If I am to call the 2023 election at this hour, based on the configuration of traditional Nigerian politics, I will call it for Waziri Atiku Abubakar, yet this is one election that I am hesitant to call now because from my perspective, it’s a tight race and thus far everything remains fluid.
The Peter Obi surge is real, not relenting and cannot be dismissed with a wave of hand. If there will be element of surprises, it will be PO winning 25% votes across the required states, as well as the popular votes. Given the organic population of his followership this may be difficult but not an impossible task.
Another shocker that may be experiences will be Bola Ahmed Tinubu in-spite of the word war in APC emerging a clear winner in the election that he is projected to loss. I don’t know any Nigerian that is not angry with APCs destruction of the country. Everyone I know wants the party out.
It’s extremely difficult to forgive President Buhari’s incompetence and the people who packaged and foisted him on the country. No amount of detergent will wash them clean and free from the deaths, pains, agony and frustration witnessed under the dispensation. You can imagine as I am seeing APCs policies being challenged in court by APC led governors. APC appointed Supreme Court ruling against the APC led Federal government who remain defiant to the rule of law. When you remove the law , the end result is anarchy and that’s what Nigeria has become under a confused , clueless and incompetent leadership.
As a citizen, I am yet to comprehend why APC in this last minute of a make or mar election year decide to implement some controversial policies capable of setting the country on fire. Here, I mean the new monetary policy that is being badly managed to the frustration of all; an election to be conducted with BVAS despite glaring challenges.
The reasons given by the Osun State Governorship Election Tribunal for the nullification of Governor Adeleke’s victory, even though I have my personal disagreement with that judgement shows BVAS can be manipulated. This is one election that promises to be marred by violence, intimidation and harassment. For some people , this election is war and that’s a wrong mindset. Election which is a ritual of democracy ought to be a celebration of freedom and choice.
The government insistent to conduct census is yet another major controversial issue. You don’t need a prophet to predict that any census figure manufactured by this government with all the trust deficit between it and the citizens will be vehemently challenged and outrightly rejected.
APCs excess baggage and word war does not mean that Tinubu as a strategist will not beat the odds. He has shown himself to be an old fox that can outfox his foes, or that the youths behind Obi’s campaign will end up all furry and no actions. The youths will surely be a factor in this election.
So far, and by my own calculation, 2023 is Atiku time. The odds and political configuration favors him, though it’s not yet uhuru because an hour in politics means a lot; an hour can change all the equation hence it’s not surprising that all the three major frontline candidates are on last minute drive to gain voters’ attention, either to sway undecided voters or to consolidate on their traditional support base.
Why is Atiku favored to win? 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 and patriotism.
His political career started with the Late Shehu Yar’adua in PDM. He was projected to run as Vice President to MKO Abiola who inherited the PDM structure that made up the then SDP. At the last minute, and to the disappointment of many , MKO zeroed in on Babagana Kingibe as his vice-presidential candidate.
Despite the betrayal , Atiku still remained loyal to the party and supported the MKO / Kingibe ticket. He didn’t go conducting himself like Governor Wike because he felt shortchanged . He rather left everything in the hands of God whom alone anoint kings. That June 12 ,1993 election believed to have been won by MKO Abiola was eventually annulled by the military . First to ditch MKO was his Vice who teamed up with his Kanuri kinsman. MKO died in questionable circumstances while Military custody.
Again in 1999 when the military decided to transition to democracy, Atiku who became the leader of the PDM in absence of Yar’adua was to run against Obasanjo and Alex Ekwueme in PDP but was persuaded to step down and he did. He contested for the governorship election of his native Adamawa state which he won with Boni Haruna a Christian as is Deputy. He was handpicked from this position by Obasanjo to deputise him. Putting the country first , he accepted to serve as a vice president – a position that divested him of all executive powers. As a vice president, he discharged his duties creditably well and saw to the economic transformation of the country from a debtor nation to a prosperous debt free economy.
Atiku only known public disagreement was on the issue of third term which would have seen the then president Obasanjo subvert the constitution to allow him to become a life president of Nigeria. Atiku summoned the courage and marshaled the anti- third term governors and legislators to oppose the ill- fated third term agenda. If not for his rare courage, Nigeria would have ended up a laughing stock like Cameroun and Equatorial Guinea. In truth, we owe the current democracy where we still have the power to vote , chose and elect our leaders to courageous men like Atiku , Bola Tinubu, Orji Kau, James Ibori , Nwagbara , Ben Obi and many others who stood against the evil plot to turn Nigeria into a Banana Republic.
The Atiku is a detribalized Nigerian . He has friends from across the country. He does not discriminate on the basis of religion . He is at home with Nigerians irrespective of the differences in tribe , tongue and creed. His personal ambition does not transcend his love for country. He is experienced and commands respect. While I do not canonize him as a saint or saviour 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 respect him because I know where he stands on tough issues of nation building.
Election is not a beauty contest or character contest but about who is better positioned and organized to win an election and deliver on good governance. For these reasons, AA and his supporters must not go to sleep. A successful last-minute push remain crucial to his final coronation.
As part of that final push , Atiku Abubakar is scheduled to hold a virtual readiness one on one virtual meeting with all PDP candidates from the 774 L.G.A’s in Nigeria with their support base. This is novel.
The proposed event which is the first of its kind will showcase PDP’s grass roots support across all local government areas and serve as a last-minute preparedness drill to access readiness for the election as having boots and foots on ground is a prerequisite to winning any major election.
The proposed pre-election assurance drive among other things will allow the PDP flag bearer and his running mate , Governor Ifeanyi Okowa the opportunity to connect and interact directly at personal level with other PDP flag bearers , supporters at the grassroots from across the country.