Atiku's burden of losing

By Uche Chris

There is a sense of deja vu over the current crisis in the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the potent danger it poses for its victory in the 2023 presidential election.

It is increasingly becoming evident that the PDP may likely lose the coming election, not because it is not popular enough but it has inadvertently shot itself in the foot; and the cause of this inevitable fate before the party will not be Gov. Wike, as some people suppose, but sadly, Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate.

Before the crisis blew open after the June 29 primary, the 2023 election was PDP’s to lose given the abysmally appalling performance of the President Buhari led APC government, which in the past seven years has practically grounded the country on virtually every indicator of governance.

Most nonpartisan Nigerians, who constitute the majority of the voting population had actually committed their votes against APC even before election proper, buoyed by the new Electoral Act and the outcome of the Osun state governorship election, which saw an incumbent defeated, as a positive sign that their votes will this time around count.

Evidently, the deplorable voter apathy that had previously marred election was predicated on the assumption by most Nigerians that their votes won’t count, as a result of the outrageous behaviours of politicians during polls and their desperation to win at all costs, including desecrating the tenets of democracy to get their way.

However, the new Electoral Act has fuelled new enthusiasm for participation by Nigerians as a result of the positive innovations it introduced to improve election outcomes.

Obviously, PDP would have been the immediate beneficiary of the expected change in both party and government in 2023, but ironically, like a doom foretold, the party has betrayed itself; and in spite of the bold face being put up by the party to paper over the cracks that are daily widening within its feuding  fold, the party may have already lost the election before the ballot. It has itself to blame for for its duplicitous insincerity and betrayal of fairness.
Sadly, its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa, who not only instigated the rape on equity and common sense, as well as the ultimate beneficiary, is paradoxically, going to be the greatest loser in view of the increasing odds against the party, and the disaffection within it. For all neutral and independent voters, the PDP is no longer in the reckoning.

PDP’s current dilemma is a lesson in the study and operation of the law of retribution. Atiku and the party connived to deny the South, and particularly, the South East, its legitimate claim to the presidency, according to its constitution and political expediency. By insisting on running at the expense of the South, given that another northerner had be in power since 2015, was unconscionable and utterly selfish.

This is the root and cause of the crisis in the party, and contrary to the current attempt by apologists and power mongers, whose only interest is power and what it guarantees at all costs, try to make of it. Atiku, Waziri Adamawa, is responsible for the crisis, and not Gov. Wike, as being depicted by interested party men. Had Atiku not trampled on all rules of decency and morality, the party would not be in the present quagmire. PDP has stooled in its stew.

In an apparent twist of fate, PDP’s loss has become Peter Obi’s, and Labour party’s, gains. Imagine if Obi were the candidate of PDP, how pretty easier it would have been for it in the polls.

But it is another lost opportunity for the party and Nigerians who had put their hope on it to deliver the nation from the stranglehold and misrule of the present murderous and largely incompetent government. But like a dream, the prospect is rapidly vanishing.

Atiku is inordinately ambitious to be president and was ready to deny the South East its turn to have a shot at it. As it is turning out, it is the same South East that could abort his ambition, come what may. The emerging truth is that the election has been won and lost for PDP, because Nigerians no longer feel comfortable with it, having proved unreliable and amoral.

In the final analysis, Atiku deserves what is coming to him for trying to play God. Gov. Wike and his colleagues are fighting a just cause, and it is hypocritical and dishonest to make them the villains. Heaven will not fall if PDP loses the election; so the sentiment of using the present bad situation in the country to blackmail them is disingenuous and a blackmail of the innocent.

No situation in the country could be worse than the present. Whoever win beside Atiku will definitely be an improvement. It would be a good political lesson for such an outcome to ensure that people follow their own rules of engagement and avoid putting persons above the law.

No society can make any progress if laws and institutions are flagrantly violated on the altar of expediency. Atiku should take responsibility for the crisis and accept its repercussions. He and PDP are making a mistake by assuming that things will always be the same; well, things have really changed and there are two factors responsible for the new situation which they had misread or ignored.

First is the election of President Buhari in 2015. Before his emergence, most Nigerians, and particularly the youth, had thought experience and age were the big factors for good leadership in view of the incompetence of former president Jonathan. Driven by irrational and emotional media propaganda, they mobilised and voted out Jonathan in the most ignominious manner.

However, their hope of something refreshingly different was not only dashed, but turned into a nightmare, as President Buhari roundly failed all expectations. It was the worst rude awaking that befell the people since independence that most Nigerians seem to be saying, “never again”.

Also Buhari has so sensitised the different nationalities and geo-political zones of the importance of power and the urgency for it to shift. This is the sentiment that the old regimes in the parties don’t seem to appreciate. The second factor is the #EndSars# protest and its aftermath. What the violent break-up of the protest meant is that the youths must find accommodation in the formal political process as the only viable option to power.

So, while the old political establishment is under pressure from within to ameriolate things and douse the prevalent sky-high ethnic tension, the youth are also mobilsing to wrest power from the old guard. Well, everything is getting set to unravel before our eyes, and the effects will be far-reaching.




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