PDP Presidential Primaries: Vote for Yar’Adua, against OBJ

by Eferovo Igho

The scoreboard between OBJ/Atiku and Yar’dua/Jonathan’s regimes is what was loudly given by the PDP presidential primaries delegates at the Eagles Square on January 13, 14, 2011. It is heart warming that Nigerian politicians are learning gradually and in no distant time may no more be taken for a ride. The Yar’Adua/Goodluck government may be far from the best we had hoped for but in comparison with those very sickening eight years of OBJ/Atiku, it is better. And those delegates said so with their votes.

They may have seen or noticed too much that nauseates. They may have been vexed for so long by the abysmal failure that was OBJ/Atiku’s government for eight years and the after effects. They may have still been nursing the sores OBJ/Atiku’s politics of vengeance and do-or-die gave them and all of us. And recently they may have been jolted by Atiku’s pre-primaries elections politics and campaigns of do-or-die that was fiercer than OBJ’s. And even though they have seen how the do-or-die politics of OBJ has hugely and disturbingly rubbed off on Atiku as evidenced in his pre-primaries electioneering, yet it was something else altogether when Atiku eventually emptied this brand of politics on these delegates on the day of the primaries. If any of them was still in doubt before now, no more! All present that day could feel the rawness and the OBJ that Atiku is, which is also why you wonder why he still got those paltry votes he got.

And when the response of the delegates to the rot Atiku has come to represent over the years was being reeled off almost always in favor of Goodluck it was obvious Atiku had the worst of his life that day. And by the time the final announcement came the man has been totally rattled. When he walked out from that audience after a handshake with Goodluck, he may well have walked away from political Nigeria because the nation was glued to the camera. So beaten Atiku walked away! And ostensibly the man died! Politically I mean.

Now that what he knew, feared and fought undemocratically to prevent has taken place we do hope that Nigerians may not need to bother that the military will buy into his pre-primaries electioneering putrid thesis and in which case too we can only hope the nation ‘may not become ungovernable’ and that peaceful continuity will be allowed by Atiku and his loyalists in the military, if he has any. I hope that is taken hook, line and sinker. That’s all right.

Now, besides abysmal performance that stared the delegates on their faces they also compared the raw and ferocious posture of Atiku (reminiscence already of OBJ’) with the gentle and humane posture of Jonathan (also reminiscence of Yar’Adua) and it was apparent that the delegates settled it in favor of good character. Even why it seemed that OBJ for once may have learnt that a do-or-die politics may no more pay (and you will soon know what I mean), his student (that is, Atiku) was far from realizing that; that being the reason why he went the raw and hard way he went with his speech read to the delegates, and which may be also why OBJ went to Goodluck apparently to tell him not to follow the silly and confrontational path Atiku took. Not that Jonathan, like Yar’Adua, has any business with that nasty route anyway!

Before the primaries this writer sincerely and appropriately advised these delegates on what to do. In his already widely published piece, Atiku’s Desperation to resume misrule, I noted inter alia: “… Atiku has NOTHING TO OFFER BUT SORROW, TEARS AND BLOOD. That was what we got from 1999-2007. He has not asked for forgiveness yet. He has not promised NEVER TO TAKE US THROUGH THAT PATH AGAIN. He is promising that in the future he will build castles in the air without telling us the actual or real castles he pulled down and shattered to pieces behind. He is promising El Dorado tomorrow without mentioning the nightmares he gave us yesterday. Atiku is talking of building a Nigeria of your dream without a word about the Nigeria we saw with our naked eyes but bulldozed by his joint ticket with Obasanjo … Now, therefore, as the screening committee of the PDP presidential candidates meet to do their work in matter of days and as the delegates of that party converge to elect their candidate for 2011 two or so days after that it is expected that reason and wisdom must not be wanting on their part, otherwise PDP cannot withstand the bandwagon effect: failure of other candidates of the party at lower levels, the decampments, sundering apart of its structures and membership and a dwindling to insignificance in our polity. Take that as a hint of great price!” It is very soothing that they listened. For, not to have listened would have been a disaster for that party as also noted in the said piece.

For Goodluck not only to defeat Atiku in Adamawa – Atiku home state – but that with an overwhelming and almost unbelievable margin speaks volume of Atiku’s experience in misgovernance, unrefined politics and campaigns, and the further rot he would have launched our dear nation into. We doff our hearts for those Adamawa delegates. That is detribalized and frank politics; corrective or curative politics, and result-oriented politics. And what a lesson for us all! Then, again, the Katsina State delegates who you could say gave bloc vote to Goodluck not only know what joint ticket is all about and would not be railroaded by false lovers of northern Nigeria, but must be given a national nod. And we do hope that Goodluck and other well-meaning Nigerians will not easily forget what is playing out in our national politics by this most enthralling voting pattern. May this be the dawn of a great united nation!

There is something else about this. This voting pattern is recognition of better performance that refused to be blinded by other irrelevant factors or consideration. It connects with national interest, a raison d’être we want to see flourishing in this polity. By this, this dawning of a great united nation can be assured steady strength, rise and glow; a sun, rising without setting. In other words, whilst the people are beginning to recognize and appreciate marginal efforts in good governance, for still very marginal these efforts are, governors must therefore give more and more irresistible reasons why such recognition and appreciation must hit peak or near so. And a voting pattern that is influenced by performance, however little, must therefore be seen by Jonathan if he happens to win the final context as a challenge to do better, much better.

If, because we see in Nuhu Ribadu another man that may deliver. I have so written before now. And as I write this piece other presidential aspirants in the Action Party of Nigeria have stepped down for Ribadu. We just hope good politics and sane campaigns are ahead of us now that Atiku has been severely knocked down by his own style of politics.

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