What The Clamouring For Atiku Abubakar Tells me, By Lana Alofe
When I read commentary on the Nigerian discussion, I do not know whether to laugh or cry and most times I end up doing both. Mirth at the ridiculously mundane recycling of talking points in the political narrative and sadness at the paucity of ideas and ubiquitous mediocrity. We need a saviour! Yes we do! Someone who can move the needle and get Nigerians to understand that they do not need to keep recycling the same people (including their scions) off the same old and rotten platforms modified to look like new ones.
I have not seen any explanation beyond the fact that Atiku Abubakar was once in government as the Vice President during the Obasanjo administration for two terms and before then was angling to be the president when he was dangling from the coattails of his benefactor, the late General Yar’adua as well as his transformation of a questionable source of wealth into profitable business ventures employing many Nigerians. He has done well for himself after leaving the Nigeria Customs Service. Let us clap for him please!
If that were the criteria for choosing the president of Nigeria, then proponents of his candidacy should be pushing Aliko Dangote instead because even though he got his big break through the largesse of government insider knowledge which allowed him to expand his business into what it is today, the man started small and built an empire Atiku can only dream of! We know the source of Dangote’s immense wealth. Who can say the same for Atiku? Are those supporting him comfortable with his antecedents? Go and beg Dangote to run instead!
Yet, many are rolling over themselves to present Atiku as the viable alternative to President Buhari whom they despise based on bigoted reservations and bandied about unproven allegations. The incredibly foolish strategy of attacking Buhari’s intelligence, educational qualifications and lack of personal fortune to employ hundreds or thousands of people which backfired when Jonathan tried it is rearing its ugly head once more. What makes those employing it assume it will work this time? You see, a paucity of ideas? That is the opposition we are forced to endure in Nigeria!
What the clamouring for Atiku by people who have used ethnicity, religion and a skewed evaluation of intelligence to attack President Buhari tells me is that they do not really care about the qualifications the candidate opposing President Buhari may possess. As long as there is a chance of defeating the incumbent in their opinion, they will jump on that train. Otherwise, someone whose source of wealth is suspect will not be their champion if they attacked Buhari the way they did out of a sincere purpose. Why should anyone take them seriously then?
So, another takeaway from their elevation of Atiku is the exposure of the insincerity behind their opposition to Buhari. If they can promote Atiku, then they cannot convince me their relentless attempts at tearing down Buhari is not a reaction to the defeat Goodluck Jonathan whom many of them also have issues with suffered at his hands. Their denials of this open secret is undermined by a love for Atiku. The amazing gymnastic feat of seeing the failures Jonathan represents, not wanting Buhari to replace him and now being ecstatic with the chance of Atiku being a viable contender tells me critical thinking is missing as cognitive dissonance is on display!
One final extrapolation from their sudden love for Atiku is that his supporters really do not believe in the Northern/Muslim agenda nonsense so much effort has been invested in to propagate the nauseating false narrative against Buhari because anyone who understands the mystic of the Northern oligarchy in place now realizes that Atiku, Buhari and other major politicians from that part of Nigeria, just like their counterparts from the South are united in their desire for the place they come from to be well taken care of politically simply because it is only natural to. Do you blame them? Tell me why, if they think Buhari is interested in magnifying the presence of the North in running Nigeria, Atiku would be any different? Whom are they trying to fool by claiming he is more liberal? That is a joke because all they have to go with is what he has said and… Atiku has been a politician for a very long time. He knows exactly what to say to present a particular front.
It is now time to dispense with the pretense and admit that Buhari is the “problem.” The annoyance is due to the fact that he was able to remove a president they were invested in because of Jonathan’s tribal background and not as a result of conjured up fears about Buhari being the second coming of Idi Amin, this time in Nigeria! That is pure baloney! Be honest enough to present your real reasons for wanting Atiku! It is instructive to realize these people are so deeply afflicted with the ‘Buhari must go syndrome’ they are willing to give up another presidential term just to get rid of him as Atiku will definitely want two terms before handing over the reigns to a Southern president instead of just the additional second term a Buhari presidency requires. That is the Nigerian reality today right? A back and forth exchange between the two halves and we should not pretend this is not the case.
I am being told by this performance that Nigeria has a long way to go before we start seeing the kinds of candidates vying for elective office majority of us would be pleased to vote for and thus making a choice becomes a difficult thing to do because of how qualified they all are from different perspectives. Then, we would decide based on what they bring to the table and not as a consequence of the forced conclusion that it must be anyone but the incumbent due to ethnicity, religion or partisan loyalty.
Right now, I am laughing and crying at the display of shame, double-faced Nigerians are unabashedly engaged in. What a farce! If Atiku is the alternative to President Buhari in 2019, let Mr President continue with his presidency then.
This article was written on 2nd December 2017 and just published for the first time today.
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