By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja
Finally Atiku wins a primary and 2019 promise to be an interesting election year for Nigeria. Without doubt, no one has held onto his guns thus far like Atiku – with grits and skills – perhaps the reason why he is most criticized. Sticking out your neck for that long, even in the face of abrasive failures does give your competitors a reason to cross examine the intent of your ambitions side by side theirs – but that’s not Atiku’s business. The dogmas of the now quite past are inadequate to the stormy present.
He has held on with a bulldog grip, chewing and choking as much as possible, but the real contest waits.
He will have to answer to those who see his name perpetually in the dirt of corruption, especially because that is where his opposition rely on to ride it out. Buhari that is. And this claim of those supporting Buhari is not as much about him being corruption free as much as it is about creating the impression. And that impression has taken a great deal of beating these past many months.
Atiku has traveled far, and one could only hope that he lives up to the billing, knowing that with the catching ends the pleasures of the chase.
But from all indication, there are a lot of options to consider. Donald Duke will be on the ballot as well, and so will Kingsley Moghalu, Fela Durotoye and Former Minister of Education and BBOG Co-convener, Oby Ezekwesili. Of course, the real battle will be down to the two major parties, APC and PDP, but it is definitely a sign of an emerging democracy to have all these options.
But if all these names eventually get on the ballot, the ruling party, APC, might be coasting to victory because those would have been the votes necessary for the major opposition party, PDP to compete.
As events unfold, it is likely that the opposition parties would form an allegiance in order to square up to APC’s might. But that will take an all night long bargain.
Atiku, whose eloquence on how to solve Nigeria’s problems remain his greatest strength wouldn’t likely be a small bone for APC. He is an enigma of some sort. Frequently accused of corruption, but somehow never been pinned to anything.
For Nigerians, they should be sure to put their feet in the right place, then stand firm. The ballot they say is stronger than the bullet.