Former Vice PresidentAtiku Abubakar’s ‘resignation’ from the APC is a
minus to the party; while his returnto the PDP is a plus to the
opposition, PDP. Atiku claims his main reasons forresignation from the APC
include the failure of the Buhari government tofulfill its promises and
other unresolved party matters. But even the blind cansee that the fear of
facing Muhammadu Buhari at APC presidential primaries is Atiku’sreal
reason for resignation from the APC.
As things standsnow, APC could not in any way persuades Atiku to stay in
the party, because Atiku’s 2019 presidential ambition was triggered and
founded on thepremise that Buhari will not survive his health conditions.
Atiku thencalculated that with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo being in power
going into2019 elections, he can be able to play the regional card
(North’s remaining fouryears) to battle APC presidential ticket with
Osinbajo; as he did but failedagainst Jonathan in 2011- the
ill-thought-out northern consensus candidate byMallam Adamu Ciroma-led
Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF)
Since Atiku’s calculationto secure APC’s presidential ticket now has
failed, a return to the PDP is theonly option available. For him, apart
from an opportunity to avoid Buhari in theprimaries, returning to the PDP
was designed to achieve some political maneuvers.Atiku knows he has good
political structures that make the PDP battle field mucheasier, albeit on
paper. With only 11 governors and very weak at the centre, Atiku will
find itvery easy to ‘box’ PDP delegates without state governor as well as
make somesmart maneuvers to easily secure PDP presidential ticket.
However, the PDPchallenge would not be that easy–there are people like
Sule Lamido, who is aproduct of the Aminu Kano radical politics of the
north. Lamido is from thecore Hausa-Fulani states and has large followers.
Furthermore, his ‘cousins’ inthe northeast will have nothing against him.
The middle-belt and many northernminorities share his politics of
radicalism. Another big challenge for Atiku isGombe state governor,
Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo. Dankwambo is one of thehighflying governors with
massive youth support. Equally, if Ahmed Makarfi, IbrahimShekarau and
other candidates come on board, the battle for the PDP presidentialticket
will take some never-thought-of dimensions. Moreover, the south southand
south east will have a bloc vote; but there is a massive delegates’
votefrom other regions.
Atiku has strong war chest but hehas started a very difficult and long
‘journey’ to 2019. Buhari with his cult-likefollowers, some solid
performance to show against Atiku’s ‘personal’development, knit with
Tinubu’s factor- the only individual now in Nigeria thathas some governors
with solid control of the southwest will make Atiku’salready tumultuous
pursuit all the more unbearable. The Northwest and Northeastwill
definitely not be an easy spot for Atiku either. Northwest will
definitelygo for what Buhari goes for, while the Northeast, Atiku’s
constituency does nothave a common course, and Buhari’s sterling
performance against Boko Haram has endearedhim to people of the region.
One interesting andsurprising thing about Atiku and Buhari is, as Atiku
grows older; his fear of facingstrong candidates at party primaries has
increased, despite his immense warchest and political structures. On the
other hand, Buhari’s boldness at facingany candidate at party primaries
As 2019 approaches,people who voted for Buhari in 2015; but are angry with
Buhari, do not in anyway see Atiku as an option, while people who did not
vote for Buhari in 2015,see Atiku as a sort of way to get some temporary
relief. Thus, Atiku will not cash-infrom protest votes; but Buhari may
cash-in from voter apathy. However, many ofBuhari adherents are not happy
with the so-called ‘jackals’ and the ‘hyenas’who have seemingly hijacked
PMB’s government. Thus the ‘jackals’ and the‘hyenas’ have to tighten their
belt to fight Buhari’s political battle withtheir ‘faces’ and ‘pockets’.
As expected, Buhari will soon make someappointments and corrections as
2019 approaches, the politics is gettingexciting- a scenario where it
would be Atiku Abubakar against Muhammadu Buhari, it will be like a
bicycle againsta super tanker- Buhari will crush Atiku at the polls.
Zayyad I. Muhammad Jimeta,Adamawa State, email@example.com 08036070980.