By ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES
In response to Governor Nyesom Wike’s hefty allegations on the immorality of his presidential candidacy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is said to have fired back by accusing the Rivers State governor of frustrating efforts meant to zone the PDP ticket to the Southeast and precisely to support Peter Obi to get the ticket. This is not just a lie but a disrespectful one at that.
Atiku Abubakar is one of those who believe that the people of Southeast are politically naive and too emotional to think through such tales. But he is mistaken. We are too sophisticated to be hoodwinked by such cheap lies.
If Atiku Abubakar had any regard for equity and rotational presidency as clearly stipulated in the Constitution of the PDP, he wouldn’t have presented himself to vie for the Party’s ticket. He would have shown himself as a true elder statesman and a believer in Nigeria’s unity by championing the campaign for the Party’s presidential candidate to come from the Southeast. He could have become Peter Obi’s “godfather” in that race, by throwing half of the resources he threw into this flailing contest to support Peter Obi. He wouldn’t only have engraved his name as a true statesman but would have also helped his Party to an easy victory in the upcoming general election.
Political contests are about strategic compromises and concessions. For instance, if Tambuwal had not stepped down for Atiku Abubakar, Governor Nyesom Wike would have been the PDP presidential candidate today. The same way, a Southeasterner would have been the presidential candidate of the PDP today if Atiku had done the right thing by adhering to the zoning formula that would have favoured the Southeast to produce the next Presidential candidate of his Party.
Atiku Abubakar is running for the presidency at this time, not necessarily because he has any new idea to get Nigeria working again but because he is championing an ethnic agenda that is aimed at keeping power, if possible permanently, in the North. He is a product of a Northern conspiracy to dominate and if possible, enslave the South.
Wike is not my hero, but I believe that as long as this struggle to ensure some balance of power is concerned, he is a hero for standing up to individuals like Atiku Abubakar who believe that the South should be pocketed and dominated. Nyesom Wike gave a good account of himself and on the larger Southern interest, he did well by not allowing himself to be stampeded out of the race.