NOW THAT ATIKU HAS DUMPED APC, WHO NEXT?

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PEDULUM By Dele Momodu, Email: dele.momodu@thisdaylive.com

PENDULUM NOVEMBER 25 BY DELE MOMODU   dele.momodu@thisdaylive.com

Fellow Nigerians, these are not the best of times for the ruling Party, APC. It was a prophecy long foretold by me, though. As you all know, the trending news is that the serial “decampee”, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has done what he knows how best to do, decamping from one political party to another. Let no one say it is not a big deal. And even if it is not, it is still big news, and an even bigger embarrassment to a Party that coasted to victory on the wings of a major alliance of strange bedfellows and an unprecedented conspiracy that succeeded in unseating a sitting President in Nigeria. I therefore, wish to disagree vehemently with my brother, Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State, who said yesterday that Atiku’s exit from their embattled Party is a non-event.

If truth must be told, I believe this is just the beginning of a mass exodus from a fledgling Party that is certainly on the road to perdition, unless drastic measures are taken to stem the rot in the Party, seriously and sincerely heal wounds and massage miffed egos. Let no one fool our dear President Muhammadu Buhari into thinking naively that he would win the 2019 election like he did in 2015, on a platter of gold. The masters of the game are already goading him on by pretending to be endorsing him and telling him he is the best thing ever to happen to Nigeria.

All you have to do to expose their hypocrisy and charade is to go back in history to see how previous Presidents had been praised to high heavens whilst these praise-singers were actually sneering and collaborating in their downfall. We saw how some people misbehaved and mis-jived during the draconian era of the Abacha regime and convinced him that Nigeria needs him to rule for life. Well, nothing of the sort happened.

Here we go again, our leaders are staging their absurdist theatre by falling over themselves in endorsing a man most of them abuse and stab behind his back. It is just unbelievable seeing how deceitful human beings can be. This is why I salute the courage of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who has virtually become a pariah in a Party he partly founded and funded in recent times. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu must also be mentioned, in this regard, for making bold to categorically assert that there is no automatic ticket or endorsement for President Buhari.

The reasons Atiku Abubakar adduced for leaving the Party are very valid to keen observers of events after the Party came to power, even though they may sound like sour grapes, coming from him. It is certain that APC failed to learn any lessons from how it sacked PDP and history is about to repeat itself so soon. This was how PDP allowed some of its golden assets to walk away from the Party. The same words being bandied now were the same we heard repeatedly then; “Rotimi Amaechi and company can go to blazes, they won’t be missed in PDP!” Unfortunately, their exit wreaked maximum havoc on the PDP, and today the Party is still wondering what hit it like thunderbolt.

I seriously doubt if Atiku would ever get the PDP Presidential ticket. I’m sure he is not under any illusion that it would be easy to defeat Buhari even if he gets the ticket. But what he has done is to put APC on the defensive from this moment on and probably try to encourage other dissenters to abscond and abandon ship as soon as possible from what appears a sinking ship. I would have been surprised if Atiku stayed much longer after the unfortunate harassment he’s received in recent time. His business interests have been under intense and incessant attacks and whatever love existed between him and his Party had since evaporated. If I were in his shoes, I will not contest again so that it doesn’t appear like I’m in politics and in any political party just to obtain a Presidential ticket. That may be wishful thinking given the man’s political history and his quest for the holy grail of the Presidency!

However, my opinion is that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar still has a big role to play in the affairs of Nigeria. At over 70, he is undoubtedly one of the most experienced and exposed leaders in our country. God has been very kind to him. He’s been able to establish a mega business conglomerate. He is blessed with a wonderful family. His children are well-educated and his brand is very big in Nigeria and beyond. He would do well to use his humongous resources to help drive the search for much younger and accomplished leaders for Nigeria. It shouldn’t always be about his personal ambition. I wrote recently that age is no longer on his side. Anyone above 70 cannot achieve more in Nigeria today. We supported Buhari in 2015 out of acute frustration against the recklessness and profligacy of PDP. For some of us, it was meant to be a stop gap. But as democrats, we believe the President has the right to run for a second term, if that is his wish but he should not be forced on the Party and cannot certainly be foisted on the nation.

I say with all emphasis at my command, that any attempt to impose President Buhari on his political party will backfire. The President should go through the laid down democratic processes and if he gets the ticket, fine and fantastic. If he fails, he should go home quietly and enjoy his retirement, finally. There is life outside power. It would be unfortunate if opponents of President Buhari are muzzled out of the race. The sweetness of democracy is in providing a variety of aspirants and wealth of ideas.

