Fateema Mohammed is obviously convinced that the next president of the country should be former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. In this interview, the Director General (DG) of Atikunation group gave reasons for her conviction. She also spoke on her political ambition after the bitter experience she had with her party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the last general election.
Why are you so passionate about Atiku becoming the next President of Nigeria?
The choice of Atiku for me is a personal conviction. You set your cards on the table and then you ask yourself, among all of the players on stage who is capable? In a time like this, we have different politicians; we have the pretenders who just want to come out and seek another thing. We have the contenders. To me, Atiku is the only contender to that seat. I am speaking personally; I think he is the only credible candidate in every aspect and he will be the next president.
How do you intend to convince people to support Atiku, considering his fracas with Obasanjo?
When you have a good product you don’t need to go through the stress of hyping the product. Atiku is the most sell-able candidate. The politics of the south-west is very dynamic; we have a lot of people who are exposed and knowledgeable. When you talk about APC it was Atiku’s money that helped the party to stand today and from the day he left APC, you will have seen that the party has taken a dive for the worse. It is simply because one of its pillars just left. Selling him is not a problem at all. He is the largest employer of labour in Nigeria. He is the benefactor of over 50,000 employees. He is a lover of youth and a detribalised Nigerian. He has wives from south-west and south-east. He believes in the girl child. He lives and says that he will give hope to the women and all that. Above all, he believes in restructuring. Is Obasanjo God or is he God’s Personal Assistant. Obasanjo has just one vote. He cannot determine who will be president. Obasanjo will be alive when Atiku will become president. He cannot stop Atiku.
Do you think the PDP will give him the ticket?
I don’t want to think whether Atiku will get the ticket. He will get the ticket. He will run as the president of this country.
If Atiku is good as you portray him, why didn’t he win in APC?
He was rigged out. A night before the primaries, he was rigged out and yet he attended the election to deepen democracy in the country. If Atiku was not there, the international community would grade it null and void. His presence gave the election credibility.
What about you, do you intend running again after the last experience?
What happened at that time was that I was taken unawares. I went to rest because I had won already at the poll and my party went to take out my name in parley with the INEC. This time I have re-strategised and I know the game better.
How are you sure the same system and party will favour you this time?
It was not the system that removed my name, it was some bad egg in the party that did so just because they do not believe in winning, only to embezzle funds in the party.
I heard that you later helped the APC to win that constituency. Is that correct?
I want to say it now and on record, yes, I helped them to win in the last election on condition and that condition has not been met. That particular meeting was recorded. I have it and if they deny it I will publish it. I was aggrieved with my party at that time because I thought everybody was involved. I asked him to make sure government is truly doable to the electorate. Ifako-ijaye is the second largest local government in Lagos and stinks of poverty and underdevelopment. But rather than work, they have been busy paying money to the godfathers who put them there.
What is your thought on the ‘not too young to run’ law?
I am an advocate for ‘not too young to run’, ‘not too old to rule.’ The political institution is a school on its own; you don’t start from the scratch today and be at the top the next day. These old people are the founding fathers of our politics. Moreover, it involves money that most of these young ones don’t have. Travelling and meetings, all these involve money.