By Remi Oyeyemi…
The former Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku is today one of the most interesting personalities on the Nigerian political pedestal. Interesting because as an elite and a member of the ruling class, a bonafide scion of the status quo, he seems to understand best the concept of enlightened self interest in comparison to the other contemporary members of the same ruling class.
Nigeria is a Capitalist State. The traditional systems, on which many of the ethnic nationalities that comprise Nigeria built their social, economic and political cultures are basically capitalistic in nature, sprinkled with light variations of what Marxist theorists would characterise as Communalism. To this extent, the emerged State, grandfathered by a capitalistic colonial master became essentially a Capitalist one.
But Nigeria’s socio – economic and religio – political character that emerged, imbued with and by the traditional and cultural variables of its milieu, when properly dissected, is a perfect study of the crudest genre of Capitalism. Its crude form, as expected and as has been attested to historically in practice and theory, in other climes, is incubating antagonistic forces to its survival. It is nurturing self destructive internal contradictions.
While Capitalism is aimed at creating and accumulating wealth through profit making, it contextually engenders, as a matter of course, some of the ills average Nigerians are worried about and are complaining of today. These ills are encapsulated in the etimology of corruption. A study of this etimology reveals some variables that are conventional and universal in nature. It also reveals some unique characteristics to the Nigerian environment.
However, the ruling class in Nigeria, the primary beneficiary of the subsisting crude capitalism, is exuding dangerous indolence, digging deeper to further the depth of its deadly drony. It is slumbering, snoring sneeringly, in the comfort of incompetence, unperturbed by the searing concomitant degeneracy that is gradually readying to engulf the country.
This is where Abubakar Atiku, a cerebral politician, beneficiary of this crude capitalism, business man, a privileged member of this status quo comes in. He comes in with a clear understanding of this system, with an analytical approach grounded in selflessness imbued with self preservation to which his fellow members of the same class are oblivious.
He comes in with a reformative agenda to save the system from itself and possible collapse. He is not out to change the system and as such could not be characterised as a “revolutionary.” But he wants to reform the system, make it more functional, fair, balanced, productive and regenerating of and to the people and all members of it’s constituent units.
As a Yoruba Nationalist myself, I am enthused and enthralled by his grasp of the need to foster SELF DETERMINATION as an essential tool to rejuvenate a sense of social, political and economic justice among ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. He is genuinely concerned about the importance of sense of belonging as a basis of and for a renewed belief and faith in the Union of Nigeria.
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Abubakar Atiku sees the European Union concept as being practicable in Nigerian context. It allows every ethnic nationality to be in control of its destiny while still being loyal and patriotic to the Nigerian State. He wants a stronger Nigeria built on freedom of individual expressed in the ability of its local community to determine its needs and act accordingly in the larger objective of strengthening Nigeria as a major player in international fora.
His position on RESTRUCTURING is unassailable. He has been on this concept for fourteen going to fifteen years. He is asking Nigeria to go to what brought this country together as negotiated between 1957 and 1959 with Federating Units having a range of autonomy within the Nigerian context with some limited variations. This was the Constitutional arrangement that Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikiwe agreed on before they proceeded on the 1960 Independence
Atiku believes that this is the quickest way to save Nigeria, move it closer to its peoples, meet their aspirations and make their hopes realizable. He believes this is the best way to meet the urgent need to sanitize this system, cleanse it of the debilitating corruption, make the hospitals work, revitalize the educational system, make the country economically viable and competitive within as well as socially stable.
Atiku is the right leader for today’s Nigeria. He is bold, smart and intelligent. He listens and cares. He is selfless and humane. He respects the law and revere the courts. He is urbane and cosmopolitan. He is not shackled by any form of provincialism. He is a man of ideas. He is not a leader that could be held hostage because of limited intellectual endowment. He has a plan to bring Nigeria from the brink.
As a reformer, Atiku is straddling on the theoretical divide between the rulers and the ruled. He is offering hope to the disenfranchised and the disenchanted. At the same time, he is offering salvation to an inert, inept, inapt ruling class with a sense of invulnerability that is at best fake, by trying to reform the system, making it more functional, humane and fair.
The ruling class in Nigeria needs Atiku more than Atiku needs to be President. It would be in their best interest to rally round him in full appreciation of enlightened self interest. The first Law of Nature is self preservation. This is what Atiku is offering them. It would be wise on their part to take it.
Closely intertwined with this is the hopelessness on the Nigerian streets. The disenfranchised are frustrated, hungry and angry. Their impatience is already being permeated with volatility. They are exhausted by and tired of governance by mantra and propaganda. They have no use for further preachment. They want results in concrete terms.
Atiku is the man with the plan to turn things around. His leadership genre – informed, exposed, ready, experienced, competent, stable, fair and balanced – is what Nigeria needs now. His cosmopolitanism guarantees accommodation of all. He would not only bring the country together, he would heal it by putting it on the path of greatness through freedom and self determination of all ethnic nationalities in the context of Nigeria.
Yes, Atiku wants to be President. But Nigeria needs him now more than ever. He has a defined and clear vision. It is a vision from whence every societal stratum could derive a lasting benefit. Nigerians have a choice between total Balkanization of Nigeria with its Historical demise staring us all in the face or self determination of all ethnic nationalities in the context of Nigeria.
It is time to make a choice. It is time to choose Atiku.
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