Atiku's Sins: The Untold Story Revealed


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Atiku's Sins: The Untold Story Revealed At Last



Mohammed Sarki Bello Paiko




culled from DAILY TRUST, April 25, 2006


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 extension, democracy.

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.


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