As Nigerians prepare to elect a new president come 25 February, Anthony Ekene Onwuka, a Germany-based lawyer and international project consultant, makes his case for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and candidate of the main opposition People’s Democratic party (PDP), in this opinion piece
On 25 February 2023, Nigerians enfeebled by economic woes of almost eight years would return to the polls to perform the civic responsibility of electing a president that would preside over the affairs of our great Nation for another four years at the first instance. Routine as this periodic exercise is, the 2023 election has peculiarities that must be thoroughly examined in the interest of the Nigerian nation and its citizens.
This is why it is important that Nigerians use a fine comb to ferret the political spectrum and isolate who best fits this rescue mission of reversing Nigeria from the threshold which it is already mired. Of the panoply of candidates, a particular individual stands out, fit as a fiddle, fecund in wisdom, robust in current global economic trends, tactful and well heeled in diplomatic engagements, passionate about the Nation, possesses the political will to take Nigeria to its rightful place of pride and has the broad-mindedness to rebuild a Nigeria that would be home to all Nigerians.
Without any iota of doubt or fear of equivocation, that man is His Excellency Atiku Abubakar.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a distinguished Nigerian of distinction. He cut his teeth in politics in the early nineties after a meritorious service with the Nigeria Customs Service. Abubakar looked at serving Nigeria from a political platform as the next port of call. Imbued with the uncanny attribute of towing a path of success, he joined forces with General Shehu Musa Yar’dua who was to become his mentor and himself a close confidant of the retired military general who had grown phenomenally into an outstanding political collosus reverberating across the length and breath of the Nation.
Atiku Abubakar’s political journey has been both altruistic and instructive. He sought for the presidential ticket of the Social Democratic Party with MKO Abiola and others but conceded to Abiola at the behest of his boss and benefactor, Yar’dua. By that action, he demonstrated that he was a man who preferred a common objective and not ambition that orchestrates self beyond public good.
Atiku, as he’s fondly popularly called by Nigerians, further corroborated this selfless disposition when he took a gamble by abdicating the seat of governor of Adamawa State which he had already won overwhelmingly and accepted the position of running mate to General Olusegun Obasanjo. Even though that relationship ran into fiasco in its twilight in circumstances traceable to the overbearing nature of Obasanjo, Atiku proved to all and sundry that he is not only a true democrat, he is also a politician who has grit and is always willing to be on the side of the people.
Atiku’s ambition to be president of Nigeria is equivalent to the case of a good doctor who has diagnosed an ailment and is anxious to commence a regime of medical administration to cure the said ailment. The former vice president understands the problem of the country and is best position to proffer the solution. The country has a chance to reverse the downward slide that has beset this Nation and only the deft hands of Atiku Abubakar has the magic wand at this moment to change the fortunes of the country.
Those who may wish to disagree with this assertion should a cursory look at all the contestants. I bet they would not only see the leadership potentials in Atiku, they would see a strong virile man with vigour who is already set for the job. They would see a highly sociable Nigerian who is detribalised and flaunts unwaveringly a Pan-Nigerian banner of hope that would build the country again into one homogeneous society of common heritage.
All Nigerians must hence be driven by a moral duty to join cause to bring this great country of our dream back. Our forebears loved this country and served her with love and faith. Atiku in all his actions has demonstrated that love and faith. This is the time to work with Atiku to bring back this beautiful dream. We have no doubt in our minds that with him, Nigeria would be pulled back from the brinks.
Together we can make Nigeria work again!!
Chief Anthony Ekene Onwuka, LLB Hons, MSc
SA, Special Duties to HE Atiku Abubakar, GCON