Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 – 2006) again declared his ambition to rule Nigeria as he rejoined Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday, December 3. And many are opposed to his 2019 presidential campaign on account of his past and more.
Those giving the Turakin Adamawa little chance are populating the media with alleged misdemeanours and disadvantages.
Ever since the former Customs officer ditched the All Progressives Congress on Friday, November 24, the media has been awash with why no one should give him a chance.
Among his fiercest opponents are Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, two-time leader of Nigeria (1976 – 1979 and 1999 – 2006) under whom Atiku served as Vice President. Obasanjo painted the picture of a crooked man with no morals in his book (My Watch) about his deputy, accusing him of being barred from entering the United States of America on account of corruption.
Many more opponents of the rich politico have a few things against him.
And here are some of the most serious obstacles to the 2019 ambition of Alhaji Abubakar Atiku as compiled by ENCOMIUM Weekly:
1. He’s an old man whose ideas will be as obsolete as spent politicians
Born on November 25, 1946, he’s already 71! And by the time he contests in 2019, he will be 73.
Why should Nigerians, with a teeming youth population and complex needs vote for a grandfather?
Apart from being far slower because of age, what can he offer?
2. The source of his wealth is suspect as he’s perceived as very corrupt
Many of his opponents play the corruption card listing his companies and assets, and accusing him of stealing from our commonwealth.
They bring up the case against one of his wives (Jennifer Douglas) investigated by the US Senate between 2000 and 2008 who was accused of laundering $40 million in 30 bank accounts.
Atiku seemed to draw attention to his humongous wealth as he claims he has over 50,000 employees.
Where did the money for all the investments come from?
3. He’s disloyal
This tag of disloyalty is trumpeted by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo who was almost dislodged in 2003 by party faithful loyal to Atiku.
Obasanjo was said to have agreed to a one-term tenure as Atiku oiled his political machine to take over as President. He had more powerful PDP chieftains on his side.
Obasanjo had to beg and grovel before he got the second term ticket.
Obasanjo’s third term ambition and endorsement of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as President in 2006 also destroyed their relationship.
4. He’s over-ambitious, jumping from one party to another
In 17 years, Atiku has joined only two parties, but his opponents paint a picture of a desperate man.
He was one of the founding fathers of Peoples Democratic Party from 1998 – 2006. He moved to Action Congress in 2006 and left in 2009. He rejoined PDP in 2009 till 2013. And left again for All Progressives Congress in 2013 to 2017.
He went back to PDP on Sunday, December 3, 2017.
Atiku has also always had eyes on the top post. He tried in 1992, 2006 and 2011.
5. He cannot visit the United States of America
Atiku admitted in the interview with Dele Momodu published in ThisDay of Saturday, December 2, 2017, that he cannot visit the US as his visa application was refused.
Many are claiming that he has a corruption case to answer there, but the US Justice Department denied any criminal matter against Atiku.
6. Not tested really in politics
In all his years in politics, Atiku has only held office as Vice President for 8 years. Apart from that troubled tenure, he’s not been really tested.
He was voted as governor of Adamawa in 1999 but was picked as Vice President. Apart from that governorship election, he has not won majority votes in any contest.