The dust of the much anticipated APC presidential primary has finally settled, now we look forward to the main election, which would see Nigerians elect the next set of leaders that would succeed the President Muhammadu Buhari led Government.
Three main contestants have emerged, Former Vice President Abubakar Atiku of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi of the Labour Party(LP), and of course former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress(APC).
One thing is common with these three front-runners for the position of Commander in Chief, they are all former office holders and as such they are not new to the idea of ruling over a people and/ or over an entity, but amongst the lots of them, the people clearly have a clear picture of who they want to lead them in the next political dispensation.
Abubakar Atiku has been close to the corridor, having served as number two to President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007, and his most significant contribution was his much publicized falling out with the President and his boss as well as heading the committee on privatization of several Government parastatals, which in my opinion did more harm than good to the growth and upliftment of the nation.
National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), Delta Steel Company (DSC), were some of the national firms that were privatised by the former Vice President, with the aim of improving the productivity of these companies for the betterment of the nation, but sadly the reverse is the case, which has further questioned the credibility of the sale process.
Atiku firstly, is a businessman, whose sole aim is to expand his business empire with every means possible with unconfirmed reports stating that his selfishness and greed while in power, was the main reason why himself and then President Obasanjo fell out and being eventually branded as a thief by the former army general.
Apart from being an astute businessman, there is no known achievement attributed to the PDP flag bearer that suggests to an ordinary Nigerian that when he indeed takes office, he will do better than what the current government is doing.
Let’s not forget that he was a member of the All Progressive Congress, and when he failed to get the presidential ticket, he jumped ship and returned to PDP, where he had left also because he did not the party’s nomination.
This simple but confused act prompted a Renowned Essayist, Sam Omatseye to call him a political harlot, who jumps from one place to another. Let’s not also forget that his former Boss, General OBJ, submitted that while he is still alive, Atiku will never be President, and during his book launch, he confessed that if he had handed over power to the then Vice President, God would not have forgiven him, he also stressed further that if he chooses to reveal all that he knows about his former number 2, Nigerians would understand his disposition and his reservations.
Atiku wants to be president not because he has the interest of the country at heart, he is desperate to be president just for the sake of it and also to spite his former Boss.
Peter Obi of the Labour Party on the other hand is what Nigerians would described as a breath of fresh air, he is considerably younger, appeals to the conscience of the youths, well articulated, poise, has the personality, the exposure, wherewithal, and has a good track record from his time as the Governor of Anambra State.
My reservation however is that he was the running mate to Abubakar Atiku, prior to the 2019 elections, which suggests that they both have the same vision and same message for Nigeria and Nigerians.
He was tipped to go toe to toe with Atiku for the PDP presidential ticket but bowed out and decamped from the party, stating that the contest was not favourable to him, because according to him, all other aspirants were planning to use their enormous wealth to sway delegates, which according to him does not resonate with his personality.
This very same act was how Atiku got the ticket four years ago, Peter Obi had no problem with it then, but now he has tasted a bit of it.
Again erudite essayist/columnist for the nation newspaper, Sam Omatseye knew Obi so well as he wrote about him in his Monday column ‘In Touch’ on May 9th 2022, titled Obi-nomics, tells you all you need to know about the man (https://thenationonlineng.net/obi-nomics/).
The Primary election of the All Progressive Congress was the most keenly contested election, it saw over 10 aspirants going against each other for the party’s nomination, and after all the battles, Former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is also a national leader of the party, emerged victorious.
He is a man described by many as a builder, a politician of great repute a lover of people, a job creator, king maker, bridge builder, human capacity builder and a national hero.
You only need to visit lagos to see what the dividend of democracy looks like. Mr Samuel Bello, a candidate for the Edo State House of Assembly submitted that few would dispute that the victory of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the APC presidential primary was deserved.
He described the Jagaban as A political colossus whose contributions helped shape Nigeria’s fourth republic, the former Lagos Governor has through his knack for talent, vision, and informed strategy built a formidable political structure with roots in virtually all the regions of the country. Stating further that his emergence then, for many, was a natural evolution, the necessary next step in what has been an outstanding political career and for a party his foresight and bridge-building helped form.
He has done it in Lagos directly and indirectly, recommends capable persons for exalted offices, commits his personal resources to nation building, bridging the gap between the lower, middle and upper class, and providing employment opportunities for Nigerians through his personal endeavors. Of all three major contestants, the Jagaban stands out as the only one with the good track records of having performed while in office and out of office. Nigeria will be safe in the hands of the Asiwaju of Lagos.