By Dr. Abiola Oshodi Organisation
Good day Nigerians. The political season is here with us at last and, in a few months’ time, Nigerians will once again be presented with the four-yearly cyclical opportunity to elect their president and other leaders at different levels. But for the purpose of this article, we will be showcasing the strengths and weaknesses of the two leading political candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (ABAT), the presidential candidate of the APC, and Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, the presidential candidate of the PDP.
Specifically, about 30 years ago, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu resigned from Mobil to pursue a selfless political career and about the same time, Alhaji Atiku also left Nigeria Customs.
They both joined Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Group called People’s Front of Nigeria (PFN). PFN later merged forcefully with the People’s Solidarity Party (PSP) of Azika and the political marriage was superintended by the IBB decree and forcefully birthed the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the defunct SDP.
Tinubu contested and won a Lagos senatorial election under the defunct SDP. But when IBB banned all old generation politicians just to disqualify Yar’Adua, Yar’Adua put Atiku forward to run for President.
Prior to this time, Tinubu had jettisoned his Senate Presidential ambition to pave way for a Southern President. At the Jos convention, M.K.O Abiola and Adedibu had a long meeting with Yar’Adua to prevail on his political protege, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, to voluntarily withdraw from the race so that Alhaji Babagana Kingibe would not defeat the late MKO in the SDP primary.
The late Yar’Adua initially refused until people like the late Adedibu, Tinubu, Oladipo, etc prevailed on him and reminded him how they supported him against southerners before IBB disqualified him. Yar’Adua eventually surrendered to superior arguments and prevailed on Alhaji Atiku to step down for the late MKO Abiola. The rest is history.
Fast forward to 1999, Alhaji Atiku won the Adamawa Governorship Election, while Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu won the Lagos Governorship Election.
The presidential candidate of PDP, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, popularly known as OBJ picked the then Governor-Elect, Atiku of Adamawa State as his running mate, therefore, Atiku never had the opportunity of showing his capabilities to transform Adamawa State until this day.
Whereas, Tinubu grabbed the rare opportunity offered by the return to democracy in 1999 and turned Lagos into the 4th largest economy in Africa while Adamawa (Alhaji Abubakar Atiku’s home state) was something else.
Boko Haram which terrorized the fragile Nigeria unity and security to date was incubated and birthed in Borno State during the regime of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Alhaji Abubakar Atiku but became a global worry under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan GEJ.
After the 2003 election, when Obasanjo was molesting Atiku, Atiku ran to Tinubu, his PFN brother, for safety, and he was graciously embraced and accepted by ABAT.
Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu saw the future and strategically formed and funded a political party, the Action Congress, and when OBJ technically expelled Atiku from the PDP. Tinubu gave Atiku the platform, the AC platform, to contest and showcase his presidential qualities to Nigerians in 2007. However, Atiku left thereafter the AC to rejoin the PDP because Atiku couldn’t cope with the little beginnings and the formative years of the AC, Alhaji Atiku wanted a ready-made political party, like the PDP.
Tinubu remained focused and strengthened by the beliefs of his core values and democratic ethos, he continued to invest his resources in the fledging AC which later transformed into the ACN before merging with other political parties in 2014 ahead of the 2015 general elections to form the All Progressive Congress (APC) that eventually assumed national leadership of Nigeria in 2015 till date.
And as expected, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku lost in the PDP again, he was politically stranded. Tinubu and Buhari had formed the APC, and immediately Atiku saw the huge opportunity inherent in the newly formed but politically powerful APC, predictably Alhaji Atiku left the PDP officially and ran to Tinubu again to help salvage his political fortune.
President Muhammadu Buhari, then-presidential candidate, Buhari was rationally afraid that Tinubu would jilt him for his Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (PFN) ally, and despite many assurances, Buhari was skeptical until after Tinubu kept his promise at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos. And then-presidential candidate Buhari was handed the political platform ala carte to fly the APC presidential ticket and the rest is history. He used the APC platform to ascend into power in the last seven and hopefully he will hand over to the current APC presidential candidate Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu come May 2023 God willing.
Predictably Alhaji Atiku decamped back to the PDP after the 2015 general elections. Alhaji Atiku thus holds the national record of moving in and out of the PDP like a celebrity marriage, whereas Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains politically and ideologically consistent and thus politically predictable to his teeming political followers and thus has no record of ever romancing with the PDP man for one day, while they were in power. While Alhaji Atiku Abubakar holds the national record of being unstable politically, Alhaji Ahmed Bola Tinubu is politically stable, his words are bankable.
The 2023 national election has offered a rare opportunity for the Nigeria electorates to assess the two political gladiators through the intellectual prism of objectivity and determine who amongst the two leading candidates has the better training and capacity to lead Nigeria post-2023 when the PMB administration hands over power.
The 2023 national election offers the best opportunity to Nigerians to make a clear choice between political faithfulness or political promiscuity. Between political selflessness and political selfishness. Between Tinubu’s Lagos performance and Atiku’s VP performance.
It’s all about collective work for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to become the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023 inshallah. May Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu be victorious come 2023 presidential election in Jesus’ name amen and may Nigeria win with ABAT. It’s time to birth a new Nigeria.
This message is powered by the Dr Abiola Oshodi Organisation, Dr Abiola Oshodi is also national leader and the convener of the Patriots of Bola Ahmed Tinubu political pressure group (POBAT) determined to birth a new Nigeria under the Ahmed Bola Tinubu Presidency come 2023 God willing.