Opinion

Opinion | 2023: Where The Comparison Lies Between Atiku And Tinubu (2)

By Ussiju Medaner

Most of my readers would, perhaps, wonder why I show minimal interest in the presidential ambition of the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi overtime, despite the bloated social media gyrations. Isn’t it obvious that Peter Obi is just, but a side attraction in the entire game of 2023? The social media charade, the holier-than-thou personification of a man who is nothing more or less than the average selfish politician, who had and is still riding on the wealth and resources of their state and the nation to personalise enrichments; and would all begin and end on the social media. In reality, his likes would only be entitled to a few hundred votes.

But then something about Peter Obi interested me in the last few days; he travelled to Egypt on behalf of Nigeria to understudy strategic developments in the country for adoption in Nigeria. This happened when he should be in Ekiti state testing the waters against 2023; win or not. All charades, but the interesting part of the charade is that Mr. Peter Obi is back in the country after three days in Egypt. It took him less than seventy-two hour to complete his mission if we ignore his travelling time. Who is deceiving who? But since Obi is an Outsider, a remote one for that matter in reality in the permutation for Aso Rock 2023, I will rather face the main actors of the game.

I just got the final figures of the Ekiti state gubernatorial election, and amazingly, we have learnt another lesson in realism; one, you don’t win elections on social media as active electorate are serious citizens who engage earnestly with realities rather than biases and induced sycophancy.

Secondly, no matter the number of fake and deceitful opposition attempts to cover the reality of APC performances in the last seven years; no matter the magnitude of hatred motivated attacks from unpatriotic clergies and politicians; the real people, the Nigerians who go to vote, would always finally, follow the truth and their conscience. And less wonder, the party has continued to win elections and has been receiving defectors from other parties.

I have repeatedly submitted that regardless of recurring and persisting insecurity in the country and the pervading economic stress, which has and is continuing to receive total responses from the government, the APC government led by President Muhammadu Buhari remains perhaps the best since independence of our country. The goodwill to redefine the infrastructural base of the country, the genuine investment in agriculture and social welfare programs and the honest fight against corruption set the Administration apart from the lot before it; and this much, Nigerians are aware and have responded by repeatedly voting the party despite naysayers predictions, prophecies and hating. Congratulations to the winner and the people of Ekiti State. Again, you have stayed in the path of development realities and good governance. Nigerians have begun to speak, Osun state is the next and we are already seeing the picture of what is to come in 2023.

Last week, I began the Tinubu, Atiku dialogue. The objective is obvious; Nigerians cannot and must not be allowed to make the mistake of selecting the wrong man to lead them in 2023. While Atiku has proven his capacity to expend his huge financial wealth to harvest support, Nigerians must be effectively given the choice of deciding who their next president is without whatever inappropriate inducements. And the best and most ideal approach to do that would be to lay bare the factual antecedents and true recurring nature of each and every contesting personnel in the coming 2023 presidential election.

A very cogent characteristic of leadership is patriotism; a virtue that is measured on so many fronts including consistent commitment and participation in national development as much as it is feasible per time. Of Atiku Abubakar, the flag bearer of PDP, I say most boldly, that the stated virtue is not only missing, but is nationally acknowledged by all. I remember vividly; the major issue raised against Atiku candidacy by the governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, in the build up to the party primary, and acknowledged by all, was that the Atiku he knows, is careless about the party, talk less of the country. He was worried of how an Atiku Abubakar who would regularly abandon the country and the party after losing an election only to return back to participate at the eve of another could be worthy of the ticket of their party.

The question now is apparent; if he is careless of the party’s welfare and abandons it to its fate over a period of three years, how could he in any way be an ideal man to lead the country he equally and regularly abandons for another man’s land where he invests and lavishes his wealth. We all remember that Atiku left Nigeria just days after the 2019 election, and had remained in Dubai from where he came back to contest the same election until a few months ago when mobilisation for 2023 began. He had no contribution, whatsoever, from the position of a statesman or an opposition figure of his caliber. For the three years, Nigeria was our problem; but has now become his to unify suddenly.

While Nigeria is busy wooing foreign investors to expand the country’s investments space and solve the unemployment problem of the country, a man who insists he has the country at heart and is the best man to solve the country’s problem suddenly develops an affinity for another man’s land and is gallantly becoming a serious investor in Dubai with several high rising properties and other businesses, and huge wealth to flaunt while improving the economy of Dubai. There should be a benchmark for acceptability beyond what is already captured in the constitution and electoral law; a citizen that prioritises his stay in another country above his country; that expends much of his time and resources developing another country should not be fit and ought not to be allowed to occupy exalted positions in our country.

I tried to trace Tinubu movements since 1999 and more significantly after his tenure as the executive governor of Lagos state; it is obvious the man Tinubu has remained permanently not just in Nigeria, but more predominantly in Lagos state with his people, all through the years and till now, driving both the growth and development of the state politically and economically through continuous and consistent participation while at the same time contributing his quota to national politics and development.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s national influence, respect and acceptance across the states and regions is not predominantly a function of his wealth; but of availability, support and usefulness to the course of many in and out of his state and region without bias and segregation. The man Tinubu has men and women working for him as recompense for his good deeds of the past; across the states, and even in the camp of the oppositions, while his major opponents in the election were busy buying support and followership with money. In 2019, he was so rejected among the leaders of his own party, PDP that he could not campaign in more than half of the states in the country because he was alone; governors on the platform of the party and several other leaders would not join his campaign nor contribute to it.

If acceptance to become the president of our country is hinged on the historical evidence of availability of individuals to the course and purposes of the country overtime and the practical presence of the individuals in contributing to the administration of the country, then some people are altogether not worthy to become our president. One of those unworthy individuals is Atiku Abubakar, the Dubai man.

The summary of what Tinubu has been to the development of his base state and the country at large can be summarised in a very few words; the modern Lagos state with an economy bigger than 45 African nations, an IGR larger than the rest states of the federation put together; and infrastructural development second to only few cities in the continent and dozens of national economic and political front liners who are products of Asiwaju ingenuities across board.

Of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, a special edition would do justice to his person and antecedents.

GOD BLESS THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA!

Ussiju Medaner is an APC strategist, political commentator and Tinubu campaign surrogate.