Nigeria News

Will Tinubu Be Able To Outwit Atiku This Time?

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Nigeria News takes a look at the contest the 2019 presidential election will bring between Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Abubakar Atiku.

Both of them were good friends. They passed through almost the same political school, having learnt from the late Musa Yar’Adua and MKO Abiola in their early years in politics. They belonged to the defunct Social Democratic Party.

However in 1999, the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu found different paths, different political parties to realise their ambitions. Atiku was in PDP, Tinubu joined the Alliance for Democracy but they remained inseparable.

At the time President Olusegun Obasanjo withheld the Lagos State Local Government funds to punish Tinubu on the creation of Local Council Development Areas, it was Atiku that was playing the middleman role to stabilize the situation then.

In the 2003 general election, the Peoples Democratic Party swept the AD dominated southwest states, excluding Lagos. Tinubu became the only opposition governor in the southwest but consequently and tactically carved himself out from the AD to form the Action Congress.

The Action Congress later metamorphosed to Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. Atiku and Tinubu had sealed their friendship and in 2007 when PDP chose Umoru Musa Yar’Adua as its presidential candidate, Tinubu and ACN gave Atiku the presidential ticket.

So it was a good romance between the two all along. However, Atiku’s ambition had tossed him around other political parties. He had jumped back from ACN to PDP and later found himself in the All Progressives Congress and finally back in PDP. Today, he is the presidential candidate of the PDP, the position he had sought more than a decade.

Atiku will be contesting against President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress and invariably the party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Before now, Atiku said that he knew how to take over Lagos from Tinubu, adding that he would have done so while serving as the vice president under Obasanjo but his boss never allowed him to do so.

APC will be banking on Tinubu to deliver southwest in the 2019 election and he is expected to do this against his old friend, Atiku who had once boasted of having the answer to take over Lagos.

Perhaps Atiku has the ploys, judging by the manner at which the region was swept by the PDP in 2003. Both Tinubu and Atiku had worked together in so many ways and I want to conclude that Tinubu had always emerged the better of the two.

In 2014 APC presidential primaries, it took the logic of Tinubu for Buhari to beat Atiku to the third position. As a matter of fact, the former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso polled the second highest votes at the APC presidential primaries.

Much of Buhari’s successes at the APC primaries were attributed to Tinubu’s political sagacity.  The APC national leader is expected to repeat the same feat ahead of the 2019 presidential election. This is the main reason he has remained relevant in the party.

Will he be able to outwit Atiku this time? Until 2019.

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