By Basil Okoh
The recalcitrant refusal by Atiku Abubakar and three other northern candidates namely: Bala Mohammed, Bola Saraki, Aminu Tambuwal, to respect the zoning tradition of the People’s Democratic Party and recuse themselves from its presidential primaries is galling the Southern caucus of the party to no end.
Atiku was the main beneficiary of the zoning agreement in 2019 where he defeated a field of only northern candidates in the Port Harcourt primaries to emerge as the presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 presidential election.
He has come with a vexatious self-entitlement argument for the inclusion of northern candidates in the 2023 presidential primaries, against PDP constitution and the rules that favoured him in 2019. Atiku has refused to yield the contest to Southern candidates as was done for him and other Northern candidates in 2019.
Atiku Abubakar, always the self-entitled one, bandies a specious argument for democratic idealism which his own lifetime in politics has never exemplified. His arguments show his predilection for fudging, lying and doing everything to take advantage of everyone who cross his way. Always a narcissist, Atiku the quintessential Nigerian Customs man and tax collector, looks for personal gain where everyone else is working together to build.
Atiku Abubakar has run five previous times for the Nigerian presidency (1993, 2007,2011, 2015, 2019), crisscrossing every major political party in Nigeria. since 1993. Having run out of ideas and political parties, he is now clutching at a new-found self-serving identity as a democratic idealist to gain inclusion for a sixth run and disrupt the PDP presidential primaries, a platform he abandoned when he could not force his way in a previous encounter in 2007.
PDP has been gracious to him and Bola Saraki for allowing them back in their fold from the APC and giving them a platform to run for presidency in 2019, considering that PDP is a political party he ran against in three previous occasions in 2007, 2011 and 2015 presidential elections.
Atiku was the one who made himself a prodigal in PDP but he is now claiming rights in a house he did not help to build after squandering his own inheritance. What if everyone had left PDP at the same time as Atiku and the party crumbled beyond redemption, would he have a political platform to be arguing about democratic idealism?
Atiku did not make the argument for democratic purism in 2019 when southern candidates were asked out of the 2019 presidential primaries and the coast was made clear for him and other Northern candidates. So why is he now making the shameless argument for inclusion in 2023?
It was said during the 2019 presidential campaigns that it was only Atiku Abubakar who had what it requires to successfully challenge Buhari at the presidential elections come what may. This was the boast by the Atiku presidential campaign rattle snakes. And I asked then as I ask now, how many divisions of fighting men does Atiku command? No one is ready to give me an answer.
Atiku and his gang do not fool anybody with their boasts and grandstanding. He remains obsessed with his own gain and has no consideration for group interest, particularly the success of the PDP in the presidential election. Atiku like most urban Fulani, is a self-absorbed narcissist of the plutocratic kind, given to playing everybody and every situation for personal gain. It was once said by a Babangida henchman that what Atiku cannot steal does not exist at the ports. That was true at the ports as it is now in politics. He wants to steal the PDP presidential nomination.
PDP Southern caucus should stand firm, ignore Atiku and his gang and move ahead to nominate a southerner for the presidential elections. Atiku Abubakar has no capacity to cause the disruption of the PDP presidential primaries. For once let’s push the Fulani grandstanding to it’s limits and watch the heavens fall, if it must.
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