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#NigeriaDecides2019: Why An Eye Is On Buhari Another On Atiku



Though over seventy presidential candidates are vying to become Nigeria’s President, citizens can’t stop queuing behind the serving aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari and that of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Barely nine days to the D-day, Buhari and Atiku dominate the minds of the electors, thanks to their advantageous entrée to media, money and campaign apparatus—their jingles so far had been too piercing to the extent that those of others became unnoticed.

In the interim, the Independent National Electoral Commission confirmed the candidacy of seventy-two (72) presidential candidates from different political parties with Mr Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress; Mr. Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressives Party; Mr. Sina Fagbenro-Byron of the KOWA Party; Mr. Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria; Mr. Obadaiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress; Mrs. Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party having to fight so hard to proclamation of their ambitions. But, a closer appraisal revealed that their attempts met gargantuan caginess in the course of electioneering to the extent that former vice president of World Bank, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili had to step down from her hitherto presidential pursuit under the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).    

Till date, the rationalization for Ezekwesili’s decision to step down is absolutely implicit considering the fact that her supporters feel that the nation would have benefited a lot from her weight of experience. Those groups believed she should have taken the fight for the presidency to the pool unit rather than quitting at a crucial moment in history. A day is coming when Ezekwesili will tell her die-hard followers why she thought it wise to quit the race to Aso Villa, all of a sudden.

The race to Aso Villa from Ezekwesili’s action can be adjudged as a big brawl between the politically advantaged major candidates and lesser candidates struggling to be noticed.

The race under review can be adjudged as a big brawl between the politically advantaged major candidates and lesser candidates struggling to be noticed.

Going by this extraordinary signal, an election can be defined as the big brawl between major candidates seeking to retain power and lesser ones struggling to be noticed.

Citing the above infrequent classification, it becomes effortless for right-thinking members of the society to understand why the Buhari vs. Atiku political hymn became a subliminal memo that Nigerians are chanting every day.        

All over the world, “he who pays the piper calls the tune” and representatively so, President Buhari as Grand Commander of the Federal Republic and Atiku who doubles as former vice president and Chief Executive Officer of several successful organisations in different countries  are masters in the act of calling the tune albeit political, religious, traditional etcetera. The media (and its owner) is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses, said Malcolm X.

Volumes have been published about Nigeria’s presidential election coming on Saturday, February 162019. Also, international observers and world-leading groups didn’t allow doctrines of national sovereignty prevent them from expressing their inspections which were reported as expected. 

Eurasia Group’s Verdict On Buhari and Atiku

Striking among worldwide reports about the ambition of Buhari and Atiku was that of Eurasia Group, a United States political risk consultancy corporation—their piece of information offered an entirely bleak side of the agenda of both candidates as it affects Nigeria as a nation.

According to Eurasia’s recent report published on Thursday, January 10, 2019, victory for any of the two contestants may not be for the best interest of the country as they both have limitations that might prove troublesome in the future.

The group described Buhari, 76, as lacking energy to solve Nigeria’s problems while Atiku is likely to enrich himself and associates if he becomes president.

“Buhari is an elderly, infirm leader who lacks the energy, creativity, or political savvy to move the needle on Nigeria’s most intractable problems.

“His opponent is Atiku Abubakar, another gerontocrat who would focus on enriching himself and his cronies, avoiding the difficult and politically unpopular tasks necessary for reform.”

Little progress “on critical policy priorities”

The group noted that President Buhari’s bid to remain in Aso Villa for another four years will pose risk of political crisis, stressing that his second term victory would bring Nigeria little progress “on critical policy priorities like tax reform or a restructuring of the energy sector” and that, “Buhari would be a lame duck from day one, with powerbrokers in his own party quickly shifting their focus to the next electoral cycle in 2023”.

On the possible repetition of Buhari’s mysterious health problems, the group exclaimed, “A Buhari reelection carries tall risks. A politically weak president, for health or other reasons, would open the floodgates for political infighting, increasing the chances that his ruling All Progressives Congress implodes.

“That would turn a policy slowdown into paralysis. The risk of attacks on oil infrastructure would also rise because the absence of strong leadership in Abuja would make it harder to negotiate with the Niger Delta’s various militant groups.”

Atiku’s Policies Unclear And Untested 

Also, Atiku Abubakar’s eagerness to return to the Presidential Villa after serving as Vice President for eight years was ridiculed as a mission with unclear and untested policies.

Though he is credited with keener intellect than Buhari, Nigeria will experience brief, a superficial boost to the country’s image, even at the risk of returning to an even more rent-seeking governing style, says Eurasia.

“Atiku’s policy priorities are unclear and untested: He had previously promised to deregulate the oil and gas sector but recently pledged to reduce gasoline prices by 50% from already below-market levels. That would swell subsidy costs and endanger long-term debt sustainability.

“He’s also unlikely to champion a tax reform that’s critical to Nigeria’s fiscal sustainability. Atiku would face significant infighting within his People’s Democratic Party as well, as leaders try to hold him to his promise to serve only one term (a pledge he’s likely to retract).”

Notwithstanding what the international community think or say, election in most nations of the world are typically a wrestle between the ruling party and the opposition seeking to have access to the corridors of power or in the Nigerian contest an opposition party seeking to regain power after losing it in 2015—The People’s Democratic Party produced Nigeria’s President from 1999 to 2015 before losing to the then opposition All Progressives Congress as the Democratic Party lost to the Republican Party in the US in 2017.

So, in the standards of politics, the fate of other candidates vying for #NigeriaDecides2019 is hanging on the shoulders of either Buhari or Atiku who are respective candidates of the APC and PDP (two main political parties in Nigeria at the moment).


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