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Atiku’s Wavering Presidential Ambition

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who formally declared on August

15, 2010 for his 2011 presidential ambition on the platform of the

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is facing uncertainties in the party

whether he will contest on the platform or not. This is following the

issue of the unresolved waiver he is supposed to have been enjoying in

the party as one of the returnees to the party at the event of the

late President Musa Yar'Adua's demise which threw-up the egocentric

eyebrows of northern politicians to complete the remaining years left

of the late President Musa Yar'Adua, according to the party's zoning

formula.
As the waiver has not been granted Atiku, it is not certain that he is

going to make it in the PDP, even that he's giving his supporters hope

that he is going to make it in the party. How truthful is Atiku on

this matter, is what many political observers are waiting to

chronicle. If the PDP could grant the waiver to politicians who

returned or rejoined the party that were of low profile to the number

two man of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the Chief Olusegun

Obasanjo-led administration (1999-2007), is it not wise that Atiku

should be in sober reflection now than making more political posturing

of how the PDP would be sued to the court and all that bluffs if it

refuses to grant him the waiver? Has his own Adamawa State governor,

Murtala Nyako, not said that in spite of the former vice president's

declaration to contest the presidential election he was doing so on

his own as he was not yet a bona fide member of the party? Is this not

supposed to be a shocker to Atiku?
Nyako's statement shows that Atiku is on the game alone. Atiku is like

one who has been excommunicated from his hometown, no matter the

number of people who have and he has made to line up in support for

him. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, national publicity secretary of the party,

had said that NEC considered waivers from various state executive

committees for members who recently joined or rejoined the party.

After exhaustive debates, NEC approved the waivers. Yet, Atiku is

giving hope. Without clearance from Adamawa?
The thought is that if Atiku could not get the waiver from his own

state up till date, it then means that the charity which is said that

begins at home has skipped Atiku, and this is a man he is nailing hard

to lead Nigeria. The question is: Is he going to lead Nigeria to where

if he has lost his political mouth right from his home state? Atiku

was supposed to know that a bride dresses from his house to the church

and not from the church to his house. The later is what Atiku has

exhibited, thereby making the game of politics return to the repealed

“do-or-die” affair. Very bad!
The political battle perceived to be raging in his home state of

Adamawa on why he has not been granted the waiver explicates how

politically irrelevant he has become even that he is strongly spending

money on advertorials on the newspapers. He is fighting to gain back

his respect and political will after decamping from the Action

Congress (AC) (that made him popular) which changed its name recently

to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in its party congress held in

Lagos. Atiku contested the 2007 presidential elections on the platform

of the AC after decamping from the PDP on the matters of political

skirmishes between him and Obasanjo then and lost out.

It is only in the PDP, if not, how could Atiku Abubakar, after his

declaration on the said Sunday, had said he would apply for waivers

soon? And sources close to him disclosed on the Monday at the national

secretariat of the party in Abuja that he had forwarded his

application letter for a waiver to the national chairman of the party,

Okwesilieze Nwodo. Another account said that he should go to his state

and be cleared first. Whatever that happened, does the PDP not have

rules that someone who is not a member of the party did the first

thing last without questions? It is only in the PDP that such

practices can be experienced.
If it is Atiku's fundamental rights to aspire and contest for elective

positions as a free born of the country, one doesn't think that

joining or rejoining a party is by force, if the party perhaps does

not want the person. If the news making the rounds is true that

Abubakar's lawyers advised him to file in the application for a waiver

and if he is refused the waivers, he should challenge it in court, is

an advise to a man who is perceived that will never rejuvenate from

his political oblivion except that the PDP aids him to readjust in the

party's ways of winning elections. Is your guess not as good as mine?

The said letter of waiver submitted by Abubakar, was said was going to

be tabled before the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) meeting that

week and a decision will be taken. Yet, nothing has happened to grant

him the waiver.
Although, that Atiku was the first to declare his ambition to run for

the presidency under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, he

might be the last that could be granted the waiver, because of the

said serious issues of membership and eligibility he had with his

party. Does Atiku not know what was said that Rufai told journalists?

Rufai said that Atiku had not fulfilled the conditions laid down in

the party's constitution, which focuses on those who rejoin the party

after decamping to other political parties. Under Article 8.9 of the

PDP constitution which deals with the issue of decamping and

readmission, according to accounts, made it compulsory for people in

Atiku's status to be placed on probation for one year, as a necessary

precondition for using the party as a platform for electoral contest.

The waiver gives the awardees the temerity to contest or aspire for

any political positions in the PDP, whereas Atiku has not been granted

the waiver. Against that backdrop, Atiku can contest on the platform

of the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN). After all, it is not Action

Congress (AC), anymore.

Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author and Media Consultant, is the Founder of

Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. Mobile: +2348032552855.

Email: [email protected]