After the PDP presidential primaries which saw the emergence of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the party’s flag bearer for the 2019 presidential elections, a lot of media reports, online messages and sponsored analysis of the political scene have suggested that the PDP candidate will defeat President Muhammadu Buhari who himself defeated an incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 with a wide margin.
Nothing can be further from the truth as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar cannot now or ever prevail against President Buhari in any nationwide or statewide contest for that matter, not even in the former Vice President’s home state of Adamawa which President Buhari won decisively in the 2015 polls.
Firstly the Waziri Adamawa (Atiku Abubakar) is a weak candidate without a solid political or populist base either in his state the Northeast region or the nation as a whole. He has never contested an election on his individual standing apart from the Adamawa state governorship election in 1999 which he won largely on the platform of the PDM political machinery founded and dominated by the late Tafidan Katsina, General Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua.
Indeed Atiku did not win that state election on his own merit but emerged triumphant due to the name recognition of the late Tafidan as he, Atiku was a virtual political unknown, a loyal protégé of his mentor who rode to political fortune and favour on the tide of voter sympathy for the travails of his late boss. In the 2003 elections, then President Olusegun Obasanjo re-nominated him as his vice president and the victory of the PDP ticket was largely as a result of the massive rigging machinery deployed by the electoral agencies and the PDP sponsored security apparatus which was given matching orders to return President Olusegun Obasanjo at all costs.
Then national chairman of the PDP, Chief Audu Ogbeh, vowed that the federal government would crush any resistance or opposition to the 2013 rigging debacle. Of course, the opposition he was referring to was the ANPP presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, who was declared winner of the elections by no less than two out of the five Supreme Court justices that adjudicated over his election petition.
During the 2014 APC presidential primaries, the Wazirin Adamawa (then Turakin Adamawa) came a distant third behind General Muhammadu Buhari and Rabiu Kwankwanso despite the fact that he outspent his other rivals 10-1 in the delegate selection process. Of course many of the delegates that were approached by his agents did not refuse the financial promises or inducements made to them though they voted their conscience at the end, thus resulting in the heavy defeat inflicted on Atiku Abubakar by General Mohammadu Buhari at the primaries.
In fact an overambitious Atiku’s overachieving desire to rule the country has seen him defect from the PDP to the ACN to the PDP again, then to the APC and back to the PDP, displaying an inconsistency and crass opportunism that has turned off key segments of the nation’s electorate who desire a leader that is loyal, consistent, dedicated and steadfast in his or her pursuit of political advancement and progress, rather than Atiku’s win at all costs mentality devoid of principle or commitment to a defined political ideology.
However, this is sharp contrast to President Muhammadu Buhari who has remained steadfast, consistent, coherent and dogged despite the massive amount of state sponsored blackmail, calumny, rumour mongering, acrimony and existential angst unleashed on his person as well as his supporters in a futile bid to derail his fast rising political profile.
In terms of electoral support and popularity, President Buhari has a virtual stranglehold on the votes from the Northeast and Northwest parts of the country, even in Adamawa state, PMB will defeat the Waziri Adamawa hands down, a fact that the Atiku campaign recognizes which explains their trumping up of spurious statistics positing that the former vice president will sweep the Southeast, Southwest and Southsouth regions of the country.
In fact President Buhari will win the Southwest region resoundingly and given the high percentage of registered voters there compared with the Southeast and Southsouth, this will give the President an edge if the votes are combined with those of the Northwest and Northeast regions. The Northcentral region voted for President Buhari in 2015 and will definitely do so again as most of their people are aware that the recurrent communal crises in the region are as a result of the cynical machination of conniving and desperate political, charlatans and not sponsored by the APC led federal administration or President Muhammadu Buhari for that matter. Coming to the Southeast and Southsouth which the Atiku campaign machinery has boasted of sweeping by a wide margin, all objective indicators point to a rather nuanced scenario as unlike in 2015, the APC has made a lot of impact and inroads into the two regions and many of their people will definitely vote for Mr.
President given the sincere and visible determination of his administration to reconstruct their dilapidated infrastructure e.g roads, bridges, railways, ports, harbours etc that has suffered decades of neglect by successive federal administrations including those dominated by the ruling PDP for a whopping 16 years. Even if the former Vice President manages to win in those regions, the margin of victory will not be as colossal as the Atiku campaign/ media pundits posit. However, his victory in the Southeast and Southsouth will not be sufficient to save him from a massive defeat in the presidential elections as the combined votes of the Northwest, Northeast, Northcentral and Southwest will dwarf the votes of those regions.
– Amozie, a political affairs analyst, wrote from Aba, Abia state.
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