By Musa Mohammed Zango
The Northern part of Nigeria is again in the spotlight. By the zoning arrangement and agreement subsisting in the country, the Presidency of Nigeria, which is presently in the hand of a Northerner, President Muhammadu Buhari, will remain in the North till 2023. Though the position is in the hands of a Northerner, the latter has not used the office well in the interest of the North, Nigeria and the nation’s democracy. Unfortunately, under the incumbent of that office, the North, noted for making remarkable sacrifices for the unity of the country, has become a villain and a purveyor of division, hate and exclusion which has been threatening the unity of the country since 2015, when Muhammadu Buhari took office.
We in the North i.e. North West, North east and North central cannot be contented with the present quality of leadership being offered the people of Nigeria in the name of the North because to all intents and purposes, the political party on which the government of President Buhari is anchored is a minority party. The All Progressives Congress (APC) is an unsteady political union imposed on the North by Buhari and Tinubu and aided by the shortcomings of the former Goodluck Jonathan administration which allowed it to come to power. And because the APC is not a truly Pan- Nigeria political party is one reason, the party is unable to mobilize and galvanize all shades of political interests in Nigeria for good governance. The APC from inception is a minority arrangement with an unclear mission and agenda that is why, so far it is only able to give Nigerians a government of exclusion built onpropaganda, lies and endless blame.
The PDP is the only true Pan- Nigeria party today, and despite all the problems it has had before and after it lost the 2015 elections, it remains the largest political organization in Africa that is a pride to all Nigerians. The PDP is Nigeria’s best hope for democracy and good governance and it is the one political party where committed patriots from all over Nigeria in 1998, made their best input at its founding. Second, among its founding fathers were many prominent Northerners who played a great role in giving the party, its form and character. As the PDP is putting its house in order and seeking to return to power, its best option is to elect as its presidential candidate, one of those who was at the founding and who was a founding father. That man is no other than Atiku Abubakar who recently returned to the party after his forced exile in the loose union called APC.
Atiku Abubakar is not a politician of convenience but one of conviction. He isas constant as the Northern Star. He has not hidden his ambition to be President of Nigeria because he has something special for Nigerians when given the mantle of leadership. He is a detribalized Nigerian, the one who takes the unity and brotherhood of all Nigerians serious. Atiku, by the grace of God, a former Vice President of Nigeria, is not one of those dubious Nigerians who sing one Nigeria because they want votes or in order to protect the position they occupy.
Atiku’s commitment and loyalty to One Nigeria, can be gleaned from his personal, business and political life and relationships. An entrepreneur and restless businessman and employer of labour, without compulsion, he reflects federal character in his employment of which he has provided several thousands to Nigerians of all works of life.
Atiku is a gift to the PDP today and a special reserve for the party as 2019 beckons. Had this PDP founder and homeboy not been away from the party during the dark days of the party, he would through collective tainting been roped in on the anti- corruption campaign of the administration of Muhammadu Buhari. President Buhari, his party and their supporters would have written off the PDP as a party not worthy to contest the 2019 elections, and lacking in people of substance and clean record on the grounds that corruption and graft was rife in the party, before 2015.
Today, under Buhari’s weak and clueless administration, corruption and graft is growing in the APC while PDP members who have corruption cases are immediately forgiven once they join the ranks of the APC. This shows that the APC is desperate for power and is prepared to trade the well- being and good governance of Nigeria on the altar of its political interest.
It should however be noted that whether in PDP, or APC, Atiku Abubakar, the PDP founder and financier has remained blameless. Severally investigated for corruption and many times cleared by the Courts of the land for same, the former Vice President has not been involved in any scandal on account of corruption. Atiku on the contrary has come out as an enthusiastic and hard- nosed businessman who is good at creating jobs and given employment to Nigerians.
Aside normal human failings of which Atiku is not exempt, unlike the APC President, Atiku is well prepared to give Nigeria good leadership that will revive the present comatose and hard economy, create meaningful jobs that will put the youths and other unemployed Nigerians to work, and restore the love, security and freedom which Nigerians before 2015, use to take for granted.
A vote for this thoroughbred PDP man, is a vote for party unity, party strength, internal party democracy and rebirth of the nation.
Long live the People’s Democratic Party!
Musa Mohammed Zango is a political commentator based in Bauchi.