2019 Election and The Other Sides of Atiku
Nigeria News takes a look at the chances of other presidential aspirants beside Muhammadu Buhari as 2019 draws closer.
The list of presidential aspirants increased by one on Thursday when the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki declared his ambition for the race.
His declaration is long overdue. In the nearest future, one will not be disturbed to hear that Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal will join the race.
Before now, the Peoples Democratic Party has produced about six aspirants, which include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwnakwaso and former PDP Chairman Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
Of all these aspirants, only Atiku has been tested at this level. He has been around for decades and had jumped from parties to realise this singular dream.
To me, he is the only one, among these other aspirants, that has a programme to run this country but his antecedent of cross-carpeting has eluded him of the opportunity. He could not endure and lacks the tolerance required of a leader. Perhaps he would have ruled this country before now.
His intolerance denied him the chance to succeed former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Even though Obasanjo did not want Atiku for reasons best known to the former president, among which is alleged love for money, Atiku would have grown stronger if he had tarried in PDP.
However, Atiku has been an advocate of restructuring. This was an idea he sold to Obasanjo, which the former president rejected. Atiku is of the view that one of the ways to solve myriad of problems bedevilling Nigeria is by restructuring the Federal structure.
To him, this will create comparative advantage and enable states to control their resources. He is a northerner but with a detribalized spirit. He believes that restructuring will not only favour Nigeria, it will strengthen states to grow at competitive rates.
But Atiku is over 70 years old and like President Muhammadu Buhari may lack the energy to run a 21st-century governance. He is not a devil as he has been painted after all.
Let us agree that Buhari has not been impressive, who among the other aspirants, besides Atiku has got the required experience and knowledge to lead Nigeria?
Perhaps Kwankwaso would have been a better option, he is having a running battle with his successor, Abdullahi Ganduje in Kano.
That was why he could not declare officially his presidential ambition in Kano. Kwankwaso was also denied the chance to use the Eagles Square Abuja for the rally.
He is the only one that can threaten Buhari’s chance in the north but is yet to break even in the southern part of Nigeria like Atiku. Unlike Saraki, Kwankwaso is more accepted because of his not too dirty pasts. He is not being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission like other aspirants.
The present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari uses the state anti-graft agency mostly to prosecute members of the opposition party but since Kwankwaso signified his presidential intention, the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies have not come up with allegations to nail him.