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Nigeria’s most experienced presidential aspirant comes again

by adekunle Political Notes By Emmanuel Aziken Only the ignoramus in today’s Nigeria will believe that the country’s most experienced presidential aspirant will abstain from the 2019 presidential election. •Atiku After contesting in all presidential primaries/elections since 1993, the man who at the peak of his political power reportedly brought an incumbent president to his knees is again set for a make or break showdown with his political demons. How Atiku Abubakar hopes to bind or the demons is an enchanting expectation many are hoping to see. No one has ever confirmed the following story. President Olusegun Obasanjo according to a tale, told some friends that when he dies and goes to heaven, as this correspondent prays, and hears that Atiku is bidding for the presidency of Nigeria that he would beg God to allow his return to Nigeria for an unfinished business! Obviously a fable, but it goes to buttress the enmity between the one-time presidential tag team. After losing the presidential ticket of the Social Democratic Party, SDP to Moshood Abiola in 1993, fate smiled on Atiku when Obasanjo picked him as his vice-presidential candidate in 1999. Only the heavens can now say whether that was a poisoned chalice. There is little doubt that while he poured his heart into governance, that he also used the time to prepare for the succession. His preparation for the office of President is better described by the quality of input he made into the success and stability of the Obasanjo administration; especially in its first four years. That success was, however, subdued by the subtle media campaign reportedly articulated by his associates styled as the Mandela Option. The campaign was aimed at luring Obasanjo to serve one term and exit the stage to become a global statesman just as Nelson Mandela had recently done in South Africa. Whether Obasanjo saw Atiku as a traitor or power greedy person may yet be an issue between the two of them.