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ATIKU: …This is not a Jonathan

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PDP,consensus candidate and its imminent failure

By Joseph Edgar…

So Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President and PDP presidential aspirant made it to America. The CJN is under trial, MC Oluomo was attacked, an attempt was made on the job of the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Dino Malaye is docked and we now have a new IG of police. These are indeed very interesting times.

The tempo is getting hotter by the day, the contestants are gearing up for the last round of politicking just before the elections which are but a month away. The long distance runners are still in the race and the pretenders – the third leg as predicted have withered away into their sorry caves, leaving us with the two main contenders to bother our heads with.

The way I see things, if I am asked, I do not think President Buhari and flag bearer of the APC is really interested in this contest. He looks and sounds not bothered by it all. He has not shown too much enthusiasm for the task and has even handed over his campaign to the Lagos strong man Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. What it is looking like, in my own estimation, is Mr President being propped up by special interests to protect them but getting him to stand, if for nothing else, for the perks that come with the job.

Or, how else do we explain his penchant for not ‘being aware’ of major issues surrounding his government? The last TV appearance between him and his vice confirms this position as we saw a President really out of depth, not totally in touch with the reality of government and governance and much more importantly not showing too much interest in all that is going around him.

On the other hand, is the ‘young’ vivacious and articulate Atiku. Fully aware that going against an incumbent, especially one that is surrounded by hawks who are ready to do and undo to maintain status quo, he has gone on the offensive. Flirting with influential groups, speaking their language and showing so much vigor and energy, you almost forget his true age.

So, what do we do as true Nigerians seeking a renaissance in our national life? Today the issues facing us are myriad. We are the poverty capital of the world, power is epileptic, infrastructure is dilapidated and social justice is a myriad. Our choice from these two candidates should be predicated on their ability to tackle these issues and bring forth a redemption. So in truth, which of these two candidates is better positioned to deliver on these promises?

Buhari is tired, lacks the energy to comprehend the issues and effectively tackle them. There is no problem with being tired and old, the issue is his inability to identify strong skill sets beyond his narrow parochial leanings that would assist him in moving the state forward. He has limited himself to his ethnic stock for human capacity which, if he was getting the best hands and advise, I would not mind. But his appointments have shown not only a great disregard for fair lay but a highly suspect ability to identify talent thereby eposing him to nepotistic incompetence.

If he found the best hands from Daura and put all of them in the Council of State I would not mind. The end justifies the means, after all the Late Joh F Kennedy had his brother in the White House with him. But what we are seeing here is a ‘cabal of maintainace’ and nothing else. The status quo must remain no matter what and this is reflective in the state of the nation.

Read also: How Buhari Is Becoming A Liability To APC On Corruption

On the other hand, we have a PDP which is looking like a team of merry men. The candidate’s stated position that he would enrich his friends further cements his reputation as a man with oily fingers and giving us the creeps. Atiku better articulates his position, shows a much more open and democratic mien and seems to better understand the issues of the day especially the need to use technology to tap into the new economy and grow wealth.He is looking better positioned and much more approachable but will he get the votes?

My take is that in a free and fair election, which is usually a mirage in our country, Atiku would win the popular votes and I suspect the incumbent knows this, hence the moves at the Police, INEC and the Judiciary. What we are seeing are preemptive strikes in a desperate move to win the elections outside of the ballot box.This is to be expected in the banana Republic that we have found ourselves and dare I say, Atiku in the same boat will do the same.

This is definitely not a Jonathan-type scenario, a Jonathan who knowingly or unknowingly frittered way opportunities thrown at him by the power of incumbency and lost his seat. But today, the wish is for a Jonathan so that the very true aspirations of Nigerians would be reflected in the elections.

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