ATIKU ABUBAKAR, THE LESSER EVIL (Written in January 2019, before the general elections. Atiku went on to lose against Buhari.)
A theme that runs majorly throughout the Bible is that of faith and hope. Hope is a very big word in Christianity. In fact, because of Jesus Christ, Christians have the hope of sharing in God’s glory. Faith on the other hand is what substantiates the things we hope for. Faith is a decision to believe and accept as real the hope you have.
Let me now tell you why I just preached this sermon. I’ve always been an unrepentant optimist in the Nigerian project. I always carry with me the hope that things will eventually get better in Nigeria. But then I met a man who spoke and spoke and almost quenched the light I had. This fellow painted a very gloomy picture of Nigeria, emphasizing that since the 80s, Nigerians have always hoped that things will get better. The person went on and on about how that except the kingdom of God leaves heaven and drops on the head of Nigerians, the nation will not amount to much. “Your own life may get better, but for the whole of Nigeria, forget it. The whole world is coming to an end and the condition of things globally will only get worse.”
I should have bought in to the gloomy tale, only that I don’t believe the Apocalypse is here already. I believe we are still here and while we are here, I believe a new Nigeria will be reborn out of this mess. My beliefs about Nigeria are no more unrepentant optimism, but faith. I have faith that my hopes concerning the country will be substantiated in the days ahead. I have faith in Nigeria. Things will not remain like this forever and even if we have to wait for one million years, my faith in Nigeria will be substantiated. And yes faith counts as already done, the things we hope for. I have already seen with the eyes of my heart, what that new Nigeria looks like. I have lived in it. Many years into the future, and Nigeria is still one united, prosperous, strong sovereign nation.
So how does Atiku Abubakar relate to all of this you may ask? You see I wish Atiku Abubakar was not a part of Nigeria’s recent bad past. The old order has nothing to offer Nigeria and Nigerians. We have basically tested all of them.
A new generation has necessarily got to arise. The current set of leaders, the existing structure, does not even possess the inherent capacity to do anything beyond what it is doing now. I know the meaning of inherent. Even if they wanted to, even if they are sincere, they can’t do beyond what they have done in the past and are doing now. Their ideologies, their mentalities, their backgrounds, their orientations, the belief systems, their civilization/realities, their foresight and insight into circumstances has not done much and will not do much in the progress of the country. A new Nigeria belongs to a new generation.
But Atiku is an interesting personality. I’m looking at 2019, next year’s elections and I don’t know if the generation that will change Nigeria is ready yet. I don’t know but we will keep our fingers crossed and see how events unfold in the build up to the general elections.
But, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. First I think it is important that he is educated. He is an ABU Zaria Alumni. He read Law there. There is an exposure that education affords you that can’t be gotten anywhere else. We argued in 2015 about the differences between a PHD and SSCE. Here we are!
Then it says in 1971 Atiku married his heartthrob, Titilayo fondly called Titi. The love affair and subsequent marriage to Titi shouldn’t have mattered except that history is filled with tales and even myths and legends of how women have made and marred many great men. In this case Titi is the woman support structure behind Atiku Abubakar. You see it means a lot when a man loves a woman dearly and then builds an empire with that woman. Yes Islam permits polygamy and Atiku did go on to marry other wives but Titi has been in the picture from the day it all started. Consistency.
I remember back in 2003-2004 when the campaign against women trafficking and child labour was hot, it was this same Titi Abubakar under an organization/foundation she founded WOTCLEF that took the battle to the forefronts. This man clearly gives people breathing space to explore their potentials. And Nigerians are in dire need of breathing space!
Another thing I am looking at is the fact that Atiku is a business man who can singlehandedly sponsor himself into that office of the president if need be. Does it matter? Sure. You know, had Hillary Clinton won the POTUS she would have been at the mercy of all who contributed to her campaign especially the Arab nations. When people are sponsored into offices, once they arrive there, they embark on a personal economic recovery plan and a repayment model that sees contracts awarded to family members and sponsors. Africans can relate with this one well. I think Atiku stands taller than others in the fact that he is already a rich and established businessman.
Finally the man has not shown signs of religious Extremisms yet. It is unfortunate, Nigerians suspect each other for no reason at all. Some analysts are of the opinion that the religious wipe out game that we play with each other is unnecessary and pathetic. But I don’t believe it is funny. This Islamization theory is not a joke or a child’s play. The fact that stares us all is that certain political figures come along and confirm all existing fears either by body language or in their silence, silent approvals, and in the way that they run governance.
Atiku however appears to have shown no signs of such, publicly, so far. I really wish Atiku was not a part of Nigeria’s recent bad past. Yes I believe in a new Nigeria. I believe that the old order does not have much to offer us as a people. But some people are the lesser of all the evils. Atiku does not belong to what I may call the “chosen generation”; however if we have to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea, what do we do?
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.￼