I was an ardent follower of Nigerian politics during the time former president, Goodluck Jonathan, was in power. In my opinion, his offers remained Nigeria's best shot at greatness that was cut short before it gained ground. The current set of people who are now in PDP struggling to oust the current occupant of Aso Rock were the ones who ousted him to usher the one they now see as incompetent. This is why I no longer pay attention to the politicking going on in this country; they make me mad.
However, with the understanding I have about what is going on, as Nigerians prepare to go vote in the forthcoming presidential election on the 16th of February, I wish to offer one more advice to those who are adamant about participating in the voting process. My first advice was for everyone who does not wish to vote for Buhari to sit at home if they want to see him removed from office on 29th May this year. If we vote, we lose (Read).
My second counsel is this: below are very strong reasons why Atiku is a bad choice for replacing Buhari in the first place! Do note vote for Atiku if you love this country moving forward.
His Connection to Corruption
It is a very dark shadow on the foreign image of this fledgling nation to have as its president someone who could easily be arrested in the most powerful Country in the world for his links to bribery and corruption. These links (two to be specific) are connected to actually sentenced and convicted cases of bribery and money laundering. Aside his connection, his wife is equally under close watch for related Corruptions issues. As a result of this connection to two corruption investigations in US, Atiku was banned indefinitely from entering the United States of America. That he was able to 'bribe' a lobbyist in Washington DC to secure him a reprieve that allowed him to come to US is even more alarming to me. I believe we do not even know all the details yet.
Having someone with this reputation as president is worse in comparison to having an incompetent dictator. Those who will vote for Atiku are simply going to be telling the whole world that this country is ok with corruption. It is a very bad image and reputation for us. If Atiku succeeds, it will adversely affect Nigerians in diaspora and those intending to travel out. If this is not enough for you to agree with me, wait until you read the next reason.
His Amnesty for Looters
In a recent interview, Atiku, when asked if it's okay to grant amnesty to Looters and his likelihood of doing so, exclaimed "Why not?" He went ahead to quote two economically backward countries whose leaders have similar reputation or worse to what is obtainable in Nigeria: Turkey and India. I do not have the interest to elaborate on these two seemingly third world countries, but I think Atiku agreeing that it is okay to grant amnesty to Looters in this country just because they choose to return 'their loots' is a strong sign of what is to come. It's a sign of readiness to enthrone the corruption monster in our sucked up country. It means people are free to steal what they can, then return those they are caught with and walk away free to enjoy the ones they are able to hide away.
This is completely irritating. We should not even be talking about it. That some people see this same man as a messiah is rather too strange to me. The same set of people that gave us the current disastrous administration, as they put it, are out to give us something worse. We must reject it.
Atiku's famous vow to not enrich members of his family but his friends should disqualify him from the presidential race. Should he become president, it means projects and various areas of government will be flooded by those loyal to him. He will not consider the competence of people receiving government contracts because they are his friends. His government will not be based on reason, but on favouritism. Is this the kind of government we as Nigerians want to keep seeing? A government that favours the few and oppresses the rest? There's no how there won't be partiality in the process. We need to really wake up to this reality or our country is doomed.
"I am not going to enrich my family but my friends. Are my friends not 'entitled' to be enriched (with our national cake)? As long as there is no element of corruption there (in what possible way can it not be?)."Emphasis added are mine.
He may have vowed not to favor his family, but he promised to complete the building of the second Niger bridge for the Igbos so as to please his wife. One question we should be asking is this: what would have happened to the bridge if he has no Igbo woman in his collection of wives? This is Nepotism at its worst case scenario. If we are going to get good roads on the bases of having a vice president who is from the East, what happens to the other parts of this country where there is no individual for whom the Atiku's proposed nepotism would work to favour their people?
"You asked me to complete the second Niger Bridge, that I'll do because of my wife. With Peter Obi as the VP, be rest assured that the roads in the region will be completed too."
I have always believed that one of the things this country need to discard is our bases of political governance on geopolitical zones. In as much as I do wish for a better State for the Igbos in the form of Biafra, I strongly support a Nigerian state with name changed to Biafra and lacking any signs of zoning of federal elections and appointments over competence and reliability. Atiku does not represent the true vision of what we want our country to become. He is part of what we are trying to reject in our quest to remove Buhari. This is good enough reason to reject him.
Atiku made a promise to participate in a debate involving about five presidential candidates, but he reneged from keeping to it. The reason he gave for doing so is that one of the expected participating candidates opted out. As a result, he had to opt out since he was planning to take swipes at this other candidate. I think this is absurd and unnecessary.
The debate was an opportunity to explain to Nigerian voters how he intends to outperform the incumbent, and how his agenda is better than the rest of the candidates. By backing out of the debate, Atiku proved to Nigerians that he does not wish to explain himself to them. He told us to our faces that we are not worth his time. He made it clear through his boycott of the debate that we are not the reason he is running for the presidency. Instead, he showed us he only intends to oust and spite the incumbent. However, the truth remains that we all already know the capabilities of Buhari. We do not need any debate to tell us whether he was good for us anymore or not. As for Atiku, in spiting the voting population, he missed an opportunity to explain his agenda to us. This shows that his agenda is not to work for the people, but to settle political scores. Buhari is entitled to not be in such debates, citing his big schedules and government business. Atiku, even by merely being in the venue showed he had no excuse not to participate. He failed us, the people he is asking to vote for him. Therefore, we should not excuse him and sheepishly follow him by voting for him in the forthcoming elections. We should not continue selling out this country to people who do not care about us.
That no reasonable person should vote for Buhari is something we seem to have established in our minds. But much worse are the people who intend to vote for a criminal (something Buhari without his handlers is not), and an insensitive politician who is after power. I do not intend to vote for either or anyone for that matter, but I'll advise that if you must disregard my first advice, do not vote for either candidates. Otherwise, Buhari is not as bad for Nigeria as Atiku is. I rest my case.
Thank You for reading. If you have any counter, drop it in the comments box below.