PDP’s Bet on Atiku to Take it Back to Power

Atiku...a man to watch out for

Hometruths By Adeola Akinremi

Sometime we are exasperated by the internal politics of the Peoples Democratic Party that we forget that there will be no way to simply ask PDP to shake off the stench.

That PDP’s convention was riven by disagreements over “unity list” shouldn’t be a surprise, the architects of power in the grand old party have lived by swords and stones since the party formation. The remnants are carcasses putting on sinews for a comeback.

Let’s look back in history. Since August 1998, when it was registered, the PDP has produced 13 national chairmen and they have all emerged through horse-trading.

The chairmen have equally lost their bones to party dogs with their carcasses eaten by party vultures once party hawks think they need to abdicate the throne.

The party chairmen have spent between one to two years in office on the average. From Dr. Alex Ekwueme who served as first protem national chairman of the party for about three months to Uche Secondus, the current national chairman, PDP’s conventions have been a show of chaos and confusions.

Interestingly, of the nine men who started the process that birthed the PDP, only Dr. Iyorcha Ayu and Prof. Jerry Gana are still actively involved in PDP’s internal politics. The other members of the G9 that metamorphosed into G18 and G34 respectively are Chief Solomon Lar, Senator Francis Ellah, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, Chief Bola Ige, Alhaji Sule Lamido and Mallam Adamu Ciroma.

True, the PDP has tried to reform, but it has been difficult because president’s interest has always been above party interest.

In fact, the current Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, as a PDP chairman during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime was cast in the mold of a renegade when he attempted a reform. We all read their open letters on the pages of newspapers. In a “we do not have too much time to waste,” letter, Ogbeh called out Obasanjo, questioning his integrity on party matters.

Of course, Obasanjo himself, a battle-ready politician, didn’t waste time in a December 12, 2004 response to describe Ogbeh as a pretentious man skillful in “hide and seek games.” At the end, Ogbeh was forced out.

So the frosty fight in PDP started with the party and will certainly not end. It appears to be a political strategy in politics where the strong silence the weak.

Yes, we’ve seen the relatively new All Progressives Congress (APC) doing the same and the two main political parties in America—our copied democracy—have seen hijackers take centre stage during conventions.

The recent revelations in a memoir by the DNC chairwoman, Donna Brazile, that the 2016 Democratic primary was “rigged,” because the DNC was fully under the control of Hillary’s campaign is one example.

But how will a bet on Atiku take PDP back to power? My simple response is: no idea. But I know that PDP needs more than an Atiku to retake power. The math is simple. The APC as an opposition party won the hearts and minds of the people through uncovering of PDP’s malfeasance. Those who wanted APC to take over power did what crooked corporations do. They planted moles inside government to pilfer sensitive documents and act as whistleblowers. It worked.

The government of Jonathan was unseated, because the information sufficiently dominated conversation till election time. For instance, the alleged $20 billion corruption at the NNPC won’t just go away, though the inaccuracy of the figure. The APC stayed on message as an opposition party, pushing the message until it stuck.

Now, the PDP needs to show Nigerians what this government is doing wrong, going after malfeasance that cannot be denied and making it known to the public. There’s so much shrouded in secrecy under this government just like any other in our democratic history, but there’s a momentus. The inability of the present government to arrest the former head of Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina since the scandal of his backdoor return to government broke is a sign. Here’s the rub: anytime a government is silent on an accused person who has been part of that government there’s much more in silence. Can PDP find a navigator in Maina to open the seal on what is being covered by the APC?

In most cases, opposition party thrives on a combination of approach to take power. I know sensation is one of such and that is where the touted possible presidential flagbearer of the PDP, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar needs to go.

Really, to take PDP back to power Atiku needs to create some kind of upsets like MKO Abiola did when he got the ticket of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to contest presidential election in 1993. What kind of upsets did Abiola caused? Abiola forced the price of commodities such as staple foods to go down.

