By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja
Atiku Abubakar’s resignation from the All Progressives Congress (APC) didn’t take many by surprise, but its symbolic nature meant that it will definitely generate mix reactions, and it surely did. With 2019 at the corner, every decision or indecision will only be a lead up to what the election will look like. Atiku is never the type that fancies a back seat, but is there any known Nigerian politician that does?
Some have reacted in a way that suggests that Atiku is just being Atiku – a defector and a disloyal political traveller. One would wonder if their opinion intends to suggest that Atiku’s decision is inconsequential. With hindsight of what happened prior to 2015 when the PDP lost a lot of members, including governors, no one needs any reminder about the impact of defection in a political party, especially the one grasping with the challenge of identifying with its self-professed values.
Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-rufai occupies a front seat position among those who believe that Atiku is a lower political animal. ’’I have heard about what the former Vice President said about leaving the APC. We knew he was going to leave in December but he has left in November which is good because the earlier he leaves for where he belongs, the better. He has changed political parties a few times, there is nothing surprising. Before the 2019 elections if situation changes and he thinks he can get the ticket in 2019 he will come back. That is what he has done a few times,’’ he initially remarked.
The point here really is that Atiku is far from being ideal, but neither are his accusers. Those who believe they are morally superior are only being sanctimonious if you examine their political lives as well. A quick look at the political odysseys of those criticizing Atiku for leaving the APC would prove that none of them has the moral advantage to lampoon the other. President Muhammadu Buhari himself is quite famous for his many and most times desperate political peregrinations. He has contested for the position of the President in as many as three different political parties, not forgetting that he had ruled the country once as a military dictator. He has moved from ANPP to APP, from there to CPC and to APC, where he eventually became President.
Nasir El-Rufai himself once served as a PDP Minister, from where he moved to CPC and to APC, so has Rochas Okorocha, whose political movements took him from PDP to Action Alliance, APP, ANPP , APGA and eventually to APC. It is an endless list. Every member of the APC is just as guilty.
Just like Atiku who once stated in2015 that he won’t leave the APC or even return to PDP, President Buhari had in his third attempt said he would never run for the presidency again at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, but reneged on that to contest four years later.
Nigeria is still on the path, although a rather long one to finding political leaders whose words are bond and actions are inspiring enough. 2019 presents another opportunity for a choice to be made in order to hasten that path, and in that regard, it is important that the electorates become more critical instead of being caught needlessly in the cross fire between self-serving politicians.