2023 is neither Tinubu nor Obi’s turn but Atiku time By Clem Aguiyi
Sometimes writers are likened to prophets because they too can tell the future. When possessed by the spirit of writing and without external inducement, writers devoid of emotions and sentiments can make intelligent predictions with accuracy and precision.
Like prophets, writers may not say exactly what is pleasing to some ears, that’s why many true prophets were hated by the kings. Even the society scorn at them for not following the crowd. It’s also not always that a writer is right in his prediction. Like prophets they can also get it wrong. But a true prophet will always speak the hurtful truth.
That a prediction didn’t come to pass is not the fault of the prophet. I recall in 2015 when Rev Fr Mbaka predicted that Buhari will win the election against President Jonathan, many people wanted his head chopped off. Eight years later, many are yet to forgive him for that prediction. Yes, Mbaka predicted that Buhari will win the 2015 presidential election and he won. He never predicted that Buhari will be a good president. That Buhari ended up a bad leader is left between him and his God. May be God used President Buhari to punish us as a country and may be speak to us about the importance of leadership, unity and faith in the country.
For those who follow my writings, they will agree that this is not the first time I am making an election call or endorsing a candidate. This is also not the first time I have reasons to change my mind about a particular candidate. In very recent time, I accurately predicted Osun, Ekiti, Anambra and Edo state stand-alone elections and all my predictions were accurate. In 2015, while I predicted that Jonathan will lose to Buhari, I still vehemently supported Jonathan’s candidature. I was unapologetic in my opposition to Buhari because I feared he will turn out a nightmare which he eventually became.
The 2023 presidential election without doubt will be a tough, tight and interesting election. People should be able to manage their emotions when things don’t go their way. Whomever wins out of the major front runners will be the president of Nigeria.
I have had close dealings and relationships with almost all of the major candidates and can describe them as my friends and brothers. I am therefore making this projection without any malice or prejudice. I could as well keep mute but I want it to be on record that I endorsed Atiku Abubakar as my preferred candidate to win the 2023 presidential election. 2023 is neither Tinubu’s turn or Obi’s turn but Atiku time. Atiku will win at first balloting and there will be no run-off election.
My plea to Atiku is that he should be a true father of the nation when he becomes President. This country is broken and require healing. He must rule with fairness and bear no malice against anyone , even those that were opposed to him. He must understand the frustrations of youths, particularly the radical obedients that yearn for radical change and a better future. There demands are just and must be factored in the effort to recover Nigeria. There talent, ingenuity , creativity and innovation which were clearly demonstrated through this election should not be dismissed or ignored. They should be harnessed for a better Nigeria.
Let me also register my respect for Mr. Peter Obi and his supporters without whom this election would have been boring. With 42,234 polling agents where PDP and APC are posting 176,974 polling agents, Labour has little chance of winning the presidential election. Obi will make some kings but will not be king himself, at least not now. He is a good candidate whose time is yet to come. I don’t see the landing of his current campaign despite the euphoria created translate into presidential victory.
I will advise that he step down his campaign and bargain for some powerful influence for his radical supporters. You don’t fight a battle you know you will not win just to score a point. That’s not good political arithmetic. However, win or lose, I will wish to see the ideas he projected incorporated into post Buhari administration.
For a fact, APC has finally imploded. Tinubu’s campaign is not just floundering, it has collapsed just like APC government has collapsed under Buhari. The governors and politicians that are seething with anger against the president are his own party men. According to El Rufai , ‘President Buhari is no longer capable of providing the required leadership for the country’.
It’s not just the party that is defying the president, the people are also bitter and angry. It’s extremely difficult to forgive his incompetence and the people who packaged and foisted him on the country. Those that foisted him as president cannot in good conscience now distance themselves from the legacy of deaths, pains, agony and frustration witnessed under the dispensation. His is a legacy his party men must inherit.
As a citizen, I am yet to comprehend why President Buhari in the twilight of his tenure as a lame duck president should decide to implement such controversial policies as census, increase in fuel pump price and new monetary policy that is being badly managed to the frustration of all.
Why is Atiku my preferred candidate to win the 2023 presidential election? The Atiku that I know, will not be a reluctant president. Anyone that has followed his political trajectory will come to the conclusion that he is driven by determination, patriotism and courage.
He has ran for president on several occasions and has been betrayed severally, yet he is not deterred. I recall vividly how he was denied being the Vice-Presidential candidate to late MKO Abiola. In 1999 he was positioned to run against President Obasanjo but again was persuaded in the interest of the country to drop his ambition. He later became Vice President to Obasanjo.
As a vice president, he discharged his duties creditably and saw to the economic transformation of the country from a debtor nation to a prosperous debt free economy.
For the love of country, he openly disagreed with his boss on the vexed issue of third term. It was him that summoned the courage and marshaled the anti- third term governors and legislators to oppose the ill- fated third term agenda of his boss.
If not for his courage, Obasanjo would have set a bad precedent. In truth, we owe the liberty we enjoy today to vote , chose and elect our leaders to courageous men like Atiku , Bola Tinubu, Orji Kalu, James Ibori , Senators Nwagbara , Ben Obi and many others who stood against the evil plot to turn Nigeria into a Banana Republic.
The Atiku I know is a detribalized Nigerian . He has friends from across the country. He does not discriminate on the basis of religion or tribe. He is at home with Nigerians irrespective of the differences in tribe and tongue. His personal ambition is not above his sense of patriotism. He is experienced and commands respect.
While I do not canonize him as a saint as no one in politics is , I have no doubt in my mind that he will make a better president. He has spoken on tough and controversial issues which his opponents has avoided. I endorse him because I know where he stands on such issues as national unity , security, education, economic prosperity and restructuring.
Election is neither a beauty contest nor character contest but about who is better positioned and organized to win an election and deliver on good governance. Among the front runners Atiku is better positioned to win and unify Nigeria. For these reasons and other sundry reasons, AA and his supporters must not go to sleep. Yes, victory is near, but still a successful last-minute push remain crucial to his final coronation.