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The Atiku’s “Northern” Comment and Why He Must Move Away from That

The Atiku’s “Northern” Comment and Why He Must Move Away from That

Former Vice President and presidential flagbearer of PDP scored a mindless own-goal on Saturday when he spoke at the interactive session of the Arewa townhall policy dialogue in Kaduna. It was his worst speech as a politician who many have seen to be detribalized. Many in Nigeria still believe that Atiku won the 2019 elections against Buhari.

But with Tinubu coming with a high voltage political force in his domain, Atiku is moving back to that dangerous “small mind” of look at my name, look at where I come from, and the associated demons. The former vice president has many things he can point to for the citizens to vote for him. With Obasanjo, they ran a really decent playbook. As the VP, he was the unofficial coordinator of the economy, well ahead of the ministers. There was peace under them and new sectors like telecoms blossomed.  They paid down debts or got them waived. I mean Waziri has many good records to prosecute this election.

What he does not need to say is that voters should vote for him because he is from the north. He is beyond that and he must move away for that. We need to preach competence. We need to canvas on readiness to read. We need to showcase vision. But NO to tribal politics.

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Many northerners will vote for Atiku, Obi, and Tinubu. Many southerners will do the same. I do not expect Nigerians to use Atiku’s logic as they vote. Tinubu cannot tell SW “vote for me because I am Yoruba” or Obi to Igbos “you have never  since 1999 voted for any Igbo, please vote for me as I am an Igbo”.

I condemn Atiku’s logic and challenge him to move away from that.  My mathematics teacher in JSS3 was named Mr. Bukar. We all liked him because he was a really smart man. A teacher must have impacted your life to still remember his name decades after spending a semester in his class. Bukar for maths was a slogan and he booked many into mathematics (under him, no student failed Mathematics in JS3 external exam even though we had 3 who failed English. In other words, Mathematics was easier for all under him).

If they had sent an unprepared Igbo-man teacher from Umuahia who knew nothing, I am not sure that would have helped us. In other words, Nigeria can only rise on competence and not tribal sentiments. Let’s focus on that – and leave where we all came from!

“I have traversed the whole of this country,” he said.

“I know the whole of this country. I have built bridges across this country. I think what the average northerner needs is somebody who is from the north, and who also understands the other parts of Nigeria and who has been able to build bridges across the rest of the country.

“This is what the northerner needs. He (northerner) doesn’t need a Yoruba candidate, or an Igbo candidate. This is what the northerner needs.

“I stand before you as a pan-Nigerian of northern origin.

Indeed, I hope the southerners who had voted for Atiku in the past are not seen as fools from Atiku’s perspective. Most voted for him because they felt he was more competent than the available options.



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2 THOUGHTS ON The Atiku’s “Northern” Comment and Why He Must Move Away from That

  1. When the heart is filled with insincere and dishonest thoughts, the diarrhea of the mouth has a way of conveying those dark thoughts.

    It is never a slip of tongue, rather his heart was speaking to the people.

    You cannot coat moral badness, it will always show up…

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