None should feel like a second class citizen in a political party that was jointly formed and consummated by many stakeholders. On attaining power, certain APC chieftains behaved like they had everything locked down and as if they forgot another election was going to come in a jiffy. Now that reality is beginning to dawn on them, they are hurriedly rushing frantically to please many of those they’ve ignored since 2015. It is doubtful if anyone would swallow the bait, hook, line and sinker, again. The talk in hushed tones is that President Buhari cannot change his style.

If he gets a second term, and chance, many politicians would be hauled into prison, for the right and wrong reasons. I hope the President gets the chance to read this script and adapt to the crisis situation he now faces. His current failure to do this, is why there would soon be a groundswell of conspiracy against him.. The trust issue would be a great determinant in the next election. Even if APC opens the vaults of the Central Bank to its leaders in the coming months, in clear and brazen disregard for its anti-corruption crusade, it is not going to be an easy ride this time around.

Now that Atiku has dumped the APC, I’m certain other rebels would be emboldened to follow his example. The Presidential race is looking hot already. I foresee the PDP ticket as being a much-coveted one because APC is likely to implode as a result of imposition. If PDP manages its affairs better, and more democratically, by eliminating fifth columnists among them, APC would be in hot soup. Nigeria is blessed with many fantastic leaders with proven records in both Parties. They should be encouraged to come out from hibernation. It is payback time and I’m suspecting that APC is about to be punished for its carelessness and insensitivity.

The tine to properly correct ills and wrong is now, otherwise it will be too late!

AND ROBERT MUGABE ACTUALLY RESIGNED

Wonders, as they say, will never end. One of those wonders of the world occurred early this week as President Robert Mugabe, one of the world’s longest serving leaders, finally agreed to step down after the military that swore to protect him as their Commander-in-Chief actually sold him out. After so much dilly-dallying and refusing to sign his resignation letter, he eventually agreed to handover to influential and his erstwhile deputy, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, aka the Crocodile, whom he had fired as a means of creating a smooth-sail for the Presidential ambition of his delectable young wife, Mrs Grace Mugabe. But this backfired big time. Indeed a veritable tale of a fall from grace to grass!

When I visited the then Vice President, Mnangagwa, in Harare a few months ago, at the behest of my good friend, Josey Mahachi,, little did I realise I was meeting with a President in waiting. He appeared and sounded very loyal to the old warrior, Robert Mugabe. He said he was happy to receive me and looked forward to partnering with Ovation International magazine in the promotion of investments and tourism in Zimbabwe. He promised to send a report to the President about my visit since I couldn’t wait the few extra days required to meet the old man in person.

I was thus dazed when news broke of the great rift between both of them. I had thought theirs was a perfect synergy until, it seems, Mrs Grace Mugabe’s unbridled and vaulting ambition put them asunder. The military intervention that eventually ousted and ended the nearly four-decade reign of Mugabe was exceptionally unique in its conception and execution. For the first time, we saw a military that refused to agree that it carried out a coup against a civilian government. The world was left confused and confounded by developments in Zimbabwe for a little while.

The Zimbabwean military, led by General Constantino Chiwenga, must be commended for the disciplined and professional manner it handled the impasse. It was a sight to behold seeing them showing respect for the President as he read that curious statement that had been predicted as a resignation speech but turned out to be a show of defiance by a usually loquacious and bewildered geriatric! The military was determined not to be tempted to derail democracy, but to be seen to correct an injustice and let democratic institutions do the rest. That is all history now. Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as Interim President yesterday in the presence of a tumultuous crowd.

Many are already wondering what the new President can and would do different from his former boss. He made a long and stirring speech in which he praised Mugabe for his service to their country and insisted that some of his policies including the controversial land acquisition from the whites were appropriate and would be followed. He asked for reconciliation, saying Zimbabweans should “let bygones be bygones”. However, he pledged to chart a new course and promised improvement in the economy and lives of Zimbabweans. He insisted elections would take place as scheduled and portrayed the image of a man of destiny.

He has the next few months to organise a credible election. I’m hoping that he would act like our own General Abdulsalami Abubakar by handing over power in record time, if that is the will of his people. The world would give him a standing ovation for it. But if he falls into the temptation of grabbing power, ignoring and curtailing the democratic will and zeal that brought him to power, it would be such a monumental shame and tragedy.

All eyes are now on Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zimbabwe.

