Nigeria News

Choose Today, Between Buhari And Atiku

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Nigeria News takes a look at the prospects of the APC and PDP candidates Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar respectively in the coming presidential election.

After a highly competitive primary election in Port Harcourt, River State, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged among the 12 presidential aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner.

He polled over 1, 500 votes to beat his closest rival, the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal who polled over 600 votes and the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki who polled over 300 votes.

With this, Atiku is the candidate of the PDP and will be contesting against President Muhammadu Buhari whose nomination was also ratified by over 14 million delegates of the All Progressives Congress at the Eagles Square, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Saturday.

The game is becoming interesting by the day and it seems the PDP got it right this time to have fielded Atiku whom despite questions of integrity may spring a surprise in the 2019 general election.

I will not totally write off the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), former Governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke, following his scintillating performance against the seasoned politician, Professor Jerry Gana.

Duke polled over 800 votes to beat Gana who polled over 600 votes. Duke may not pull any weight anyway, judging by the class of electorate in Nigeria. Many do not know why they vote in the country, if I may use the words of the former legal adviser of the APC, Dr Muiz Banire.

However, the most interesting part of this game is that the two most popular contenders from the two leading political parties in the country are from the same ethnic nationality, the Fulanis. Nigerians are to choose between the two Fulanis to either rewrite the story of Fulani herdsmen or rename them as killer herdsmen.

I have chosen not to tag the nomadic, bloodthirsty herders as Fulani herdsmen because there are millions of good, loving Fulanis in the country who always preach peace and embrace it. Wicked cattle breeders should be addressed as killer herdsmen instead of Fulani herdsmen so as not to castigate a whole ethnic group because of a few that have chosen after killings.

On Saturday, the PDP and APC delegates, Nigerians comprising all the ethnic nationals chose Fulanis as their flagbearers but not killer herdsmen. It is an indication that the killings by herdsmen are more of politics than a communal crisis.

It goes beyond ethnic cleansing as being taunted by many Nigerians. I have queried, why would members of the Peoples Democratic Party, most of whom criticize Buhari for failing to address the problem of herdsmen vote for another Fulani to replace the present Fulani.

Will the killings by the killer herdsmen stop if Atiku becomes Nigeria’s president come 2019? Or will the marauder re-define their method of killing now that a more democratic and liberal Fulani may take over power?

These and many questions must be addressed as Nigerians warm up to either keep the present government or change it. Either way, Fulanis have greater chance to rule this country at present.

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