By Dr. Folus Ejele
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is not a novice in the game of politics in Nigeria. He has fought many wars to ensure that democracy thrive in the country. His acts of sacrifice in this regard are legion and as such political analysts are of the view that he should be compensated with the position of the chief occupant of Aso Rock Villa in 2023.
He worked meritoriously with the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) for more than two decades before retirement and involvement in politics.
A radar pointed on his entry into politics after his many years meritorious service to the country via the Nigeria Customs Service shows that he commenced full time politics around 1993. That year he contested the then Social Democratic Party(SDP) presidential primaries which was held in Jos, the Plateau State capital.
He contested the primaries with two other heavyweight politicians – Chief Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola(MKO) and Alhaji Babagana Kingibe. When the whole process looked like going into a logjam which would have been a good excuse for the then military government to back out of its back to democratic governance promise, Atiku saved the day by agreeing without much ado to step down from the race in favour of Chief Abiola. Chief Abiola eventually won the national Presidential Poll which was annulled by the military on the excuse that it was inconclusive.
About half a decade later when the ban on politics was lifted Alhaji Atiku with his Peoples Democratic Movement(PDM) which was the biggest unit in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in pole position to emerge as favourite to occupy the Aso Rock Villa. Again he came out to save his fatherland from another time bomb. He chose to accept the gentleman’s agreement that the southwest geopolitical region, which is believed to have suffered more from the anulled poll of 1993, be allowed to present the sole candidates.
As Vice President, he was instrumental in stopping his then boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo’s grand plot to transmute to a life President in 2007. For that role he played he was never in the good books of the military man for years which eventually cost him his desires to succeed his boss in 2007.
In 2011 he contested the presidential primaries of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) but he lost to then President Goodluck Jonathan.
In 2015 he lost the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential ticket to Muhammadu Buhari. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, now of the PDP, lost the presidential poll to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
In business he has a golden touch. He is well known for his investment in real estate, agriculture, education and the likes which has earned him applause as there are good stories to tell about his business acumen.
In the spirit of giving a man his due he should be given the right of first refusal to the Aso Rock Villa in 2023. He has severally sacrificed his presidential ambition for the unity and progress of Nigeria and thus he deserves to be given all that is necessary for him to scale through to the presidency this time around.
As we move towards the year 2023, analysts are of the view that the country is on the verge of disintegration if the right things are not done to address the spate of insecurity, unemployment, ritual killings, comatose economy, fraud and the likes.
The right thing to do if we want to get our bearings right is to vote in Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as successor to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023. He has all that is required to return Nigeria back to the path of glory that we all recall was the case in the days of yore and we sincerely crave for in the future.
We should think deep. We cannot afford to let this golden opportunity to elect Atiku Abubakar as president elude us. A mistake such as that is catastrophic and will set us back eon years. God forbid.
It is proper for the eventual emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so that he can right the wrongs characterised by President Buhari’s eight years of the locust.
Yes, the task ahead of President Buhari’s successor is herculean but Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is the only person among the many now jostling to be counted as also ran that is best placed to take over from the incumbent.
Dr. Folus Ejele is the National Coordinator of Nigerian Professionals for Atiku/Okowa 2023