  • Salmon Omokanye

    Continued/ if Buhari asked for a second time in spite of his age and failing health, it means he was only changing lane towards the principice, but not really changing direction.
    As for Atiku, why was Dele obsequious. To call a spade a spade, he has no credential or personal qualities to lead Nigeria. He was CORRUPTION personified and had many wives and mistresses. When he speaks about giving youth opportunities, he seems insane. Wanting to be president at 70 ‘for the sake of the youth’!!
    If Atiku wins presidency, Soyinka may be giving up his Nigerian passport!!!

  • Salmon Omokanye

    Thanks to “This Day” for this unique platform for Readers comments.
    Communities that regarded the 2015 election as an acid test to become aware of God listening to Nigeria’s fervent prayers, to terminate the inequities of PDP and incompetence of Ebele Jonathan, would regard 2019 election as a simple test of whether Muhammadu Buhari truly loves Nigeria.
    It would be undemocratic for APC to have Buhari automatically endorsed for a second term. It is equally immoral for Buhari to want to sit tight for a second term.
    We all feel sorry that Muhammadu Buhari was not like his past self on account of ill health.
    No regrets voting him in because his integrity brought sanity to the land in terms of improvement in security and less brazen looting. But we hoped he would steer the ship of state away from the principice. If he did just that and APC enshrined democratic principles and processes, it would be good enough. Any human being can only contribute a little; and a little it would ever amount to whether he is head of state for 4 years or for 40 years. If Buhari asked for a second time in spite of his age and failing health, it means he has only

  • Muhammad

    Dele typifies a common survivor Nigerian .
    He has good intentions .
    If given the opportunity he is willing to do his best .
    He will not take unnecessary risks that may leave him out .
    This is the flag of brilliant people .
    Some of them may be history makers , most are safe outside .

  • KWOY

    I want you to address in your next article what you think will happen if Buhari imposes himself on APC & Nigeria in 2019? Tell me what will happen if the Yoruba is not with the north?

  • Ralph

    I know you read this Dele. You have allowed your emotions to rule your brains. Atiku was never in APC. He abandoned the party the day he lost the APC ticket. Surely he wasnt expecting Buhari to give him free reign on his government. Buhari will win 2019 by a landslide. Stop hallucinating

  • LagLon

    its hard commenting here.
    especially to an article that so flawed.
    will leave dele alone because its all been said and is diversionary.
    pmb 2019.. why? why even for the north? i actually think its a ruse.
    why take 4 years (or less) of a sick presido… when you can get 8 years of someone else.
    indeed the pmb siege engine was useful to gain entry to the presidential castle but like all such tools, proves useless once inside…

  • evidence

    Dele Momodu, history would not be kind to you over the role you played in whitewashing a coup plotter, nepa bill holder, blood sucking jihadist like Buhari.
    You should publicly apologise to those of us that knew Buhari’s antecedents and campaigned against him.
    You should also apologise to the gullible you decieved into voting for Buhari.
    Then you can continue with your hypocritical indignation at the disaster you knew would come with Buhari but still went ahead to support , because of your selfish reasons.

  • Habmal

    Dele Momodu is an apology. He is always calling a spade a shovel. The only intelligent thing about him is that, he’s aware that many Nigerians have short memory. But some of us cannot forget what made us stop reading his column anymore which is largely as a result of not being able to balance his writings. He thinks he can fool us to think he’s not a beggar journalist who desperately wanted to be appointed a media aid by the Buhari government. As all his efforts were in vain, he attempts to fraternise with GEJ perhaps if PDP wins the next election, he may be considered. He is a looser. When he openly campaign for Buhari in 2015, we tried To to tell the world the Buhari don’t have the mind of his own as his antecedent have shown all through when he started as petroleum minister down to PTF. He had always been a sit down and look leader, allowing all his subordinates to do as it pleased them. Dele Momodu cannot now dissociate himself from being part of this government and APC. He had helped to foist this disaster on us and now trying to exonerate himself. HYPOCRISY AND COWARDICE!

  • chyke

    I’ll just like I did in 2015 vote for anybody but the incumbent in 2019

  • Mystic mallam

    Dele is trying so hard to write a balanced view – uncharacteristic and futile effort. Say it Dele, the problem with APC is not “Carelessness and Insensitivity” , it is cluelessness and deceitful lies. You cannot give what you do not have. And President Buhari, tell him the truth yourself, Dele, it’s not only his appointees that are lying to him, tell him that he has achieved his dream of making President again and putting Babangida to shame, that was it and no more. he had nothing to offer Nigeria the first time, he had nothing to offer this time around, and frankly, he has offered his best which amounts to nothing. Tell him to go home and rest. At 78 [his real age] and given his brittle health condition, he has earned it, go home and spend some quality time with your grand children Mr President. Let’s give some chance to much younger people to whom, we glibly admit, belongs the country and its future. Army people and old men have messed it up enough.

