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Nigerians Cannot Afford Mistake Of The Past In 2019

By Tonyebarcanista

CAVEAT: This is my humble opinion after appraisal of the level of preparedness of all aspirants for the Presidency. It is without prejudice to the arrangement of Peoples Democratic Party and the 39 Coalition parties





In the build up of the election of 1979 preparatory to the commencement of the second republic, Chief Obafemi Awolowo of Unity Party of Nigeria was clearly seen as the most prepared among other aspirants for the Presidency, his campaign was ideological based, his policies were clearly spelt out and he was banking strictly on popular votes of the masses instead of military establishment as at then. However, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, a retired school teacher and former minister was returned elected instead. Till date, Chief Awolowo is referred to the best President Nigeria never had.

In 1993, famous philanthropist, Chief MKO Abiola, the Presidential candidate of Social Democratic Party had a clearly defined manifesto, his proposed policies were topnotch and in him Nigerians saw hope for better future. He was eventually elected via popular vote in the presidential election but the military establishment thwarted the project. Nigerians were once again denied the chance of enjoying the prospects of the MKO's Presidency.

In 1999, Dr. Alex Ekweme was clearly the most prepared presidential aspirant in the Peoples Democratic Party, a political association that came into being with sole ideology of building bridges among citizens, forcing the military junta to the barracks and returning power to the people. However, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, upon his release from prison, was "gifted" the Presidential ticket to "appease" the southwest over the 1993 disappointment and travails of Chief MKO Abiola. Nigerians were again shortchanged optimal democratic dividends that would have been under Alex Ekweme.

In 2007, Alhaji Umaru Yar'adua (of blessed memory) was remotely uninterested in the Presidency but he was virtually dragged in by the powers that be as at then ahead of then Vice President Atiku Abubakar who happened to be the most prepared with clear manifesto, programs and vision.
Yaradua was christened "baba go slow" simply because he had to do his apprenticeship while staying on the job.

In 2010, Goodluck Jonathan was catapulted into power by providence after the death of Umaru Yar'adua. He was least prepared to be Vice President in 2007 and President as at then. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was clearly the most prepared for the office aheaf of 2011 Presidential election judging by his manifesto and proposed programs but due to some ethnical consideration (appeasement of SouthSouth/minorities) and some other political factors, Jonathan got the nod. He developed his key program while on the job without luxury of time. 

In 2014, then opposition APC delegates elected Muhammadu Buhari as flagbearer, a man whose age-long campaign has always been instituting Shari'a system across the country and fighting corruption BUT without any blueprint on economy, unity among citizens irrespective of tribe and political consideration, restructuring of the system etc even though his party captured some. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar then of APC had these clearly spelt out but Buhari was elected simply because he commanded some cult followership in the northern part of Nigeria. Buhari eventually won the 2015 presidential election but he came along with ethno-religious unrest, economy meltdown, herdsmen-farmers clashes, breakdown in nationhood etc. In fact, the man had to distance himself from some promises made by his own party, including restructuring.

Of the legion of credible leaders running for the Presidency in 2019 in the opposition, I am of the opinion that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is the only aspirant that has displayed the highest commitment and serious preparedness for the job. He can be identified with blueprint/ideology to work with (with due respect to others). For instance, he's known as chief promoter of restructuring and has a very wide public acceptance in contrast of what he had in 2007 and 2011.

He's the aspirant that has gone beyond issuing tweets on social media and has been outlining his programs to the understanding of the public. 

Less than seven (7) months to the presidential election and two (2) months to the presidential primary, Atiku appears to be the only aspirant with known campaign team and presidential campaign office and has been working in alliance with interest groups across the 36 states and diaspora.

Considering that there is no luxury of time to gamble, I am of the my opinion that being the most prepared presidential aspirant, Atiku should be given the nod by the Peoples Democratic Party, the 39 Coalition parties and Nigerians so that we can have for the first time a president that is well preparing to lead instead of using the traditional religious, ethnic or political bias.

Furthermore, with Seven (7) months to general election, it is needless to promote an aspirant that is yet to display this level of preparedness irrespective of our relationship with such aspirant. I believe everyone can play their part in the new government to further the aspirations of Nigeria citizens. 


May God Bless Us All And Bless Nigeria