Where Are the Friends and Allies Of Atiku?
By Mike Odeh James
Shortly after the 2018 Presidential primary in Port Harcourt, political heavyweights from across all the religious and regional divides of Nigeria, rallied round the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Many of these political gladiators had sensed that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the former vice President is the only candidate that was capable of beating incumbent President Muhammad Buhari and clinching the Presidency.
So, they trooped around him in numbers amongst them were names like Buba Galadima, Bukola Saraki Gbenga Daniel, Ben Bruce Murray, Alhaji Abubakar Junaidu.
And in the runup to the Presidential race, the PDP announced the following persons to help Atiku realize the the mandate of the party by capturing the Presidency.
1. President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki as Director General of Atiku Presidential Campaign Council.
2. Governor Aminu Tambuwal as the Zonal Coordinator for NorthWest.
3. Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo as Zonal Coordinator for NorthEast.
4. Governor Samuel Ortom as the Zonal Coordinator for NorthCentral
5. Governor Dave Umahi as the Zonal Coordinator for SouthEast.
6. Barrister Nyesom Wike as the Zonal Coordinator for SouthSouth
7. Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose is the Zonal Coordinator for the SouthWest.
8. Barr Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, SAN, Chairman, Legal Matters.
9. Governor Udom Emmanuel as the Chairman, Fund Raising.
Former Governor of Ogun, Gbenga Daniel became the Campaign Director General of Atiku Campaign Organization. And in addition to that, some group of wealthy and influential Nigerians also formed and organization called Friends of Waziri.
To be candid, during the campaign, most these individuals campaigned vigorously and succeeded in marshalling grassroot support for the candidacy of Atiku Abubakar before and during the elections.
It was expected that most of these individuals would be rewarded by Ministerial, ambassadorial and other posts after Atiku becomes the President.
As the election itself came, President Buhari and the All Progressive Congress, APC subverted the wishes of the electorates by massively rigging the poll.This led to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar going to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT to challenge the result of the election and to reclaim the mandate freely given to him by Nigerians.
Since the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT began its inquest into the 2019 Election, most of the friends of Atiku seemed to have lost their voices and vibrancy.
They no longer condemn the impunity and brazen attempts by the APC and its candidate to hold on to the stolen mandate of the PDP.
With Atiku Abubakar out of the country, it is expected that people like Bukola Saraki, Ben Murray Bruce,, Gbenga Daniel, Aminu Twambwal and a host of others would show solidarity with their friend by appearing anytime the PEPT sat and it is also expected that these friends Waziri should defend him from the daily lies churned out by President Buhari’s propaganda machinery but none of that is happening.
Perhaps, they are afraid of being arrested by Buhari’s government, maybe they are fairweather friends that were there for Atiku when they felt he has a chance of becoming the President.
All these have led to the questions on the lips of Nigerians: where are the allies of our President Elect?
Where are the allies of Atiku, those that can help achieve our mandate.
In the midst of all these apathy displayed by Atiku ‘s political allies, it is also gratifying to note millions of Atiku supporters have not abandoned him.
Alhaji Buba Galadima is one who has been vociferous in standing by Atiku and he hasn’t clinched a bit.
One of those that also stood his ground by standing with the Waziri is Dr.Sani Adamu ,the founder and Chairman of Deservation.Org.
A young man, Sani singlehandedly challenged the Buhari government and taken it up on himself to see that Dr. Atiku Abubakar ‘s mandate is reclaimed.
Firstly, Adamu printed posters and put up billboards in and around Abuja in favour of Dr.Abubakar .
The billboards and posters which says PUKKA led to the Federal Executive Council Meeting in which Lai Muhammad accused Atiku and his supporters of attempting a coup plot .
Lai Muhammad and colleagues did not bother to check the meaning of PUKKA before raising unnecessary alarm.
Not done with the pukka initiative, Sani and his group set up an organization called Justice Delayed is Justice Denied. The aim of the organization is to help sensitize the international community that Atiku Atiku won the 2019 election and to help galvanive the international community to help safeguard the judiciary from unnecessary pressure by the Buhari administration.
It appears that apart from Buba Galadima, former Presidents Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan who at one time or the other had defended Atiku only Dr. Sani seemed to be the most consistent and persistent defender of the Atiku mandate.
In June this year, at meeting attended by the Secretary of the Federal Government ,Boss Mustapha, Sani rounded criticized the APC government for mismanaging the economy and told them pointedly that when Atiku becomes the President, things would change for better.
This caused a stirred that the organizers had to snatch the microphone from the speaker.
Similarly, Dr Adamu had held several press conferences in all the geopolitical zones of the country to highlight the injustices meted out to the President elect and he had at every given occasion galvanized support for the Waziri.
As a political analyst and student of history, I know that if all the political allies of Atiku would rally round him like Buba Galadima and Dr. Sani Adamu have done and are still doing,the battle to reclaim the stolen would a walk in the park.
Hence ,I am appealing to all lovers of democracy to see the fight for the realization of Atiku’s presidency as a collective fight and nothing should deter them.
Mike Odeh James is a journalist and a political analyst based in Abuja.