By Elijah Afolabi
Contrary to a report in one of the newspapers in which the writer laboured to highlight factors he thought are inimical to Atiku Abubakar’s success at the polls come 2023, he, Atiku, remains the best for the country today without sentiments.
Political analysts and the reality on ground are agreed that the former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 election commands a formidable political structure that places him ahead of his peers on both sides of the political divide.
Let’s attempt to interrogate the points raised by the writer in his attempt to gauge the political temperature and standing of various contenders for the office of the President of the federal republic.
1. Agitation for southern Presidency: This is a good and welcome development, particularly the clamour for a South-East Presidency. Obviously there is an abundance of Presidential materials of the south eastern stock, however, politics is a game of possibilities and we must understand time and season.
For instance in 1999 something remarkable happened when the two presidential candidates emerged from South-West Nigeria and I strongly believe that such time and season will come to the South-East in the nearest future.
But for now, the Peoples Democratic Party are desperately in need of power to restructure the country, bring back our lost glory, unite us together, rejuvenate our economy and rescue us from insecurity that has bedevilled our country to the point of near disintegration.
We cannot, therefore, be talking of zoning at this point in time. We need a presidential material, a commander-in-chief, a unifier, and a father figure that can clear Aegean stable and give us a country we can leave behind for our children.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar possesses the character, attitude, disposition, mental stability, competence, capacity, network and sound health to lead our country out of the woods and stir into manifestation the hidden potentials we are endowed with.
Sentiments aside, he is brave and courageous to take the battle to the enemy’s camp; he has the capacity to step on toes, he also has in abundance the required ruggedness and political sagacity to galvanise political forces to align themselves positively for national development.
He is one Nigerian with a national perspective and proven to be completely detribalized. His network of friends and associates cut across the length and breadth of Nigeria. His acceptance in every part of the country is without any shadow of doubt.
The governors of our party should as a matter of fact make the best opportunity of this time and rally round this God’s ordained and endowed personality and put sentiment aside if we must win the next presidential election next year.
2. Age: Age in politics is an asset as long as you are mentally sound and not physically disabled in a way that it would hinder you from performing your official functions.
The American presidential model we have adopted is a supporter of this position as exemplified in the ages of the last and current Presidents of America — Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
God forbid if Alhaji Atiku Abubakar drops dead today, all the governors and our political leaders in Nigeria will go to town extolling his greatness and quality, and how he died when his service was needed the most.
Some will even label him as the best President Nigeria never had. Now that the man is alive, hale and hearty, able, ready and willing to serve, let’s make use of him with his God’s given wisdom, which he has demonstrated in his private endeavours to lead us out of this mess we currently find ourselves.
Deacon Afolabi is a political analyst and wrote from Lagos