For instance the price of bread, milk and others went down and everything changed without MKO in government yet. He had his name written on foodstuffs on sales in the market at ridiculously lower prices. Can Atiku make this happen? Surely it is one way to turn the tables for the PDP in 2019. With pervasive hunger and low purchasing power across the country, an upset in the price of staple foods with lower prices everywhere, is a game changer.

Clearly Atiku has a very narrow needle to thread and he needs to build his campaign to produce result. He must make the campaign a dead-heat for Buhari with clear-cut and implementable policy programmes, if he must take PDP back to power. There is still an unexpectedly large percentage of Nigerians who are on the fringe looking at the turn of the clock. Can PDP really bet on Atiku to take it back to power? I cannot make that bet yet.
Follow me on Twitter:@adeolaakinremi1

  • Objectivity

    Atiku will be a better candidate than PMB. Atiku has a track record in good economic plan and he is an entrepreneur. I think the most important message for 2019 is getting the teeming youths employed. Truth be told Nigeria is not working under PMB.

  • omnia1

    Anyone with a modicum of insight would realize that Buhari will win the election by a landslide. That is the tragedy awaiting Nigeria. Biafrans will not vote for any Fulani man so the race between Atiku and Buhari will be decided solely by the core North and the Yorubas. The vote in the core North will be almost 100% Buhari while the Yoruba vote will be divided.

    Biafrans have no future in Nigeria. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was 100% correct!

  • William Norris

    The Atiku Media Center just commenced operations.

    PDP or APC, the Islamist Fulani and their feudal-socialist ideology is going to be the ultimate winner.

    Which means NO further political or economic reforms for decades to come.

    The USA was correct. Nigeria ended in Mar 2015. Welcome to the Caliphate.

    Victory Comes From God Alone

  • Souleymane Bilal

    Ha, ha. And another one. We heard this refrain about Sai Baba in 2015! Trust me, this guy will be worse that Buhari. God, what did we do to deserve all these crooks? God, what sin did we commit? Tell us, God, we will atone for it. These marauders, posing as political leaders are dancing around our moribund bodies! Help us and save us from all these scavengers.

  • KWOY

    So, why didn’t Abiola become president with his strategy?

  • The very bitter truth is that, Atiku can not win the 2019 election, may be he will in another life, but not this present Nigeria. Too many things are not going on well for him. The same power that said Jonathan must win the 2011 elections, are also the same power that ganged up to install Buhari.
    If this group is no longer comfortable with Buhari, the group will gang up against him. For this group, Atiku is not an alternative.
    The group has been quiet because Buhari is playing their ball very well and did not disappoint them. The same group that influenced Jega will deliver the election to APC. Stop deceiving yourself. PDP or any other party can not win this coming 2019 election. Buhari still have cult-like support in the North. No Northern can defeat him for now.

    • KWOY

      They are not comfortable with Buhari (although he is giving them all the appointments they fought for), but they ar helpless!

    • Milito

      Its either you are the real ADAM in which I can understand your chronic and based pro PMB sentiments or you are an impostor and thus I am more than ever glad to take your submission with a whiff of hand.

      It is an open secret that BUHARI cannot win election in 2019 except there is an unprecedented level of rigging and chaos . If APC wants to lose to PDP, I dare them to present PMB as their candidate. Politics is not a game of emotions but shrewd calculations driven by interest.

      The north will rather have another person (it could be ATIKU,KWANKWASO or SULE LAMIDO or even any one else) who can guarantee them 8 more years in the saddle over Nigeria than a frail PMB with a constitutional limit of 4 more years. Forget about what you call cult following …who e hep? Buhari is not even in charge of this administration but the tiny cabal around him that have sidelined the greater majority of the northern and party elites who brought him to power. So you think whatever rapprochement done now will obliterate the greater interest of these guys ? Someone must be a dreamer here…

  • Baba Jada

    Atiku is a true visionary who believes in One United Nigeria.
    He has the determination and experience to move Nigeria forward.
    Atiku is uniting and accommodating of all Nigerians.
    The country needs your Leadership.