    • Don Gratias

      Beautiful and brilliant

    • Gary

      Amen. God bless you. We now wait for Dele, Kongi, Sonala, Enny B, Kayode, Pat Utomi, Agbakoba, Shehu Sani, Tunde Fagbenle, Rudolf Okonkwo, Pius Adesanmi, Falana, etc, etc; who sold the unreconstructed sectarian bigot and autocrat to do the oft-misused “needful”:
      TELL BUHARI HIS TIME IS UP.

      He has fulfilled his ambition of ruling Nigeria again, to the detriment of the commonweal and national harmony and progress. A younger generation of Nigerians has now joined an older one in experiencing the bitter and autocratic rule of an Islamist repackaged by those mentioned above as a reformed democrat.
      Should he insist on playing Mugabe in office, We, the Nigerian people have to end this nightmare with our votes in 15months.

      • KWOY

        To prove that you are not living in a fool’s paradise, go & drag Buhari out! I hate lies & unrealisticness!

        • Mystic mallam

          Mr Kwoy, I hope the full meaning of your name is not Mr ‘Know Nothing’. What do you mean ”drag Buhari out”, was it I who dragged him in to start with? Those who dragged him in like Dele Momodu are poised to drag him out, or perhaps you’re unable to read the tea leaves.You may save yourself a little face by pointing out the ”hate lies and unrelisticness” [sic] in my posting under reference.

          • KWOY

            Dele Momodu & Yorubas are INCAPABLE of dragging Buhari out! And what I meant was that you do not join them in that fruitless exercise! I meant that you should not join them in that folly!

          • Mystic mallam

            Ok, now I understand you. Yet, I’d rather Buhari did not run again. His magic, if ever it existed, has run its course.

    • onyema22ohaka

      You said all and well articulated.

    • KWOY

      Go & drag Buhari out!

  • Truth Konveyor

    In all your calculations, Dele, the people always take the back seat. Elitist permutations!

    • Olusola Olusina Micheal

      we the people are wathching and waiting for them

  • Fowad

    The Manfesto of the contesting political party for 2019 must contain serious issues. How they, that is, both parties got it wrong and how they intend to correct it. It should not just be about economic promises which is neither here nor there. We have seen how other issues have distracted current politicians from fulfilling their promise and nobody resigned. This includes APC with all their grandstanding before their 2015 victory. The parties must dwell on how to raise the degraded value of Nigerian Citizenship. PDP and APC should by now be unveiling fresh plans which puts people first no matter how unimportant they appear. Then we the citizens can decide. It is not certain for APC yet. It is not over for PDP yet.

  • Wikileaks

    A lot of them decamped from the PDP to APC. It was okay then. So, those leaving the APC today are just doing what they know how to do best.

  • James Gunn

    The fact of the matter is that the next president will come from apc or Pdp. They are just too big so anyone thinking of coming through with another party is wasting resources plus there is no time. Like someone said, let us try someone who has made immense success in the private sector not all these public servants who have never turned 100 million into a billion, who have never been responsible for generating funds to pay salaries to hundreds of employees, who has never sat down to negotiate a mutually beneficial business transaction with a cut throat competitor. The fact is before anyone says Atiku is corrupt please don’t deceive yourself. Every multi billionaire in Nigeria made his wealth with elements of corruption. Frankly I will never waste my vote again. I was so appalled at the support for Buhari that I chose not to vote believing it was a foregone conclusion that he was going to win in 2015 but this time if it is a case of Buhari versus Atiku, then it is a no brainer. I will vote for Atiku.

    • bigdaddy

      That will be akin to Jumping into the fire from the frying pan. Atiku is your typical average civil servant that looted the common till to make his billions gamed the system through corrupt practices to become mega rich. I don’t think he fits the typical “private sector” individual you are looking for. But if faced with a choice between a Buhari and an Atiku, i think i will take a pass like you did in 2015.

    • Don Franco

      You be korect guy!

    • Olusola Olusina Micheal

      dont waste your vote and by the way tell Atiku and his business entities including his goons in the PDP to perfect their tax papers well, cos Kemi[Adeosun] and Tunde[Fowler] are waiting for him and pray he has no tax proplem or he goes to prison and nothing will happen

      • Chym

        Mad man

  • John Paul

    After PMB, Nigeria needs to move towards people that made their bones in the private sector as president.

