask Ayu to step down but Atiku ignored them, calling the five governors boys who had little erxperience in politics. He said they were in the secondary school or in the university when he and a few others were building the party from the scratch. He called their bluff and paid dearly for it. Atiku certainly must be licking his wounds now.
One major issue the PDP presidential candidate also had to deal with is the fact that many just couldn’t wrap their heads around the fact that being a northerner, a core Fulani, like President Buhari, it just didn’t make sense to them that after Buhari’s tenure, one which hasn’t been exactly remarkable to say the least, another Fulani man would now be taking over. Many just couldn’t process that and resented the very thought of it. So, votes that ordinarily should’ve gone to the PDP went to other parties simply because many were angry with Atiku for not keeping to the zoning constitution of his party, the PDP.