Corroborating this assertion centuries later, Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright, noted that progress was impossible without change.
On February 25, Nigerians will go to polls to elect a president that can change their fortunes and put the country on the path of progress.
The next president is expected to correct the misdoings of Muhammadu Buhari who has awkwardly steered the Nigerian ship in the last eight years. Buhari has done his best, even though, in his own admission, his best has not been enough.
However, February is a critical month in the country’s metamorphosis as Nigerians gear up to speak with one voice against perennial petrol scarcity, fraudulent fuel subsidies, economic mismanagement, poor handling of Nigeria’s diversity and unity, unrivalled insecurity, human rights abuses and other humongous lapses of the All Progressives Congress-led government.
With the current disorder in the country occasioned by the ineptitude of the APC, one man who has become a centripetal factor is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Wazirin of Adamawa.
Fortunately enough, many Nigerians from all political divides have realized this fact. At the moment, very important political stakeholders in the North and the South are rallying around the former vice president to show why he deserves to be the president of Africa’s biggest oil producer.
The current defections to the People’s Democratic Party from the APC and other political parties as well as the alliances across party, faith and ethnic lines in recent times buttress that the die is cast and the change of baton is nearer than Nigerians expect.
He is the likeliest of all the contestants to become Nigeria’s next president given his pedigree, unrivalled work rate, sound mental and physical health, and experience.
Talk of experience, Abubakar has it. Talk of a large following, the Waziri Adamawa has it. Talk of efficiency, the former vice president has it. Talk of mental and physical alacrity, the former vice president has it. Talk of education, he also has it.
His image looms large in every part of the country due to his experience and sound human relations. Right now, from experiences across Nigeria, it has become visible that the citizens have come to realize that it will be risky to leave the deeply-divided country in the hands of untested politicians or those who have held their domains in bandage for years.
The insecurity in Nigeria today is a testament that Nigerians cannot afford to leave Africa’s most populous nation again in the hands of APC despite the sweet-coated words of its inexperienced and unfit presidential candidate.
Being a former customs officer, Abubakar has the paramilitary experience needed to halt insecurity in any part of the country, whether the South or the North.
One important factor about the Wazirin Adamawa is that he is a detribalized Nigerian with his tentacles spread across the country. Despite being from Adamawa in the present-day North-East Nigeria, Abubakar’s wives are from the South-West, South-East and other parts of the country. His 2019 vice presidential candidate in PDP was Mr Peter Obi, now the standard bearer of the Labour Party, who is from the South-East. His current vice presidential candidate, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, is an Igbo man from the South-South.
Most of his businesses are managed by people from various parts of the country who are competent and cerebral. This is a reflection of the kind of the government Nigerians should expect from Abubakar.
He is a candidate whose background is well-known to everybody. His age and birthplace are as clear as air and his educational background is not in doubt.
His source of wealth is also pellucid and is as crystalline as his background.
Waziri Adamawa’s words at Lagos Continental in 2017 show who he is, his source of resources and his knack for building wealth.
“I came to Lagos on June 29, 1969 and after my two years training (with the Nigeria Customs Service), I was posted to the border station of Idi-Iroko. At that time, the Badagry Road had not been constructed and the only means of transportation to the rest of the West African corridor was through the Idi-Iroko border to what used to be called Dahomey and what is now known as Benin Republic,” he said, as reported by Premium Times.
He continued, “On getting to Idi-Iroko, my first posting, I was not married and what I discovered was that the most promising business was transportation. Many pickup vans were transporting women traders from Ajase (Port Novo) to Lagos every morning, and every evening from Lagos back to Port Novo.
“So I asked myself, how I can seize the opportunity of this moving business. I came over to Lagos and in those days SCOA were the sole distributors of Peugeot, so I went to SCOA and I signed a hire-purchase agreement and bought four of those pickups and gave them to four different drivers and every day they will bring their returns to me and at the end of the month, I will go to SCOA and pay them.”
Abubakar is also someone who knows the value of education. He is persistently worried that 20 million Nigerian children are out of school for no fault of theirs, and he plans to correct this tremendous faux pas.
He owns one of the best private universities in Nigeria and has invested in skilling up Nigerians, especially the youth.
The former vice president is set to introduce a different kind of education that will reduce 33.3 percent unemployment rate and build a country of entrepreneurs.
At the same event in 2017, the Wazirin Adamawa said, “The educational system we operated in the First Republic provided our students then the opportunity to either go to universities or go to technical colleges or to go to crafts schools. There was never a dropout in that kind of educational system. The dullest was trained on a skill and given the capital to start a business.”
This will form the fulcrum of Abubakar’s presidency when he replaces Buhari in May 2022 as the president of world’s most populous black nation.
Here is a man who has helped to set several judicial precedents in the last two decades in Nigeria’s history by challenging undemocratic practices in political parties perpetrated by god fathers and cabals.
Some people who benefit today from Atiku’s fights at the courts seem to have forgotten that this man deserves to be celebrated and his name written on the golden annals of history.
One of the traits of the Wazirin Adamawa is that he demonstrates leadership anywhere he is. He does not shy away from taking the blame when he is in charge and does not want to escape from a problem confronting him. Rather than resort to escapism, Abubakar deals with a problem squarely and ensures it does not rear its ugly head again. This is why despite criticisms, his management and privatization of Nigeria’s dead assets remain the best in the history of Nigeria.
That is the man Atiku Abubakar, who is exactly the kind of personality the country needs at this time to save it from the brink of collapse.
Nigeria should not be in the hands of those who do not understand the workings of the presidency. Atiku Abubakar understands the workings of the Nigerian presidency and the urgent need to return Nigeria to the dreams of its forefathers.
Atiku Abubakar represents the hope of the hopeless. As Nigerians go to the polls next month, let us ensure that no mistake is entertained because any mistake made in the forthcoming election could spell doom for the country.