By Femi Odere
The attention of Tinubu/Southwest Media Veterans Support Group has been drawn to the meeting, whose video version is now trending on social media, the former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had with the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and other Arewa Groups on Saturday, October 15, 2022.
In his response to a question as to why his fellow Northerners should vote for him in the 2023 presidential election, which was posed to him by the NEF Publicity Secretary Dr. Hakim Baba-Ahmed, whose younger brother is Peter Obi’s running mate, the former Vice President said, among other things, that “What the average Northerner needs is somebody who’s from the north and understands other parts of Nigeria and who has been able to build bridges across the rest of the country. This is what the Northerner needs. He doesn’t need a Yoruba candidate or an Igbo candidate. So, I stand before you as a Pan-Nigerian of northern origin….that has been building bridges across the country.”
While the above statement by the Waziri Adamawa is not entirely surprising to us as his being a northerner, and a Fulani to boot, had long ago been established as Atiku’s only fundamental objectives and directive principles for seeking Nigeria’s president, which had since split his party down the middle after his arranged primary election victory.
What we found very discomfiting, if not perplexing, is what’s now a glaring, iron-clad evidence that Atiku’s ‘northernity’ is his only campaign strategy and a shameless appeal to primordial ethnic sentiment in order to hoodwink a people facing such unprecedented, existential socio-economic problems since our flag independence. This is truly a sad commentary in the country’s history of presidential campaigns.
For Atiku to have resorted to such base instincts by calling out the ethnic nationalities of his two opponents reeks of his lack of finesse and tact and shows his desperation for the coveted office at all costs.
Even if we must interrogate his idea of “building bridges” as another criteria for which his “average northerner” should consider Atiku fit for president of the republic, this is none other than having wives from the southern half of the country, some of whom had to convert to the Warizi’s religion before they could be called “wives” in the true Islamic sense of the word. It doesn’t get any more religiously fundamental than that.
We have said it before, and it bears repeating here, that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is tired judging by what came out of his mouth at the Arewa meeting. He has nothing to offer by way of getting our nation out of her multifarious socio-economic problems and security challenges.
It is said that once you realized that you’re in a hole, you simply stop digging. Atiku’s intellectual vacuity, morbid sense of entitlement, pathological corrupt inclination, unenviable legacy in public life would, without a doubt, put Nigeria in a deeper hole that may eventually consume her. Atiku is already a damp squib that the country cannot afford at this critical juncture.
The nation doesn’t have the luxury of an Atiku in the nation’s governance saddle anymore.
Tinubu/Southwest Media Veterans Support Group