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Former Vice President during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has begun to worm himself into the hearts of All Progressives Congress (APC) members with his sermon on loyalty. Atiku, in his congratulatory message to members of the new National Executives of APC, said that their selection was a reward for loyalty.

But loyalty, which Atiku talked about, groaned under the weight of his defiance when he held sway as vice president of the country during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The import of loyalty was lost on him while in the saddle and for the whole of eight years that he served as the vice president to Obasanjo, he scorned loyalty and undermined his boss.

At the end of the protracted muscle-flexing with Obasanjo, he left the party in an open show of disloyalty for an obscure party, Action Congress (AC) (which later transformed into the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN) for the mere fact that he was denied his ambition of becoming the presidential standard-bearer of the PDP in the 2011 election.

Atiku swallowed his pride and returned to the PDP after the 2011 general election. In another instance of disloyalty to the PDP on which platform he was vice president, he recently jumped ship, pitching his tent with the new contraption-the APC. The new political gospeler, after the APC coronation convention in Abuja, urged members of APC should wear the robe of loyalty for them to benefit from the goodies of the party when they are to be shared.

But it rankles that Atiku is preaching loyalty, when his political character has been the direct opposite. It is doubtful if he can, this time round, lead by example by staying with the party if his bid to be the party's presidential standard-bearer in the 2015 presidential election is not sanctioned by the god of the party who had, in the past, told Atiku to stop parading himself as the leader of ACN then because he could not win his ward for the party during election. That encounter, according to informed sources prompted the movement of Atiku to PDP before his recent return to the APC.

The issue here is not the loyalty sermon according Saint Atiku but what should agitate the minds of APC supporters is whether the preacher is ready to do according to his preaching. Events in the past have proven that Atiku has not in any way been a loyal person to his bosses and party (parties) in the combustible political landscape of Nigeria.

In a matter of months from now, I expect that Atiku would begin to unravel, especially as it pertains to the presidential ticket of the APC. It is increasingly becoming certain that Atiku might not be willing to let go his ambition to fly the presidential flag of the party in 2015, and that is where he is likely going to dither on the issue of loyalty in the party.

Atiku is a man who does not stick to a party where he does not exercise control or his ambition is not being considered. If his ambition is threatened, he tries to sink the boat. For people whom Atiku had advised to be loyal to the party, it is imperative they note that the loyalty he is preaching is the one that will favor his ambition of being the party's presidential flag bearer in the forthcoming general election.

For Atiku's sermon on loyalty to be meaningful and received with thanksgiving by the APC members, they should wait until his 'loyalty temperament' has been tested after the selection of the presidential flag bearer of the party sometime in October this year. If somebody else has emerged, and he is still preaching loyalty, then they should accept the loyalty preachment of the Jada-born politician as having come from a new man.

Written By Hamisu Abubakar

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