    Nigeria has had enough presidents who started out in life in the public sector. All of our presidents, other than Ernest Shonekan, spent most of their life in the public sector, were always paid by the Nigerian government, made all their money in the public sector and had little or no private sector experience:

    Tafawa Balewa – School teacher;
    Aguiyi Ironsi – Military;
    Gowon – Military;
    Murtala Mohammed – Military;
    OBJ – Military;
    Shehu Shagari – School teacher;
    IBB – Military;
    Ernest Shonekan – Chairman and CEO of UAC;
    Absulsalam Abubakar – Military;
    OBJ – Military;
    Yar’ Adua – School teacher;
    Goodluck Jonathan – School teacher;
    PMB – Military

    After PMB, it is time to try something new. Perhaps, a president who after leaving school, became a lawyer, doctor, banker, businessman – anything but a government worker – and after retiring from the private sector – as a whiz kid – decided to go into public service

    It is time for people who has spent most of their life being paid by the Nigerian government to try something new. They should wean themselves from government jobs and retire to the private sector

    • Truth is bitter

      **The background is not as important as the character of the individual. Bukola Saraki was a banker before becoming governor and later Senator; Orji Kanu was a businessman before becoming governor; Ayodele Fayose never worked in public sector before becoming governor and the list goes on.

      • MLK

        He does have a valid poin though.
        None of the people you listed had been Head of State/ President. Apart from Ernest Shonekan whose regime suffered serious lack of legitimacy, none of our past leaders had been in the private sector.That explains why they only understand how to spend and not how to build an economy

        • Adebayo Isa

          You are correct. The point is invalid, what if a Qualified doctor works for Government throughout his/service years?

    • Olusola Olusina Micheal

      thank you ..you are a real patriot not like many partisan renegades who sees nothing bad in bringing back those that helped to loot and destroy their future,through a lot of selfish politics and policies

  • Don Franco

    Dear Dele,

    I reluctantly commend you for writing a balanced view of the political realities on ground presently in the light of Atiku”s resignation from the APP; because I know that in the next three Saturdays you will do an about face and endorse the Certificateless One as the best thing that ever happened to our Lugardian contraption.

    There’s no way in the world that Atiku Abubakar would leave the APC without first consulting and getting the buy-ins of Tinubu, Ekweremadu, Makarfi; Wike, GEJ, Fayose, Saraki and those five governors with whom he departed Eagle Square in 2014.

    • Don Gratias

      So apt and so brilliant

    • Olusola Olusina Micheal

      you make me laugh with you very exciting speculation onwhat will happen to APC ..forget it the only good thing about Atikus depature is it will make the govt more firm and unrelenting in pursuing its anti corruption, agriculture policies,VAIDS [which of course is giving sleepless night to looters who cannot accout for how they made their money] reapprochment of s/east.i can see you are underating Nigerians and the ruling party…keep watching

      • Olusola Olusina Micheal

        of course the looters of your commowealth will mass themselves in PDP ,as one of their patrons is already back home…,your 35% ready to join PDP in your dream ko…?i know you people are not happy seeing somebody avenging for the rest of us what your benefactor have stolen ,but watch God is on the throne to scatter all conspiracies that will make some of your leaders be in the posiotion to steal with impunity again..amen they can gather but they will fail i tell you so

        • Ofuzo

          Anything even a dog 🐕 is better than EX BRUTAL DICTATOR EVIL TYRANT buhari’s undemocratic and BRUTAL regime.

          • Olusola Olusina Micheal

            better look before you leap…word for the wise

          • Ofuzo

            I’ve already looked and what I see is the possibility of another civil war with the yet unresolved IPOB issue and the maurading KILLER herdsmen.

  • Charles Anthony

    We do not need a prophet like Dele Momodu to preach to us about the inevitability of Buhari defect in 2019 what we are not certain is the magnitude of the defect. It’s going to be a hurricane sweep. Shame to Dele Momodu, they deceived us in 2015 but our eyes are wide open now.

  • Orobo95

    What goes around, comes around; the law of Karma..

  • Toate Ganago

    Who is next or who next? Journalism 101. I am not an English expert but…

    • bigdaddy

      Lol, Dele is right. Who next is correct.

  • Toby

    Dele, the only prophet in Nigeria. Clap for yourself.

    Having said that, whatever that was good for APC in 2015, May it be good for PDP in 2019. AMEN!

    Waiting on some governors, “honorables” and the “distinguishes”

    • bigdaddy

      Are you praying for a PDP return in 2019 or are you praying for something else apart from PDP and APC

      • Toby

        I’m loving this. Tick tock! Says the clock.

    • Full blooded Nigerian

      Pdp with all the documented looting?

      • Toby

        Make some time to read about APC’s loot documents.