- A Critical Analysis Of Why Atiku And The Opposition Lost The 2023 Election
By Elempe Dele
THE principle of Karma says, ‘Give what you would want to receive.’ some call it Natural Retributive Justice – a social construct that finds its definition among some prodigious minds. Meanwhile, destiny simply means the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future that nothing can alter in any way.
It will be out of place to discuss about Alhaji Atiku Abubakar political journey so far without discussing these two thematic issues: Karma and Destiny.
Recently, the Supreme Court ended the political vouyage of the former vice president in spite of several protestations, certificate fishing, subtle blackmail, social media judgements, and press conferences. It was a significant abrupt end of the political journey of one of the most popular living politicians in Nigeria today even when in his post Supreme Court ruling, he vowed never to capitulate to the edits of his political enemies.
His long labourous and pumpy ride to occupy Aso Rock started in 1993 when he lost the Social Democratic Party, SDP, ticket to the late Moshood Abiola. The political experience was truncated by the diminutive evil, Late General Sani Abacha, who was alleged to have died in a near homemade glitzy brothel after his promiscous rituals with indians and apples.
Atiku’s nearest to the Aso Rock seat of power was his period of being the vice president under former President Obasanjo. Again, destiny was not on his side; he fell out with his boss over what some called over-ambition. It was said he started the presidential race before the gun was fired. General Obasanjo made sure he did not relinquish power to him, so he left the party to join Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. Ironically Tinubu’s party which he founded in 2006.
In 2007, Atiku lost to late President Umar Yar’adua of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who was annointed by the godfather, Obasanjo. It was said Atiku would simply have been the next president if he was loyal to Obasanjo then.
The ever resilient Atiku was not detered, he continued in his search for the presidential wand. Atiku would come back to join PDP in 2009, two years after Obasanjo left office. His reason for coming back was that there was a “new leadership of the party and the country promised a new direction, inclusiveness, internal democracy, an end to impunity, adherence to the rule of law and respect for the dignity of members and Nigerians.” Although he was adopted in 2011 to run by some northern elders headed by the late Adamu Ciroma, the adoption suffered a huge setback which made President Goodluck Jonathan to win the election.
In 2014, Alhaji Atiku announced after weeks of speculations he was leaving PDP to join the opposition coalition, All Progressive Congress, APC. PDP was engulfed in turbulence as at that time because President Goodluck said he was going to run again. Atiku claimed PDP “lost touch with Nigerians” and has failed to resolve its many crises which were instigated by its leadership. This was the second time Atiku was leaving the then ruling party for the opposition. Some analysts claimed if he had supported President Goodluck, he would have been the next president as he was the most popular northerner power rotation would have favoured. But destiny was not on his side – he left to join Buhari and Tinubu’s opposition party.
It will be recalled that it was this second time he was leaving the party he staged a walkout from the party’s national convention in 2013 with others. This action was supported by seven governors. In the history of political parties in Nigeria, this was the first recorded public protest from members of a ruling party in this manner. The new PDP simply known as nPDP was formed, which later entered APC formally.
It was the movement of Atiku and the five governors of the seven governors (G7) in the breakaway faction of the party led by Abubakar Kawu Baraje; five including Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto) that made it possible for Buhari to win the 2015 election. This fact is beyond doubt. It was said that all efforts to make Jonathan negotiate with them as to stop the movement proved abortive. Jonathan was told by some sychophants around him that their movement was inconsequencial so they can go to hell if they want. They went away and his election went to hell – he lost.
However, after the election, Atiku was hugely left out of the inner chambers of Aso Rock he so desired. He became politically lonely and isolated. In 2007, he resolved eventually he was leaving APC, which he did. After a week, he joined PDP claiming the issues he complained about in the party were resolved. He said he joined the APC hoping it would be the new force that would help improve life for the people and was excited about the party’s manifesto to create 3 million new jobs a year. He added that result has not been the Change people had been promised or voted for, rather, almost 3 million people lost their jobs.
Two years later, he joined the presidential race under PDP. It was understood that power must shift to the north under the gentleman agreement in PDP. Although the national convention was held in Rivers State under watchful eyes of the then governor, Nyesom Wike, no southerner was allowed to contest as not to abrogate the zoning understanding. Atiku won the primaries as expected being the most popular aspirant. He will go on to loose to the incumbent but ineffectual, inept, impotent and clueless president, Mohammed Buhari.
In 2023, the two parties, APC and PDP, as well as their teaming members agreed in principle that after 8 years wasteful reign of Buhari, power should as a matter of justice, equity and fairplay, come to the South, which includes the South South, South East, South West. Atiku will not hear any of that, something he had always champoined. He sent some southern supporters out with the mission to cancel the discussion of power rotation on social media platforms. His well oiled political machines were put in place to ensure more southerners were brought into his fold using party supremacy and other social constructs as baits. Ironically, this kind of injustice was what Atiku fought against President Goodluck for that led to the defeat of PDP in 2015. Yes, part of his grouse was lack of internal democracy which zoning was part of.
Atiku would go on to win the PDP presidential primaries held in Abuja where Governor Wike gave him a hot fight. There were complex internal political plays after the primaries which included the choice of the vice presidential candidate and re-zoning of the chairmanship position of the Party to the conquered South. Atiku and some members of the party, mostly electoral paper-weights refused to yield to this clamour. Against all odds, Governor Okowa was chosen as the running mate to Atiku. And the call to remove Senator Ayu, the then chairman of the Party, was rebuffed.
This lead to five governors: Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers) discounting their support for Atiku, the candidate of the Party. Some members of the Party also did the same with the argument that power cannot be retained by a northerner after eight wasteful years up north. Other sensational arguments such as no to Fulani-to-Fulani were postulated.
Some saw this as the outright play of Karma. Some other saw it as mere coincidence. It was however worrisome. Five governors left in 2014 which led to the defeat of Jonathan, and now, another same five governors again? All attempts to find a truce by those who foresaw the consequence proved abortive.
We must reflect back that this was not only why PDP did not win the election: the beginning of the failure of the Party started when it was obvious Atiku was going to contest the primary election. Interested aspirants like Engr. Kwankwanso and Mr. Peter Obi left the party for smaller parties knowing fully well that with Atiku in the race, they will have no chance. While Kwankwanso is seen as a cult personality in Kano with a huge voting population, Mr. Peter Obi was seen by the disenchanted youth and some section of Nigerians as the illumination of a new Nigeria. Both will go on to flush out about 8 million votes from the political coffers of PDP while Atiku will on his own flush out about 6 million votes. All these against the mere 8 million votes Tinubu was able to garner across the nation – votes no court, not even the Supreme Court, was able to invalidate.
Some political analyst have concluded that Atiku has brought more pains to PDP than good. That with its recent self-inflicted defeat, which will see him move away from the scene of contests, PDP might have a new lease of life if they are able to put the house together before the 2027 election with Obi and Kwankwaso coming back to the fold.
Is Atiku destined never to rule this nation after about 3 decades of trials? Was he affected by Karmic Law in the last presidential election? We need equitable dealings with seances and clairvoyance.
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