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Nigeria’s ruling and opposition parties – the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have once again reiterated their lack of respect and regard for Nigeria in their choice of Presidential candidates in Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Atiku Abubarkar. In choosing two ferociously corrupt carrier politicians for the country’s number one office at this time without remorse, the Siamese twins masquerading as two political parties have once again demonstrated to Nigerians that their intention for the country is not only to kill but to bury her.
It is quite interesting to note that the common denominator for both political gladiators is their desperation, while Atiku Abubarkar is desperate about the looting and sale of Nigeria’s assets which he couldn’t complete before he fell out with his erstwhile boss when they had their time in office, Tinubu on the other hand, is determined to replicate his Lagos looting template on Nigeria. Their desperation doesn’t in any way mean well for Nigeria. It is neither driven by patriotism nor the desire to effect an enduring change on the country. Incidentally, they are long-term friends and allies – birds of the same feather they say.
Their desperation to rape Nigeria was clearly exhibited in the manner in which they emerged as Presidential flagbearers of their respective parties. As a way of defeating everyone in the contest, they both ‘dollarised’ the already crooked delegate system of electing candidates for elections in Nigeria. Who in the world outspends everyone in a process just to get a position to offer their service? For Atiku, he paid delegates of the People’s Democratic Party between $10,000 to $20, 000 just to get them to vote for him. Tinubu with more robust Lagos coffers spent a double of that. And then one would easily ask, to what end? Why the desperation?
Their respective ages (70 & 76) have continued to expose them to the biological reality which is that their bodies would soon fail them and this is surely enough to drive them to mad desperation to make an ambition they so much haboured for so long a reality. To them, their time is now or never. Nigerians should definitely be wary.
Asides from their desperation, both men have other things in common, they are often addressed as great politicians for the wrong reasons – their gaze on power and an ostensible misunderstanding of its uses which for them is all about self-interest. Again, both are men of means which were acquired either through political patronage or outright looting of public funds. Most people see them as men who have the capacities and capabilities to get anything they want, anything! They often boast of having formidable structures and political machines which are layers of armies of obeisant supporters built up in decades of remarkable political intrigues. These ‘structures’ are the backbone of their invincibility and the reason why think and reason the way they do.
For Atiku, next year’s election will be the 6th time he is submitting himself to run for president. The sad truth is that not even the visionary Abraham Lincoln tried this much. Atiku has remained adamant right from 1993 when he contested the primaries of the SDP against the eventual winner, MKO Abiola down to the elections coming up next year. All efforts aimed at convincing Atiku that there are many other ways to serve Nigeria besides being president have remained an exercise in futility.
On the other hand, Bola Tinubu despite his primitive acquisitions, strong moral burdens, and obvious health challenges have continued to insist that he has what it takes to preside over Nigeria come 2023. In a manner clearly depicting that of the peacock, Tinubu forages about in his overflowing ‘agbada’ and trademark cap with his bullion vans to every nook and cranny of Nigeria, boasting shamelessly of his contributions to Nigeria, particularly his contribution to the formation of the special purpose vehicle of strange bed-fellows known as All Progressives Congress (APC), in fact, recently, he went public to remind Nigerians without remorse that he brought the Muhammadu Buhari plague upon them With his highly commercialised and well-oiled campaign, Tinubu would be literally asking Nigerians and the APC in 2023 to help him realise what, according to him, has been his ‘lifetime ambition to rule Nigeria’.
Both men have a public reputation for gross corruption and abuse of office which they don’t give a hoot about. Nobody can ever narrate the history of corruption in Nigeria since 1999 in a book without dedicating several chapters of the book writing about the grand masters of corruption in Nigeria – Atiku, and Tinubu. That public perception would somehow be fortunate for both men and their campaigns because none of them will bother to tackle the other on issues relating to corruption. Peradventure any of them attempts it, they will be seeing themselves without the aid of a mirror. Nigerians would also be spared the anti-corruption gibberish that Buhari parroted in 2015 and 2019.
Prior to the Presidential primaries of various political parties, both men went on a rampage in their respective parties. While the man from Adamawa wanted it jettisoned, the Lagos Landlord wanted it twisted to accommodate him. It does not matter to them if their respective political parties implode or suffer losses in the process. It did not bother them if the unit of the country was on the line, they didn’t just care. Their level of desperation is simply sickening.
For Atiku, he is probably desperate to return to Aso Rock because he wasn’t able to carry all his friends along during the crooked privatisation that saw him sell off Nigeria’s assets to friends and allies. On 30th of January, 2019, he declared that he would grant amnesty to looters. For him, it is a long-cherished dream that only the office of the President of Nigeria can help him realise. Again, it is possible that Atiku needs to use the power of the presidency to pardon former US Congressman William Jefferson of New Orleans, Louisiana, who was convicted and jailed for hiding $90,000 inside a deep freezer in Washington, DC. Atiku needs to pardon the man for informing the FBI in 2005 that it was necessary to give Atiku $500,000 to motivate him to approve lucrative contracts to iGate and Mody’s in Nigeria. Atiku probably needs the powers of the office to clear his name off the US Department of Homeland Security database for corruption and crime. Atiku maybe, wants to build a new private University just like the American University of Nigeria in his native Adamawa. After building the current university with public funds worth over 25 million dollars and paying a further 8 million dollars to the American University in Washington D.C. for licensing, he may need to steal more funds to build more.
For Tinubu, he simply wants to build a national dynasty. He probably wants to promote his daughter, Sade as the Mogaji Iyaloja of all the markets in Nigeria. Maybe he wants to make MC Oluomo his chief tout, Nigeria’s Minister of Internal Affairs. Maybe he wants his son Seyi to head NNPC, who knows? Becoming president is his life ambition.
Nigerians must ensure that none of these ambitions become reality.
In conclusion, it is true that the PDP and APC only presented Nigerians with two sides of the same rusted coin called Atiku and Tinubu, Nigerians must say no to them. Settling for any of them is akin to choosing between being eaten by a wolf or a hyena – you will still die in the end. Both men must be roundly rejected.