2007 Elections Countdown: Why Obasanjo Is Desperate

by Michael Oluwagbemi II

I asked the pertinent question in my write-up – Why is Obasanjo Desperate? I had expected the elders in the online world will help me resolve this puzzle. In it I expressed my dismay on how out of desperation the President has rubbished himself. I analyzed perhaps why it was an unnecessary endeavor; on how it was futile. I expected answers, but I got none. I patiently expected the resident analysts and political egg heads to come in and tell me what I didn’t know; but I waited in vain. Three weeks later- no clue, no answer – why is the president desperate? In the absence of any answers from the professional eggheads, I have decided to embark on a lone search for an answer.

Option A-4

What I call option A-4 is the four ways Obasanjo could stop Atiku. Indeed, these range of possibilities come with their gains as well as their pains. Take for instance, the claim by many that Obasanjo’s act of trying to disqualify candidates is equivalent’s to Abacha’s. That claim I think is not only spurious but farfetched. Because in all sincerity, Abacha has no time to disqualify any strong foe- all he does is to kill them. He simply sends Sergeant Rogers to visit you and you are dispatched efficiently to mother earth. But OBJ have not chosen this option i.e. Kill Atiku. The second method is Eliminate Atiku- this is IBB style of elimination. It is done first by trying to bribe you, then intimidating you and finally putting you on a Jet and exploding it in mid-air. You get an IBB style mourning for you and even national honors for your effort at crossing this bastard. OBJ have refused to pursue this method on Atiku- he had the opportunity but he did not.

The third option, and which curiously OBJ has not pursued because he is very efficient at it and actually have a track record in it, is rigging out Atiku. Why would OBJ want to go through all the hassles of court judgments and pronouncements when he could simply call his lap dog Iwu to his office, hand him the official results in January to be announced in April. Curiously, OBJ have chosen to do this the hard way i.e. Disqualify Atiku. Why Disqualify Atiku when you can kill him, eliminate him or rig him out?

Why the Disqualification option?

Simply put, Atiku running makes it more likely Buhari will win in the first round, or might even sweep it. Recent opinion polls, which OBJ by virtue of his top secret security reports must be well aware of, indicates Buhari is by far the front runner for the next election. A Guardian Opinion Poll said and I quote;

“The survey reveals the Presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari as the citizens’ most preferred Presidential candidate, having recorded lead preference in 13 states. These are: Sokoto, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara and FCT Abuja. Trailing Buhari closely is the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate Umaru Musa Yar Adua with lead preference in 11 states of Rivers, Plateau, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross river, Edo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, and Kwara. Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Action Congress came third in the preference ratings as he led other candidates in nine states Anambra, Adamawa, Delta, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo states” Source- The Guardian (April 2, 2007)

If you believe this poll (which agrees with quite a few others), what it means is that the election as I have persistently predicted might not be decided in the first round, and could head to a bloody second round where Atiku might not be the king but become the kingmaker. Above all, Atiku on the ballot means PDP will lose in a lot more states than expected and might in fact mean the beginning of the end of OBJ Inc.

As the State stands…how the election might pare out

Couple of realities makes this election a different dimension set apart from the 4-19 sham of 2003. In all sincerity, PDP cannot achieve the same level of dominance in the polity that she did in 2003 for the following reasons:

  1. A House divided against itself cannot stand. If you think all is well within PDP then you must be joking. Many Governors are just dancing to the tunes of OBJ because they fear Ribadu. To make sure they are EFCC immune post May 29, then they must betray Obasanjo without giving him heads-up (see 3)
  2. PDP of 2003 is not PDP of 2007. AC is a potent enemy with quite a few riggers and real threats against PDP’s ambition in 2007.
  3. Very few incumbents are running again. Obasanjo has no rigging machine, the governors does. If they don’t run, or have a stake in winning they won’t use it.
  4. PDP has no real candidates in many states including Imo, Rivers and Oyo. Unpopular candidates were also imposed in Delta, Ekiti and Anambra states.
  5. PDP is a below par performer. Any user of the Ondo-Ore road within the next 2 weeks is unlikely to vote for PDP imaginary achievement of debt relief etc. No light, more expensive gasoline and re-occurring fuel scarcity is what Nigerians got after eight years. Good luck to the optimists.

What I generally expect is that the Vice President is only holding out for this weekend to give AC governorship aspirants a good showing; after the gubernatorial poll is over and it becomes clear that he might not be on the ballot I expect him to talk to Buhari, get a good deal and ask his supporters to vote accordingly. Then the real game will begin. OBJ might regret his disqualification of Atiku in the unfolding scenario.

Clarification of My Position on Atiku

Couple of well meaning readers have written me to clarify my position on Atiku. While I thought my views are very clear on this man and what he represents, I am presenting their questions and my retorts in bulleted points to prevent misinterpretation in the future.

  1. Is Atiku Corrupt? Absolutely – how else can you explain a customs agent turn multi-billionaire with no visible path to wealth?
  2. Should INEC/FG disqualify Atiku? No. By virtue of his candidacy, Atiku will strengthen democracy in Nigeria, prevent our slide to one-party state under PDP and provide a counter-balance to PDP rigging machine. In the absence of a solid indictment against him, he should be allowed to run.
  3. What are the alternatives to stopping the likes of Atiku? Rather than trying to prevent Atiku from running, INEC should concentrate on giving Nigeria a free and fair election (refer to 4). Nigerians are smart enough to choose clean and able candidates: we are not guinea pigs in Obasanjo Farms Nigeria.
  4. Why no solid indictment against Atiku yet? The only reason OBJ is yet to come up with damning evidence of corruption against Atiku is not because they don’t exist, but because he will be hurt too- they are birds of same feather that flocked, dealt, stole and killed together.
  5. Can Atiku win? Absolutely Not! In a free and fair election, Atiku’s candidacy is DOA- Dead on Arrival. Atiku stands no chance of occupying Aso Rock Villa, but he is a possible kingmaker!

Nothing beats Nigerian politics in level of drama and excitement. Nigeria we hail thee.

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Anonymous April 13, 2007 - 2:19 pm

Michael, you need a break especially since no one responds.

The poll you refer to in absolute rubbish. There is no question of second ballot. By Saturday April 14, it will be crystal clear to you and other doubting Thomases the People's Choice.

Are you not contradicting yourself when you say that Atiku is corrupt and not qualified to become the President but at the same time you want him to contest?

We concede that you write well on Nigeria Affairs but then you need a break to re-focus.

Michael April 13, 2007 - 2:08 pm

Obasanjo is desperate because he does not want to die in prison.

If PDP loses, OBJ and Adedibu would be and should be locked up.

Atiku on the other hand should be deported back to Togo, penniless!!!

chimka April 12, 2007 - 7:45 pm

Too much rambling.

Never addressed your main thesis: Why Obasanjo is desperate.

Good job though. Next bathroom break? Focus on one idea at a time.

ben April 12, 2007 - 7:11 pm

Run Michael Oluwagbemi Run …… run for Nigeria Presidency!


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