January 29, 2023

2023 elections: 5 presidential candidates, their stains and choice to make

Nigerians have suddenly become the bride that every bridegroom is running after. The politician-groom, have been moving from one state to another, looking and wooing the electorate, to vote for them.

In election circles like this, all sort of promises are bound. All the candidates, suddenly become solution providers. Though some of their solutions,if not all, are only good on paper.

While it is the legitimate and constitutional right of the electorate to exercise their franchise on who tickle their fancy, every voter have one expectation or another on his or her preferred candidates.

However, experience have since taught everyone that unrealized expectations can be demoralizing and suicidal. Minimise your expectations on your candidates.
These candidates all have their Baggages behind them. No sainthood prefix should be attached to their names. In fact, the recent PDP APC’s accusatory politics shows none is infallible after all.

In choosing who becomes your chief servant, look critically their many buts and see if you can cope with these buts for thr next four years he will be in saddle, directing the affairs of your life.

Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar was a former Vice president between 1999 and 2003. His government is still considered as the best since the country returned to democracy in 1999. He is said to be good at spotting talent, one of them being the current governor of Kaduna State, mallam Nasir El-Rufai. He was a successful businessman before his foray into politics. However, his life in and out of government is laced with all manner of controversies bothering on corruption. He was reportedly involved with his friend, American Congress man, William Jefferson in money laundering, racketeering, and conspiracy with African governments in a bid to promote and expand his telecommunications deals in Nigeria, Ghana, and elsewhere; oil concessions in Equatorial Guinea; satellite transmission contracts in Botswana, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo; and development of different plants and facilities in Nigeria. TheFederal Bureau of Investigation FBI said it found $90,000 stashed in a freezer in his home. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison for bribery and corruption after a thorough investigation conducted by the FBI.
His principal, former president olusegun obasanjo, a man who chooses his words carefully before spewing said in his book the amount of money embezzled by Atiku can last the next 400 years. That surely isn’t a good recommendation from one’s principal.

Only recently, a former aide of his, Michael Achimugu alleged that both the former Vice President and former President Olusegun Obasanjo used SPVs to siphon public funds during their tenure. Achimugu had claimed that Atiku who introduced and formed the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) to the party and the government which he used to fleece the federal government he was k to be serving.

Minister of state for Labour Festus Keyamo who doubled as director media for the All Progressives Congress APC presidential Campaign Council has vowed to prosecute Atiku in court even if he has to resign from his office.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Bola Ahmed Tinubu, until he threw his hat into the ring, was the national leader of his party, All Progressives Congress, APC. Though he left office 2007, he, nonetheless single handedly picked all the governors after him. This, perhaps explains why his consultancy firm, Alpha-beta couldn’t be queried in the audit of taxes it collects on behalf of Lagos state, its supposed principal. Alpha-beta is a consulting firm handling the computation, tracking and reconciliation of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in Lagos State in return for a commission. it was reportedly set up shortly before Tinubu left office in 2007.
Dapo Apara, a Nigerian chartered accountant, accused the former governor of using the company for “massive corruption purposes including tax evasion, bribery of government officials, diversion of funds” and money laundering. The claim, till date, hasn’t been controverted.

Outside corruption allegations, the issue of health of the former governor has become of great concern to every one.

Peter Obi

Peter Obi former governor of Anambra stste under the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA. He, it was who cursed himself that should he ever decamp the party, may he never amount to anything good, politically. He eventually left the party for Peoples Democratic Party PDP where he was made national coordinator South East during the 2011 General elections and even became the party vice presidential candidate in 2019. He left the party two weeks to its primaries when it became manifestly clear that he stood no chance to beat Atiku for standard bearer of the party. He ran to the now popular Social Democratic Party SDP for cover where Adebayo has turned around as truly national party. He was turned down. He found solace in Labour eventually.
Obi reportedly said he broke the law several times, this is despite his standing as an advocate of good governance, openness, and transparency.

Beyond the now encomiums being showered on him by the now chaotic but youthful crowd, obi isn’t entirely transparent as he made the public believe.

Obi, as it is now known, has several secret business dealings and relationships including some he clandestinely set up and operated overseas, including the notorious tax and secrecy havens which breached Nigerian laws. He admitted to this fact.
He admitted that he did not before he assumed office declare these companies and the funds and properties they hold in his asset declaration filings with the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Nigerian government agency that deals with the issues of corruption, conflict of interest, and abuse of office by public servants. He claimed he was unaware that the law expected him to declare assets or companies he jointly owns with his family members or anyone else.

More than four years after he became governor, the ex-governor set up his first discreet company in the British Virgin Island. He named the company Gabriella Investments Limited, after his daughter. He claimed he didn’t know. Ignorance isn’t an excuse in law.

Rabiu Kwankwaso

Allegations of abuse of office, diversion of public funds and fraudulent allocation of government properties to cronies trailed Kwankwaso after he left office. It got to a head that the Economic Crimes and Financial Commission EFCC arrested him based on the series of petitions against him and his government. He was alleged to have mismanaged pension remittances to rhe tune of N10b. He was a founding fathers of PDP. He jumped ship to APC. He returned to PDP after the 2019 general election only to form his own party Nigeria National Peoples Party NNPP less than 7 months ago.

Adewole Adebayo

Adebayo Adewole is cerebral. He is angry. His anger, according to him, is borne out of the mismanagement of the country by successive government and leaders. He is one of the few, if not only who has grasp of all issues table for discussion in this campaign. He is a lawyer. He is a farmer. He is arguably the most successful businessman among his peers in the race, yet untainted. Born in Ondo City, Ondo State. Attended Obafemi Awolowo University, where he earned a law degree. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 2000 after graduating from the Nigerian Law School. Adebayo is licensed to practice in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, California, New York, and federal courts in the United States.

Nigeria is broke with thrillions of dollars owing her creditors within and outside the shores, yet Adebayo insists the country isnt broke. ” Honestly we have more money today than we had yesterday. If snybody tells yiu there is no money, know that that oersin is your number one enermy. We are borrowing because their greed is so big. They dont just want to steal the moneynof today but they want to steal that of the unborn . The Nigerian leadership quest for money is a special mental disease”, he stated.

With the above candidates, Adebayo appears, perhaps, the only one without stains. He also the only one without government office and pecks of office which all the candidates have benefitted from and still enjoying, yet he is the only one who has had to explain the what and how of his plans for Nigeria to Nigerians. Others are just mouthing what they want to do without giving the how. Talk indeed is cheap.

The die is cast. The table is set. Nigerians must be vigilant. Vigilant to choose among the lots who best serve their interest, not their selfish interest.

The journey truly is far, Nigeria needs capable hands that can lead the journey faster to its destination without stains of corruption, health and old age. Adebayo is younger, healthier without the inadequacies attached to other candidates. Above all, the temptation of tampering with state treasury is zero. He is already blessed(in hard currencies)before ever dabbling into politics, to bring back the lost glory of the supposed african giant, still sleeping.