Now in the last day before the much awaited General elections in tomorrow, our hearts keep racing every time the date “16th of February” comes into mind. Our minds, clouded with realistic questions like:

Is Atiku Abubakar the way forward?

Is he better than President Buhari?

With the whole world waiting to hear our final decision, via the ballot box, it is important to look into the life of the man Atiku and the kind of fortune that may be associated with his potential victory as the number one citizen of this giant that sits in the western heart of Africa.

 

Atiku Abubakar[GCON] was born on the 25th of November,1946. This means Atiku is currently 72 years old. This offers no improvement on the current trend of aged men assuming top political offices. Atiku’s potential tenure as president might be threatened with issues of old age, like health and reasoning ability amongst others. The only compensation to Atiku’s old age comes from the fact that he’s as healthy as an ox and possesses a good health record. A potential victory will make him one of the most medically stable Nigerian presidents in decades.

 

At the age of 8, Atiku was registered by his mother in school at Jada Primary school. He went on to finish his secondary school education at the Adamawa Provincial Secondary School, Yola in 1965. Atiku made grade three in the West African School Certificate Examination. He furthered his education at various institutions like the Nigerian police college in Kaduna, School of hygiene in Kano where he got a Diploma and Ahmadu Bello University where he bagged a Diploma In law. Atiku’s immense passion for true education made him establish the first American –style university in Sub-Saharan Africa [American University of Nigeria] in 2005. He has on many occasions reiterated the importance of the Nigerian education system. With a well-educated President like Atiku, Nigeria’s education system will be getting a lot of funds and will in no time meet up with the international standards.

 

In 2004, the then President Bush of America barred Atiku from being issued a visa to the US. Atiku was reported to have used many offshore accounts to syphon millions of dollars to his fourth wife Jennifer Douglas in the US. An amount of $40 million dollars was transferred into several offshore accounts in her name. She confessed this, after she was investigated and questioned. Also, in 2007, Mr Atiku was associated with corruption allegations related to the Petroleum Technology Development Fund [PTDF]. He had hidden the sums of $3O million and $164 million in Trans international Bank and Equatorial trust Bank respectively. His objective was to acquire the 15% interest it yielded. With such records, Atiku’s potential tenure will greatly nurture corruption to its peak. It’s no wonder he recently claimed to halt the fight against corruption to focus on the nation’s development.

 

Atiku’s reputation is one that is stained by his lack of integrity. Till date, many of us still can’t fathom how he became a super billionaire from a humble background despite spending most of his productive years in the Nigerian Customs Service. Atiku once transferred $194 million meant for the PTDF into offshore accounts claiming it was for the purpose of safety. He had on several occasions pulled stunts at his political campaigns to sell the idea he was a poor man. No one would forget the Akara frying scenario as well as when he chose to drink sachet water popularly known to the mass as “pure water”. Recently, Mr Atiku has been pushing and making cases for Federalism, the same person who could not initiate such when he was in office as the Vice President for 8 years. Nigerians deserve to know that their potential leader is a man whose YES and NO in power must be thoroughly discerned before being accepted.

 

One big positive Nigerians can draw from Mr Atiku’s potential victory is his genius business mentality. Having started his early life investing in real estates as a customer officer, he obtained a 31,000 naira loan to build his first house in Yola. He built his second house with proceeds generated from the first house after putting it up for rent. He consistently followed this trend until he had built a sizeable portfolio of property in Yola. In 1981, he moved on into agriculture, acquiring 2500 hectares of land near Yola to start his maize and cotton plantation. Unfortunately, the business failed in 1986. He later ventured into trading, buying and selling truckloads of rice, flour and sugar. He made his most important business move when he met Gabrielle Volpi, an Italian who invited him to set up Nigeria Container Services [NICOTES]. This business would later procure him an immense wealth. Atiku’s business empire also includes a beverage manufacturing factory and animal feed factory in Yola.

In August 2013, Mr Atiku became the only second Nigerian politician to have a verified twitter account with more than 390,000 followers. He owns a blog and a page on Facebook with 450,000 fans. Mr Atiku finds joy in interacting with others. His interactive nature is one that can open the government for public suggestions. The world is gradually changing and it will be beneficial to have a government that seeks public opinion on its matter.

 

One other con we may be faced with as a nation under the leadership of Atiku is tribal supremacism. Mr Atiku has made no secret of his loyalty and alliance to his people in the north. Atiku is a northern supremacist who believes northerners should align with their own. In 2010, Atiku submitted himself to the Adamu Ciroma led Northern Political Leaders Forum to come up with a consensus northern candidate to upstage the Southern Goodluck Jonathan. He also led a campaign he named “Naka Sai Naka” meaning “Northerners go for your own”. These are early indications that power will entirely shift up north if Atiku emerges as the winner of the 2019 Presidential election. We will experience a one-sided form of administration with the western, eastern and southern parts Nigeria being neglected, the northerners will work less and still command the largest percentage of our national budget.

 

Atiku’s response and attitude towards President Buhari’s absence at the recent Presidential Debate is certainly one the public should learn from. All we wanted was a man to convince us but he was only up for a debate against Buhari. Nigerians do not want an administration running on the basis of political rivalry, we want a mature and respectful leader who doesn’t care what his opponents has done, said or hasn’t . A leader who arrogantly refused to speak to the public concerning his promises as well as good intentions as a presidential aspirant does not deserve our support because he lacks the respect and courtesy for us . Mr Atiku has failed here and every Nigerian must be wise to hold this recent happening as a major tool for their political judgement.

 

One last Positive we can draw from Atiku’s potential reign as the president is the fact that he has the best political office experience when compared to other candidates. Mr Atiku was elected to govern the affairs of the former Adamawa in 1998. While still governor-elect he was selected by PDP Presidential candidate Olusegun Obasanjo as his running mate. Both of them went on to win the elections. Mr Atiku served as the Vice president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. Without a doubt, he knows every nook and crevices of the Aso rock business. He’s no stranger to the Presidential affairs of the nation.

 

In the end, we see Atiku as any other Nigerian politician, with many shades of colours. However, this lion of the north seems to offer the hope of financial prosperity to the nation among his other shades of integrity. We can only make probabilities on what to expect if he eventually emerges as our president. Until then, let everybody be on the lookout for Atiku Abubakar, let’s watch every step he takes, every word he utters. These things will end up birthing the tune of leadership we will be dancing for the next 4 years.