Oyibo H. Mbaukwu
The attention of the whole world has shifted to Nigeria for a good reason. Next week, millions of eligible Nigerian voters will go to the polls to vote for their preferred candidates for the presidential and national assembly polls. There is palpable fear in the land, people are jittery, and the atmosphere is filled with expectations. As Nigerians prepare for the elections, the presidential election seems to attract all the attention. This is for obvious reasons because Nigerians appear to be more interested in what happens at the centre. It is understandable again because what ails Nigeria stems from the centre.
No time in the history of this country has various groups endorsed a particular presidential candidate in the way groups within Nigeria and outside have endorsed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
No time also in the history of this country have Nigerians been so politically aware than in the current era. There is a change from a feeling of indifference in the past to that of participation and commitment. Nigerians are making their positions known in certain, categorical terms.
Towards the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, results of researches carried out shows that Nigerians in different capacities endorse Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP as the best option for them. His disposition as a man established in world economics, business success and financial literacy clearly sets him apart. In comparison to his major contender, Atiku stands tall as a man who is ready to return Nigeria to its great level again. This much is admitted by the renowned Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research unit of the London based magazine, The Economist, when it predicted that Atiku Abubakar will win the next presidential elections in Nigeria.
According to The Economist “With the vote likely to be split in the North, Abubakar will find it easier to garner support from the country’s South, which has traditionally been a safe haven for the PDP. This gives Abubakar an edge, as does popular frustration over the rise in joblessness and poverty (two of the biggest voter concerns) on Mr. Buhari’s watch, as well as growing insecurity in central Nigeria.” There is no organization in a better position to give an overview of an election outcome in any country than The Economist of London. In the recent past, the analyses of the reputable magazine have come to be associated with authoritative lineaments. Therefore, when the magazine speaks, the world listens and pays serious attention.
Nigerians are no fools, they understand all the political and economic shenanigans going on in the country, they are aware of the excruciating poverty in the land, they are aware of the diminishing standard of living in Nigeria, they are also aware that foreign investments are fleeing our country, they are aware that at no time since the return to democracy in Nigeria have we had so many unemployed people. Nigerians recognize that they need a man who is properly schooled in economic dynamics, who is alive to the realities in our country. The Economist of London recognizes this fact and has rightly pronounced that Atiku Abubakar is the man Nigerians need.
The position of The Economist in the present Nigerian reality has also been echoed by some socio-cultural groups in Nigeria, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Ohaneze Ndigbo, Afenifere and Middle Belt Forum (MBF) who all endorsed Atiku Abubakar as the man capable of leading Nigeria out of the present doldrums. Also, a faction of the Miyetti Allah group and the Association of South-East Towns Union (ASETU), have endorsed the PDP presidential candidate. In unmistakable terms, these socio-cultural groups across Nigeria came out to endorse the PDP presidential candidate to emerge the winner in the 2019 presidential elections.
These groups are made of up distinguished Nigerians who are alive to all the anomalies perpetuated by the present administration. Members of these socio-cultural groups, their families and ethnicity are all victims of the persistent hardship in Nigeria and do not want the next level of these hardships. They are alive to the selective fight against corruption which an American journalist has called “witch hunting the opposition”. The endorsement by these socio-cultural groups is indicative of the pulse of all Nigerians. Certainly, Nigerians will step out in great numbers on election day to ratify their position on the Atiku Abubakar candidacy.
Nigerians recognize that they need a president, who understands business mechanism and who commands the respect of the international business community. Our country stands in great danger if the present economic inertia is allowed to go on for another four years. How did our dear country suddenly become the headquarters of extreme poverty in the midst of plenty? This is a very big opportunity for Nigerians to divest themselves of that reprobate accolade of poverty. Atiku Abubakar will restore hope to these shores, he will revive Nigeria’s moribund economic and education sectors, and the world will cease to see Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world. If these socio-cultural groups who are seen as the custodian of our culture should endorse Atiku Abubakar, it means that the ground upon which all matters stand also endorses him.
Atiku Abubakar’s traducers who understand the threat he poses to the current establishment have propagated falsehood to discredit him. Beyond the stale mantra of corruption, these political jobbers of perdition came up with the narrative that the PDP presidential candidate cannot in truth enter the US because he is a wanted man on the grounds of corruption in that country. In fact, some people had said that if Atiku visited the US and returned in peace, then that will vindicate him from all the corruption charges and they will vote for him. Pronto, Atiku Abubakar visited the US and while there, he met with the business community and was accorded a grand reception.
I watched him address his distinguished audience, there was no faltering, no prepared speech, no doddering. After his visit there, he returned peacefully and since then, the critics have either covered their heads in shame or tried to weave more propaganda.
Of a truth, Nigeria is about to have her best democratically elected president, the cosmic elementals have agreed on this fact, and Nigerians are only counting the days for the emergence of the president they have always wanted.
Mbaukwu writes from Onitsha