Atiku’s Wavering Presidential Ambition

by Odimegwu Onwumere

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who formally declared on August
15, 2010 for his 2011 presidential ambition on the platform of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is facing uncertainties in the party
whether he will contest on the platform or not. This is following the
issue of the unresolved waiver he is supposed to have been enjoying in
the party as one of the returnees to the party at the event of the
late President Musa Yar’Adua’s demise which threw-up the egocentric
eyebrows of northern politicians to complete the remaining years left
of the late President Musa Yar’Adua, according to the party’s zoning

As the waiver has not been granted Atiku, it is not certain that he is
going to make it in the PDP, even that he’s giving his supporters hope
that he is going to make it in the party. How truthful is Atiku on
this matter, is what many political observers are waiting to
chronicle. If the PDP could grant the waiver to politicians who
returned or rejoined the party that were of low profile to the number
two man of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the Chief Olusegun
Obasanjo-led administration (1999-2007), is it not wise that Atiku
should be in sober reflection now than making more political posturing
of how the PDP would be sued to the court and all that bluffs if it
refuses to grant him the waiver? Has his own Adamawa State governor,
Murtala Nyako, not said that in spite of the former vice president’s
declaration to contest the presidential election he was doing so on
his own as he was not yet a bona fide member of the party? Is this not
supposed to be a shocker to Atiku?

Nyako’s statement shows that Atiku is on the game alone. Atiku is like
one who has been excommunicated from his hometown, no matter the
number of people who have and he has made to line up in support for
him. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, national publicity secretary of the party,
had said that NEC considered waivers from various state executive
committees for members who recently joined or rejoined the party.
After exhaustive debates, NEC approved the waivers. Yet, Atiku is
giving hope. Without clearance from Adamawa?

The thought is that if Atiku could not get the waiver from his own
state up till date, it then means that the charity which is said that
begins at home has skipped Atiku, and this is a man he is nailing hard
to lead Nigeria. The question is: Is he going to lead Nigeria to where
if he has lost his political mouth right from his home state? Atiku
was supposed to know that a bride dresses from his house to the church
and not from the church to his house. The later is what Atiku has
exhibited, thereby making the game of politics return to the repealed
“do-or-die” affair. Very bad!

The political battle perceived to be raging in his home state of
Adamawa on why he has not been granted the waiver explicates how
politically irrelevant he has become even that he is strongly spending
money on advertorials on the newspapers. He is fighting to gain back
his respect and political will after decamping from the Action
Congress (AC) (that made him popular) which changed its name recently
to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in its party congress held in
Lagos. Atiku contested the 2007 presidential elections on the platform
of the AC after decamping from the PDP on the matters of political
skirmishes between him and Obasanjo then and lost out.

It is only in the PDP, if not, how could Atiku Abubakar, after his
declaration on the said Sunday, had said he would apply for waivers
soon? And sources close to him disclosed on the Monday at the national
secretariat of the party in Abuja that he had forwarded his
application letter for a waiver to the national chairman of the party,
Okwesilieze Nwodo. Another account said that he should go to his state
and be cleared first. Whatever that happened, does the PDP not have
rules that someone who is not a member of the party did the first
thing last without questions? It is only in the PDP that such
practices can be experienced.

If it is Atiku’s fundamental rights to aspire and contest for elective
positions as a free born of the country, one doesn’t think that
joining or rejoining a party is by force, if the party perhaps does
not want the person. If the news making the rounds is true that
Abubakar’s lawyers advised him to file in the application for a waiver
and if he is refused the waivers, he should challenge it in court, is
an advise to a man who is perceived that will never rejuvenate from
his political oblivion except that the PDP aids him to readjust in the
party’s ways of winning elections. Is your guess not as good as mine?
The said letter of waiver submitted by Abubakar, was said was going to
be tabled before the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) meeting that
week and a decision will be taken. Yet, nothing has happened to grant
him the waiver.

Although, that Atiku was the first to declare his ambition to run for
the presidency under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, he
might be the last that could be granted the waiver, because of the
said serious issues of membership and eligibility he had with his
party. Does Atiku not know what was said that Rufai told journalists?
Rufai said that Atiku had not fulfilled the conditions laid down in
the party‘s constitution, which focuses on those who rejoin the party
after decamping to other political parties. Under Article 8.9 of the
PDP constitution which deals with the issue of decamping and
readmission, according to accounts, made it compulsory for people in
Atiku‘s status to be placed on probation for one year, as a necessary
precondition for using the party as a platform for electoral contest.
The waiver gives the awardees the temerity to contest or aspire for
any political positions in the PDP, whereas Atiku has not been granted
the waiver. Against that backdrop, Atiku can contest on the platform
of the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN). After all, it is not Action
Congress (AC), anymore.

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