By Okanga Agila
“In those days…/The vultures built in the shadow of their talons/ The bloodstained monument of tutelage,”- Poet, David Diop.
Renowned poet of the famed Negritude Movement and Senegalese descent, David Birago Diop reflected the mortifying plundering of Africa’s human and material resources by colonizers, as emitted in the quoted verses of lamentations in the poem, “Vultures.”
Today, the predator screams in pitiable exhumation of Nigeria’s leadership and governance dilemma in the contemporary age.
Nigeria’s political hotbed has been exhilarated, with the emergence of former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as Presidential candidate of the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Party delegates at the PDP national convention held in Port Harcourt, bolstered by the rain of dollars, impudently awarded its 2019 presidential ticket to a serial party defector, ditcher and betrayer.
But the pursuit of this dream is severely weakened by Atiku’s self-inflicted stab, mirrored by his association with past leaders of Nigeria, under PDP, a political party, which thoroughly abused sanity and sanctity of governance. No Nigerian needs to be retold PDP history of its 16 ruinous and locusts years.
To think Nigerians would relapse to the same filth barely three years is akin to a psychological assault on the conscience and sensibilities of Nigerians. But hence Atiku is hell-bent on wresting power from President Buhari and the APC. So, his few acolytes give little attention to the issues which have beclouded and wrecked his presidential quest.
But having found a handful of co-travellers in a masses-denounced and rejected party, Atiku has been very mouthy of recent. He tactlessly deploys all weapons, sparing none, including blackmail, boastfulness, haughtiness, ego and every conceivable trick to market himself to Nigerians as the only man with a solution to the nation’s varied problems.
The assemblage of past corrupt leaders and inaltrustic leaders is thick. These are Nigerians who dread Buhari’s latest Executive Order 6, linked to ongoing criminal trials and investigations of suspected corrupt persons.
Nonetheless, typical of their deceptions, the PDP and these leaders appear to thinly-veil the truth from the rest of Nigerians, in the pursuit of selfish and personal agenda, which trails the current quest to change power. But the antagonists conceal it, feigning mendacious national interest.
It is not altogether unexpected that former Heads of State and some civilian Presidents have keyed into the Atiku candidacy. And leading the pack of these abhorrent leaders is former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ).
It is reason OBJ rigmaroles and recants himself lately. It is reason all these “wealthy” Nigerians are scared of the continuation of the Buhari Presidency.
So, the gunning for the Atiku Presidency has become a do-or-die affair. It explains why they beckoned on Atiku to again dump the APC for the PDP, with an assurance of the party’s presidential ticket to him. They actually delivered on this promise in Port Harcourt, October 7, 2018.
Ignominiously, Atiku went back to his vomit and to a party he thoroughly and unreservedly defamed of every wrongdoing, each time he abandoned it.
Let Nigerians concede to the desperation of Atiku to become President of Nigeria whether by hook or crook. But should it also be swallowed that aside the dishonest reasons he bandies to his party members and Nigerians, what else is he bringing to the table of leadership of Nigeria, which his past antecedents have not deflated on their strength?
PDP, his anointed platform is immersed in leadership reputation crisis of national dimension. Upon Atiku’s latest defection to the APC from PDP in February 2014, the party’s Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, who now leads the party as National Chairman, hinted of Atiku’s political inconsistency, inter alia;
“I can tell you that they will go and come back and we are waiting for Atiku to go on this voyage and to come back. He has done it before; this is not the first time….”
Atiku himself never spared his discarded former party, as he lashed out at it as a party unrepentantly smeared by “a regime of draconian clampdown on all forms of democracy within the party and the government it produced.”
Atiku’s unstable political character manifested glaringly, when he granted interview to with TheNEWSmagazine a few days after his defection to APC in February 2014.
He barked; “I won’t go back to the PDP ever again. There is no reason for doing so whatsoever. As I have said before, I have no reason to go back to the PDP.”
In shameful contradiction and self-denial of his own words, the same Atiku has gone back to the same party, he ditched and returned twice, in conflicting reverse order. It is express confirmation that both Atiku and the PDP are devoid of the vision to pilot the affairs of Nigeria.
Nigerians should pretend, the PDP is unselective of who to crown a candidate, but the party would have at least, blended it with a steady character, instead of the inveterately unstable soul like Atiku, whose seal is grasshopping. Nigeria under the leadership custody of PDP and a leader like the highly mobile and inconsistent Atiku would mark the final interment of Africa’s most promising nation.
And the agreement as recently sealed by OBJ, audaciously and unequivocally signifies the return of the “missionary” vultures on a feasting spree on Nigeria. Atiku’s recent reconciliation with OBJ betrays this motive, exposing their desperate moves to recover and rededicate Nigeria to the gods of looting; the vultures, plunderers, pillagers and locusts of this country.
Under their reign in Aso Rock for 16 years, this same cabal sold most national assets to themselves. They happily did it through proxies or to friends or political associates, who paid under-valued sums to the national treasury.
And the bewitching spirit is much stronger in them now than ever before. When the economic recession their regime created exalted its enormous strain on Nigeria’s economy and Nigerians wailed in hardships; the same destroyers lured President Buhari into selling the remaining national assets.
OBJ frontally and assertively said, at the conference of National Council of Finance and Economic Development in Abeokuta in 2016 that; “I think the problem is in the coinage; selling of asset as if we want to throw away our inheritance…I see no reason why 48 percent of NNPC cannot be privatized.”
But a clever Buhari refused to buy the dummy sold him. It irked the cabal and the present plots and so, the reason to upstage him with an Atiku ticket, who would ever be compliant. If all the claims to leadership wisdom vaunted by OBJ would translate into an advice of disposing national assets as panacea to economic recession, Nigerians should not wait for a soothsayer.
Backing Atiku, a typical African capitalist to actualize this vow to finally sink Nigeria is understandably a sworn oath in shrines of Nigeria.
Nigerians should ask what has happened to national assets sold by OBJ/Atiku and later President Goodluck Jonathan under the PDP government? OBJ’s government listed all national assets for sale. But Nigerians should ask what has happened to the ones they succeeded in selling in the guise of privatization?
What is the performance of sold prominent ones like, NITEL, Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing Company, Volkswagen of Nigeria, Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, Katsina Steel Rolling Mill Company; National Electric Power Authority(NEPA) later PHCN, National Insurance Company of Nigeria, (NICON), Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria, (ALSCON) among others?
Much as Atiku and his political vultures, like OBJ and coy desire to sell Nigeria, this nation is not for sale. Nigerians are aware, with an Atiku Presidency, the cabal plots to dispose the remaining juiciest national assets like , Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, the NNPC, Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC) Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Company (KRPC), Warri Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Nigerian Airports and West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) and many others.
Like Poet David Diop echoes in the poem, “The vultures built in the shadow of their talons,” have sharpened their knives to mutilate and share Nigeria with an Atiku Presidency. The choice is that of Nigerians between a curator of national assets and heritage in Buhari and a predator in Atiku. It’s the beginning of the end of PDP and Atiku.