Do We Really Need a man like Atiku Abubakar as President?


Manny Ita

The Nigerian political terrain is presently bursting with pre-election activities geared at heralding the next general elections. There has been a lot of cross-carpeting, lobbying, mudslinging and persuasive gestures by the various parties and their players to position their interests for optimal harvest at the last count.
As it were, the much sung CHANGE mantra which seemed very well the trump card of the present government in the last elections somehow has tilted towards high prices of commodity goods and cost of living generally.
Without credible and proven record of achievements and national appeal, could it well be that the political gods have perhaps brought about the right time for former Nigerian vice Presiding Atiku Abubakar to finally fulfil his ambition of leading the country?
Dont forget, talks have always made the political rounds that Atiku could never be  president with him and Obasanjo in a fray. Obasanjo and his former vice, Abubakar had a spectacular disagreement after Abubakar resisted Obasanjo’s attempt to change the constitution to allow him a third term in office. This seemed to have badly charred the fabric of their once effusive relationship.
If that be the case, then it only means that Atiku is not only a courageous person but one who could champion the cause of the people, even at a loss to himself, without fear or favour.
But then, former President Obasanjo is a Nigerian statesman and of course if he found nothing good in Atiku, it is doubtful that the former president would have chosen him to be his vice. Together, they ran the affairs of the nation well enough and if such a feud existed, then it was perhaps accentuated by the pres beyond proportions since they both worked together to the end of their tenure.
Obasanjo holds a creditable and perhaps envious place in the history of the Nigerian nation. Beginning another era of political dispensation in the country in 1999 with Atiku Abubakar, he has remained a major force in the political terrain of the nation. His patriotic instinct would demand only that which is good for the country, reflected in efforts and alliances to build, rather than otherwise I’d like to believe.
Be that as it may, under a democratic dispensation, the electorate is and should be the ultimate decider of who becomes Local Government Chairman, Governor, parliamentarian or President, so the question of one person standing to ensure that the political goal of another is not realised is just hogwash.
These days the issue of bad leadership matters a lot. How do we get rid of bad leaders? They tell lies under oath and trust in deceitful words. They make promises and break them. The people have become disillusioned.
Although Nigeria has big potentials to become a great and prosperous nation, that will remain a mirage until it is able to transform its system, integrate the people, grow the economy and fight poverty and hunger.
Nigerians must create the atmosphere of trust, transparency, honesty and accountability in the spirit of the fear of God; otherwise it will remain where it is. We have to harness the God given abundant gifts of nature around us to make the country great. Our leaders have to learn and start taking decisions on what is best for the country rather than their self-serving interests.
Unless and until, we address the challenges of leadership, the country can never move forward.
Laws might be enacted, amended, we might create commendable policies, adopt international standards but without the qualified leadership necessary to implement them, the kind of leadership that is willing to transform vision into realities for the good of all, it will remain wasted efforts and precious water down the drain.
Come 2019, Nigeria needs a leader exuding these qualities and Atiku Abubakar, the Turakin Adamawa fits the bill as far as equity and nation building counts.
His love for Nigeria and the development of the country as a better place for all has proven his intention to rule as the president of Nigeria. Despite series of controversies faced in his political career, Atiku remains consistent on vying for the post of presidency.
A man with a large heart, who has silently been spending his time, money and other resources improving the lot of Nigerians through a string of humanitarian and entrepreneurial platforms, Atiku Abubakar is a man of compassion, prime quality of a true leader; with the ultimate and fervent desire to be opportune in improving the lot of Nigerians even better.
Atiku’s eight years administration under Olusegun Obasanjo reformed the economy to become more productive, diverse and globally competitive. He effectively managed public enterprises in the country and moreover, his investments, property in the country speak volumes about his belief in the growth and progress of the nation. Mr. Abubakar, who has investments in media, shipping, education, and other sectors, currently employs well over 50,000 people in his companies in Nigeria.
His administration as the vice president is one of the most courageous and ambitious privatization programmes ever embarked upon in recent times.  It is on record that he sold off scores of unprofitable and inefficient public enterprises, in order to relief the federal government of the unnecessary burden of running businesses.
A detribalised Nigerian, Atiku Abubakar is a leader by example, who creates a lot of job opportunities for graduates and is a man that fears God in all he does.  A journey into the man’s public life would be an interesting and convincing one, that for the country to navigate out of its murky waters of political misadventure and the attendant repercussions, the man to steer the ship to that destination could be no other than the Turakin Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
So fastidious about his ambition to be president of the country and very determined to succeed at the end, Atiku has over the past had to move across several party platforms. Even so, We still have a fledgling democracy yet to mature and going through constant transformations and changes. That is why politicians and even President Buhari has been able to move from party to party, including ANPP, CPC and now APC. Abraham Lincoln, Sir Winston Churchill and others also did before achieving their dreams.
Confident of beating a sitting president, Atiku averred, while speaking with Mr Dele Momodu recently “I will definitely beat him this time. He has wasted a lot of his massive goodwill. A lot of people are disgruntled but keeping quiet and lying low. Our youths are suffering terribly and now they are being sold into slavery. Everyone knows my track record of inviting and attracting a good team and giving them the opportunity to work professionally.
He went further: “I’m not different. I know what I want for my country. I’ve served Nigeria in different capacities and I am one of the most experienced leaders around today. There is no part of Nigeria I’m not familiar with. I have friends everywhere. They know me and I know them. The benefit of being around for so long is that they have come to know me for certain principles and know that I have a rich knowledge of Nigeria and what it would take to move us to the height of greatness. They can also trust me that I’m not coming to government to steal their money. God has blessed me with business acumen. How can you run a nation if you cannot run your own business? I run my businesses to international standards. Let any of those who want to compete with me show what they have managed successfully. I’ve lifted over 45,000 families out of joblessness and poverty through my microfinance company in my State Adamawa and we’ve have empowered mostly women. The good news is, these women have been very honest. Returns on our loans have been about 98 percent. They have not disappeared with the loans given then. We plan to replicate this nationwide”.
Atiku Abubakar Turaki Adamawa Former Vice-President (1999-2007) was born
November 25, 1946. His early education was at Jada Junior Primary School 1954-57; Jada Senior Boarding Primary School, 1958-60; Adamawa Provincial Secondary School, Yola, 1961-65; School of Hygiene, Kano, 1966;  He later attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 1967-69 and the Cairo Police Academy, 1986.
His career path began as a Tax Officer, Northern Nigeria Ministry of Finance, 1966; various positions, Federal Civil Service, 1966-89; Governor, Adamawa State, 1999; Vice-President, 1999-2007.
Abubakar worked as a customs officer for twenty years, rising to the rank of Deputy Director before leaving in 1989 for politics and business. He became a leading political figure, helping Umaru Musa Yar’Adua found the People’s Democratic Front and running for Vice-President in the 1999 election alongside Olusegun Obasanjo, who he had played a major part in recruiting. They won re-election in 2003.
Apparently, amongst the candidates who have declared their intention to be president and others mooted for the seat, none stands out in terms of experience, appeal and forthrightness as Atiku Abubakar.
Question is, wouldn’t we rather vote for a true leader?
If yes, then Atiku Abubakar is it.

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