Atiku: Battling In and Out of Image Crisis
Thrice he was asked, thrice he had goofed, the Poeples Demoratic Party’s presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has disappointed many of his followers by his responses to some questions on privatization, corruption and industrialisation.
Despite that his former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo has forgiven him, Atiku’s past image has continued to haunt him.
Perhaps, Atiku would need to reset himself now if he must beat President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress in the coming election.
The PDP campaign is not hot enough to challenge the APC crowd hauling rallies we have been witnessing in the last few weeks. I have asked some of my friends who are PDP supporters on why there is scarcity of pictures from PDP rallies except propaganda on social media platform, all they could say was that the party had been busy with house to house campaign.
Even with the purported house to house campaign, there are no enough news and pictorials to suggest that the party is ready for a contest in a few weeks to come.
Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, has not demonstrated the right hold on issues that matter to governance rather he has embarked on populism and his response to salient issues of state has shown crass shallowness of process.
This is not too good for a man positioned as the next best thing for Nigerians in the extremely crucial and strategically defining 2019 presidential election.
Among several other instances, one would like to cite just three examples, which, posed to a more prepared candidate, especially any of the young Turks of Prof Kingsley Moghalu, Fela Durotoye or Omoyele Sowore, would have elicited more profound, deep and incisive responses.
Responding to questions relating to national assets, Atiku has expressed his readiness to dispose all, including the NNPC, perceived as the nation’s motor of all “fraud contraptions”. The fate of the NNPC has been hanging on a cliff since Nigeria embarked on stripping itself of all assets about 20 years ago.
Atiku’s response, at meeting with captains of industries in Lagos, was that he would sell all national assets including the NNPC to friends. Then he inquired, didn’t my friends have a right to be rich too?
That Atiku sided with one of the proponents seeking to get rid of the nation’s goose, isn’t the issue here, it is that the PDP candidate, in trying to make light a very sensitive issue further compounded it, creating an image crisis for himself in the process.
Rather than the avoidable crisis, is it wrong to have said those assets would be sold to Nigerians?
Atiku’s promise of amnesty for looters is a low blow that should not have come out from his jabs at all. In a clime where everyone is sold to routing out corruption, seeing the huge implication to our national economy, it is simply impolitic to talk of amnesty no matter how impressive the example is.
This death pill to the anti-corruption war and coming out from the mouth of somebody that is seeking the country’s highest seat has compounded Atiku’s image problem.
Despite the wobbling moves of the Buhari administration, the anti-corruption war has been able to couple for him a huge almost cult like followership across the country and many would not want to forsake this.