Atiku: A Democrat or a Disloyal VP? (Part 1)

Atiku: A Democrat or a Disloyal VP? (Part 1)


Zayyad I. Muhammad

Today’s shocking political scenarios in Nigeria has cast a doubt on the minds of millions of Nigerians on the genuineness of the democratic postures of politicians in Nigeria; are our politicians real–life Democrats? Or their democratic posture just begins while seeking elections and ends when got elected?  How do we with poise, trust someone’s democratic stance as real and naturally induced? Ideally, one strong index that naturally would make people to believe someone’s democratic values as genuine, is: his thoughts and assertions are always in harmony with his deeds, but in Nigeria it goes beyond that, apart from the afore mentioned, there are some ‘gauges’ that one has to use to determine whether someone is truly a democrat; a true democrat believes that he is bound to have a number of shortcomings and limitations; accepts divergent views, he is broadminded, secular and sees all as one, he is   patient and fulfils agreement entered to, believes in dialogue, and his decisions at a critical and defining moment are sound, do Atiku Abubakar the current vice president on Nigeria posses these qualities?  Is Atiku truly an aficionado of democratic system? Is he naturally a democrat? Does his persona actually possess unquestionable astonishing democratic characters that makes his supporters to ‘brand named’ him an embodiment and replica of democracy? Is Atiku truly ‘the face of hope’ or is the Gentleman just a smokescreen?

Lets gaze into Atiku’s past assertions, publicly expressed thoughts and actions, to deduce the democracy in him; well, but, current political situation in Nigerian has proven to us that there is strongly no correlation between someone’s past assertions about democracy and rule of law to naturally being a democrat. How about his believe on his limitations, his willingness to enter into dialogue and accepting opposing views? How about the decision he took at critical moment, was he self-centered, is the man altruistic by nature, are his philanthropic acts influenced by political motives, what are people saying about him and his politics, is his current stand on democracy and constitutionality in Nigeria a true reflection of Atiku’s believe on democracy or it is just his presidential ambition that is triggering the vice president; or is it sheer disloyalty. An apolitical scrutiny of these, will lend a hand us to comprehend whether Atiku is beyond doubt a replica and embodiment of democracy as maintain by his supporters.

Out of the forty-six (46) years of post independent Nigeria; the military were in governance for more than thirty (30) years, Atiku ventured into politics nearly some two decades ago, one remarkable thing about Atiku is, today he is the most senior politician in Nigeria that had never partook in any military government, which his supporters held, make him an outstanding democrat, but his adversaries a pointing out that there are other politicians who had not been part of any military regime in Nigeria, but onlookers are of the opinion, Atiku has shown  unrivaled consistencies in maintaining a democrat dogma, despite the irresistibility  of occupying   political office associated with any politician.

On November 18th 2000, at Kaduna, Atiku said: “Too often we take tough decision, in arriving at decision, I usually try to get all the facts and the opinion of my country men as well as counsel of valued friends, associates and advisers… we as human we make mistakes”, well, that is an indication of acceptance other peoples’ views and believe on his limitations.

Atiku is today facing the political battle of his life; political challenges and provocations springing from many directions, which has put to the test his political shock-absorbers, surprisingly the man has remain calm, unmoved and composed when reacting to issues; his supporters said, his no shaken and patient approach to the whole saga is a sign of a true democrat; but his adversaries are maintaining that calmness and patient are not the only required character to be employ as yardstick to bringing-out the democracy in someone, nevertheless the general believe is, the ultimate measure of a democrat is not where he stands at the moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenges and controversies.

In 1992 Atiku doggedly supported the late MKO Abiola in spite of MKO’s breached of their gentleman agreement to nominate him as his running mate; in 2003 he refused to succumbed to pressure to dumped President Obasanjo, despite having all odds in his favor, political watchers are of the view, the man is adventurous, his political modus operandi is puzzling, his strategies in politics are always beyond the thinking of ordinary politicians, his supporters are holding their head high, saying Atiku is naturally  altruistic ,well to fulfils agreement entered to, is a good indication of a reliable democrat.

People have talked, and are saying a lot about vice president- his politics, his boldness, his secularity; and his thought and vision, as once said by chief Solomon D. Lar, at reception 2000 held in honour of the vice president, on Saturday, November 18, 2000 at Ahmadu Bello stadium, Kaduna: “We must strive to build the Nigeria of our dream where everybody will be treated and respected as an equal stakeholder. Fortunately, a good number of the friends, associates, and     well-wishers of the Vice President who organized this interactive session fervently share this vision. Let us, along with other patriots support this vision, which Vice President Atiku Abubakar symbolizes”. This writer shares the opinion that: Atiku’s current loyalty to constitutionality signifies him as a good candidate for stability and re-kindling of democracy in Nigeria. But will the VP resign? Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode said the VP cannot be ‘inside’ and the same time be ‘outside’, what would the PDP do? Does the VP have any fortune in the PDP, how about ACD and MRDD?  Atiku said: “look when I begin to talk, you will know”, when would the Vice President start speaking?


Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Nigeria

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