#ATIKULATE: AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME (POEM AND COMMENTARY)
Some thoughts inspired by the latest event giving hope to many in Nigeria: the emergence of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the foremost opposition party in the country, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
I bin think say dis Atiku thing go take time to percolate
Buh d kain discussion e don dey stimulate
From city to grassroots e don dey penetrate
E be like say all man don get liver to agitate
Na im make me I come dey contemplate
Our differences wey politicians like to manipulate
This unifying figure fit make dem dissipate
And this collapsing country properly federate
I no wan shout, I no wan begin to jubilate
I go just dey pray, dey do my part to educate
Make we join hands yeye arguments to invalidate
As e reach to choose, Naija go really #Atikulate
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2018
Atiku, whose political career has spanned over four decades, served as Vice President under retired general, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, from 1999 to 2007. He has contested in five presidential primaries and like an idea whose time has come, his victory at the keenly contested one organised by the PDP last weekend is being seen by some as an act of God.
This is because it seemed unlikely that the PDP could organise harmonious primaries, having been plagued by problems of internal democracy in the past. These problems resulted in the exodus from its ranks of many influential members which helped to give the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) victory in the 2015 presidential elections. Attempts to produce a consensus candidate from its 13, and later 12, presidential aspirants repeatedly failed.
Disagreements over the venue for the national convention itself (where the primaries were to be held) led to litigation but at the last minute, the party yielded to pressure from the Rivers State governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike, to host the event in his state capital, Port Harcourt.
The convention turned out to be hitch-free and was generally adjudged to be open and transparent. Atiku beat the other aspirants by a wide margin to give Nigerians opposed to the incumbent administration hope that next year’s presidential elections will be a more even contest with President Muhammadu Buhari, because it is believed that Atiku is the only one among those that joined the race who has the pedigree and capability to match and possibly unseat him.
I pray that Atiku remains humble and focused in the face of the massive excitement his candidature has ignited, that he runs an exhaustive and issue-based campaign, and that when he does assume office as we hope, he will be fully accountable (bearing in mind his opponents’ constant accusations of corruption against him). Since he has a cosmopolitan outlook and is a successful businessman, I hope that he will have an excellent economic blueprint and will assemble a world class team to do the job of pulling Nigeria from the brink and reversing the enormous econmic losses of the past few years that resulted from crass ignorance, incompetence, nepotism and religious bigotry.
Above all, I pray that he remains committed to and actualises his major manifesto over the years, which is to make Nigeria a true federation where the component states have greater control over their own resources and compete with each other in developmental strides, rather than waiting for allocations from an unduly powerful central government. This is widely acknowledged to be the right way to make Nigeria work and have a vibrant economy but successive governments have lacked the political will to execute it.
By God’s grace, I will occasionally give my own commentary as events unfold in the run-up to the general elections next year. I pray that God will halt Nigeria’s slide into chaos, destitution and disintegration through the forthcoming elections in Jesus’ name.
You can read my other political poems in this blog under the Poems Category.
I would love to hear your views on the issues raised in the poem. Are you as optimistic as I am? Do you feel the excitement or do you have a different take on the situation? Do let me know and share this post widely, if you will.
You are richly blessed in Jesus’ name.
(Related: Governance By Trial And Error – Poem)
(Pic of Atiku above is from Atiku.org’s Facebook page.)
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