Atiku's Sins: The
Untold Story Revealed At Last
culled from DAILY TRUST, April 25,
When I watch the way that our first and second citizens air their disagreements
through the media, I get very, very disillusioned. I remember with delight the
slogan that the duo used during their re-election (or was it?) "Obasanjo and
Atiku: The partnership that works." And indeed Nigerians in the Diaspora have
been watching with keen interest how the purported "partnership that works" has
worked and is still working.
President Olusegun Obasanjo has accused Vice President Atiku Abubakar of many
sins, one of which was the vice president's granted interview with national
newspapers asserting that President Olusegun Obasanjo had told him one-on-one
that he was not going to vie for a third term. Unknown to the vice president, he
had made not only a disloyal statement, but a contentious one. Perhaps, the
mistake the vice president made was not to have studied the parameters contained
in their purported partnership after being picked out as a running mate in 1999.
As the saying goes; "To err is human and to forgive is divine." This is usually
implored to get some kind to indulgence, after realising a wrongdoing. But the
question is; has the vice president really erred?
Oh yes, he has! And gravely too! He had not only erred, he had committed treason
against their partnership that was working, or their ruler-ship by correlating
it to the constitution of the Federal Republic; that it exists come 2007. He had
sinned by thinking that he is capable of stirring the Nigerian ship; he had
cheated on their marriage when he clamoured for adherence to the constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And since no sin goes unpunished, Vice
President Atiku must be meted doom for daring to be sacrilegious. Did he know
for how many months or years that it took to wait upon the Almighty before he
finally bequeathed presidency for life on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo? Or is the
vice president trying to challenge providence? How dare he?
But of all the sins of Vice President Atiku, perhaps, the most inexcusable and
treacherous is his daring to think that the presidential cap could find its
fitting on his head ceteris paribus. And who said things were going to be
allowed to be equal come 2007? Anyway, were they in 2003? Or has our VP
forgotten so soon? As far as the present user of the presidential cap is
concerned, they would not be. Even though many has, and are still dogged in
their belief that the cap has not found its fitting in Baba Aremu; but that
would not be our concern here. This piece is about the vice president's sins and
treachery. Talking about the most treacherous sin of Atiku's, he's daring to
nurture the ambition of becoming the nation's foremost citizen when the divinely
advised and heavenly bequeathed Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has not had his fill of
Aso Rock tenancy.
Sometime after the 1999 election that brought the duo as president and vice
respectively, President Obasanjo felt his first task was to travel around the
globe to scavenge and woo investors to come and take the advantage of the new
investment havens in Nigeria and to redeem the country's image in the eye of the
international community. While Mr President was busy travelling around the globe
religiously, the vice president was left to take charge, which he did with
loyalty and commitment. As a consequence, the vice president's chalet in Aso
Rock became the busiest, with an influx of top politicians from our diverse
multi-ethnic affiliations day in, day out. Governors found a place to interact
and unwind in the vice president's chalet.
Small wonder that somewhere along the line, the governors, having found a leader
on ground to go and unload their many problems on and get ideas on how to manage
their many political and other calculations in the person of the vice president,
began to wish and wonder if the vice president was not the one that should be in
charge. Be as it may, the presidential ambition of the vice president was thus
re-awakened with more than twenty governors pledging their full support should
he consider running. Thus, the seed and stage for Vice President Atiku's
candidature was sown and set.
However, while this was going on, the vice president was breaking one of the
forty-eight laws of power; he was outshining his master. Then the countdown to
the PDP convention that was to determine who picked the presidential ticket
came. With the governors insisting that the vice president should contest and
pledging unalloyed and absolute support to his candidature, he was thus in a
very big dilemma, as whatever decision he made would affect the outcome of the
convention, either for the good or for the not so good; not even the cartel of
generals in the PDP could do anything as at that material time. Baba saw the
obvious, so he had to frantically plead with Atiku to allow him complete the
second term. I guess it was the most difficult decision that the vice president
had had to make in his political life.
To safeguard the democracy that took decades and struggles to found, he receded
on his ambition. It wasn't easy for him to convince the governors and his
supporters to back his master though. He onerously saved the PDP, and by
And so, after the kangaroo election that ushered in the PDP for a second term,
with the PDP robbing AD of almost all their states, the journey into the second
term thus began.
The vice president has had to pay for daring to even think of contesting against
the president; his aides were changed without a notice to him. He swallowed it
all like bile. With international conspiracy, his house in the United States got
ransacked; he got relieved of his chairing of the privatisation brouhaha.
The governors for daring to support the vice president have had to pay also;
first was James Ibori of Delta State with the ex-convict saga; Dariye,
Alamieyeseigha and others.
While these were going on, the vice president was exhibiting the earmarks of a
tolerant leader, politician and the gentleman in him allowed things to happen. I
guess the astute part of him feels otherwise, now?
I'm not an Atiku pugilist and will appreciate not being construed as such. For
crying out loud, the VP has not done anything to deserve the way he is being
treated by Mr President and the PDP; but the one question I have for President
Olusegun Obasanjo is; in the Holy Bible, it says in (ECCL. 9:10) that "whatever
thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." Is he fighting corruption with
his might? What are Senators Mantu and Zwingina still doing in the Senate after
allegedly demanding fifty-four million naira from blessed el-Rufai? What
happened to the three hundred and fifty billion naira that was meant for the
federal roads? Are there sacred cows in this government? Why is the Power
Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) still inefficient despite the billions of
naira pumped into it?
Lastly, I want our leaders to ponder; every human life is somehow like a season;
it comes and it goes. Many have come and gone. A leader had severally opined
years back that; "this country is greater than any of its citizens." Many have
come and gone, so come 2007, President Olusegun Obasanjo should lawfully,
historically and honourably leave. God bless Nigeria.