  • Shuaibu Abdullah

    No doubt, some people have their mouths where their stomachs are! For those projecting ATIKU’s tell Nigerians his achievements for eight years he was vice president to obj apart from self enrichment. Common road to his home town had been death trap until this APC government under PMB. He was in PDP 16yrs at different times when the people of northeast were being massacred by Boko Haram, what role did he played to stop it. It is true he’s richer than Nigeria but God almighty will not foster someone like ATIKU on us because we worship him and He hears our prayers.

    • KWOY

      I know you are a devil worshipper! And the Almighty Lucifer will continue to grant your expressed and unexpressed wishes! Buhari is one of those wishes.

    • Sustain Transformation

      And your prayer is that the Almighty God should continue to visit us with sorrows, tears and blood aka PMB? May your prayer not cross the roof of your mouth, in Allah’s most holy name I have prayed.

    • William Norris

      The same God inflicted the pestilence called BUHARI the Dullard on Nigeria.

      Or a different God? Maybe you mean Satan?


      • bigdaddy

        Just like the same God afflicted us with the plague called Jonathan. Or a different God? Or did you mean Lucifer?

    • Ubong

      We have governors from both major alphabet called party with whatever they called power, stll workers and their relatives pensioners are not paid their salaries and due pensions. Why dont Nigerians seeking elective position not taking about the reformation of many corrupt institutions of government. We are living witnessing to endemic corruption in our judiciary and security apparatuss of good governance. Ee are living witness to INEC telling us an elected governor who knowingly and corruptly breached constitutional provision of double registration could not be prosecuted for fraudulently cheating himself to power. We ate living witness to to breaches of defection criteria with impunity by greedy and self centred elected political prostitutes, without die regard to the voters rights to demand accountability from their party. I think setting out people oriented programmes and manifesto should occupy the mindset of parties in Nigeria instead of just power to loot the nation. Corruption as of today is an epidemic in all party in Nigeria. The sooner Nigerian start voting personalities and not alphabet, thr sooner they will witness developmental and services delivery competition positively

  • Truth is bitter

    Comments so far looked like paid commentators on the loose. I know Atiku believes everyone has a price and is willing to buy anybody’s loyalty but my loyalty is to Nigeria. GEJ corruption will be a child’s play if Atiku ever gets hold of power.

    • share Idea

      If GEJ’s corruption is child’s play, what can you say of things happening under this administration?

      • bigdaddy

        What is going on under this government is child’s play compared to what happened under GEJ.

    • Nuorah

      • By the grace of God the problem this country is facing that has to do with corruption, terrorism, kidnaping, will come to and end. If Atiku become President

      • Abiola Abu

        Atiku is another IBB. A cabal insider without doubt. Let him be your presido and you will regret for another 20 years. Mark my words.

  • Abubakar Abdullah

    Atiku is the only person that can save Nigeria in terms of human development.

  • Prosperous Nigeria

    Articulate Atiku. I see him as the next President. He must be willingly to serve Nigeria and Nigerians. No paddy paddy business. I am sure he has seen how feckle people acan be in this life. All these he has helped have abandoned him, some even curse him to his face. I wish him well. Fare well Wazirin Adamawa.

    • omnia1

      Anyone with any insight at all would realize that Buhari will win the election by a landslide. That is the tragedy awaiting Nigeria. Biafrans will not vote for any Fulani man so the race between Atiku and Buhari will be decided solely by the core North and the Yorubas. The vote in the core North will be almost 100% Buhari while the Yoruba vote will be divided.

      Biafrans have no future in Nigeria. Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was 100% correct!

  • Mr. Abdin

    Atiku is really a political game changer surely come 2019 he will make the difference.