Buhari Versus Atiku – Who Wins the Presidency?
In the North Central region, the altercation between sedentary farmers and herdsmen is an issue.
Cattle rustling in the North-West is a great factor too.
The wave of insecurity, especially kidnapping in some parts of Nigeria, if not urgently curtailed, could make him lose some points in the most affected areas.
President Buhari’s failure to get the Ajaokuta Steel Complex working as he promised before he was elected in 2015 is a factor to be considered by his handlers.
His handling of the agitation Biafran and members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB members could blight on his chances in the South-East.
Another issue is the inability of many of APC governors to pay salaries and pension as and when due.
Not a few people are also disenchanted with the manner in which the recently concluded wave of primaries were conducted by the party. Those affected may want to exact a pound of flesh from the president.
In a nutshell, the president would do well to look at his electioneering campaign promises as well as those made on his behalf by his party and close supporters with a view to immediately recovering lost grounds, if 2019 must not serve as judgement day for him.
ATIKU: Perceptions and reality
Atiku Abubakar is making his fifth presidential contest having participated in all but one of the country’s presidential elections as an aspirant, candidate or vice-presidential candidate since 1993. The only contest he avoided albeit for fear, was the 1998 transition nurtured by General Sani Abacha.
Strong political network across the country. Atiku has been involved in the political game more than many other people in the country and been part of all but one of the presidential elections in the country since 1993. The only presidential election he did not partake in was the 1998 election planned to transmute General Sani Abacha into a civilian president.
Strong financial base: – He is believed to have a deep pocket and only one of few who could fund a robust presidential campaign against an incumbent.
Liberal: – Though a Fulani Muslim, Atiku has connected with many parts of Nigeria. His businesses are run by people from different parts of the country. He has family linkages across the three main parts of the country. His first wife, Titi is Yoruba, Jennifer (Jemmima) is Igbo while Fatima is Fulani.
Strong policy document on Nigeria: – Atiku had through his National Democratic Project, an NGO he founded, prepared a blueprint on Nigeria covering the economy and other sectors. Atiku is one who is ready to be president from Day One.
United convention: – Very rarely do politicians with aspiration for an office leave a convention or congress with a devotion to rally round the winner. Yesterday, at exactly 11.55 am. as Atiku’s lead over other aspirants became unassailable, Senators Bukola Saraki, David Mark, Jonah Jang and some other aspirants rose to felicitate with Atiku on his emergence.
Corruption: – It is a perception that arose from his troubles with President Olusegun Obasanjo in the second term of their presidency. That perception had been further pushed by the William Jefferson episode in the United States. In that case Atiku’s name came up in the trial of a former US congressman, who was indicted over some felonies involving bribery in Nigeria. Atiku was never directly indicted in that case or in any other altruistic corruption investigation, however.
Atiku is 71 and though has not suffered any major health issue, it is believed that age is coming up on him.
Atiku is seen as a professional politician. Atiku is from Adamawa State. Though he has political clout in the North-East, it has in the past not translated into much electoral strength for him.
Cover Photo: Muhammadu Buhari and Abubakar Atiku. Photo: The Guardian.