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OPINION: IF I WERE ATIKU. By Victorson Agbenson


I was in Port Harcourt last weekend to witness history as Atiku emerged winner in a tough contest for the PDP ticket. A feeling of nolstalgia engulf me at a point at the Adokie Amasiemaka stadium as my mind drove back into the primary election ahead of the 2011 Presidential election where Atiku challenged Jonathan for the party’s ticket at Eagles Square Abuja. Atiku was greatly demonized by the PDP, he looked like a lepper and nobody cared to listen to him. If not for a few compatriots like Senator Ben Obi, He was treated like an outcast and we all knew the outcome of that primary before the ballots were cast.

But Port Harcourt was was Atikus turn to shine and smile. Guess what! thesame Goodluck Jonathan was amongst the many dignitaries who voted and I guessed his ballot was for Atiku.

Now that he has won the primary the decision he makes are quite fundamental moving forward. One major decisions he has made is the choice of a vice president which has fallen on the ebullient and cerebral former governor of Anambra state, Mr. Peter Obi.

But if I were Atiku, would have rather taken the battle to the South West. This is because men don’t chase women they have already won. Atiku/PDP already has the Igbos. The Igbos will never choose a Buhari over Atiku. So he should have taken the battle to the South West- Yoruba land to tear them apart, devide their votes by picking a deputy from there. Besides the records from pvc collection shower that the South East is the region with the least votes.

Yes, Peter Obi is perhaps one of the brightest minds around this country today, but he can do other things for Nigeria for now.

Good enough Atiku has already promised to reach out to the IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu and appease he and his league and by extension millions of Igbo youths across the globe who feel so passionate about Biafra.

So if I were Atiku I would have worked hard to give the South East the senate presidency for now and ultimately hand over to an Igbo man as president. The level of Injustice done to that region of the country in this regard is huge.

Ideally when power returns to the South in the next four years it should be to the South East. Atiku should also make it clear now that he is a one term president. As difficult as that may sound, because power is sweet, that is the way to go.

It is my candid opinion that the Nigerian leader who will work hard to hand over power to an Igbo man as soon as possible will be the greatest leader of this season, and will midwife the birthing of a new Nigeria because he will give vent to the exhubirating vibes of the Igbo ingenuity and full potential.

I know that the likes of the great Asiwaju Bola Tinubu would want to be president after Buhari, but if they truely love Nigeria , they should sacrifice their ambitions and allow an Igbo presidency in 2023.

True leadership is not always about great ideas and initiatives. It is often the ability of the leader to see and feel what the people want and key into it. Abdusalami Abubakar’s greatness is not in his great ideas but his wisdom to feel the pulse of the nation to appease the Yoruba in the wake of the monument June 12 injustice and he quickly fulfilled that dream. Abdulsalam could have perpetuated himself in power but he didn’t and for that history bis kind to him.

When great men fail to make great sacrifice they are diminished. The giant stature of Mandela is not unconnected with his ability to refuse the lure of a second term. The refusal of Goodluck Jonathan to shun the praise singers that urged him to go ahead for a second term despite the clear signs of a northern resolve to take back power was one of such miscalculation. Let all Nigerians now resolve to hand over power to an Igbo man in 2023 so that we can begin the final healing process of the pogrom which ended the life of millions of our South eastern borthers. It’s is by then we can say we have washed away the ashes of the bitter civil war.

So if I were Atiku I’ll work towards this with all the strength of my being and become the leader and Pathfinder of the healed and wholesome Nigeria. But unfortunately I’m not Atiku Abubakar’s, im just a writer and fighter for a Nigeria of our collective dream. As my Pastor, Dr Tunde Bakare would always pray: may our eyes see a new Nigeria in our lifetime!

Agbenson is a seasoned journalist, social.commentator and based in Abuja

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