Nigeria after the 2023 vote

… Obi shows class in response

APC presidential candidates, Gov Bola Tinubu and PDP’s Alhaji Atiku Abubakar quarrel over Atiku’s claims in a televised interview.

Arise TV interviewed the PDP candidate in his home where he made claims against two other frontrunners, Tinubu and Gov Peter Obi.

The Lagos strongman fired back an angry response to berate Abubakar for making false claims.

On his own, Mr. Obi, candidate of the Labour Party offered a non-aggressive rebuttal that was no less devastating in its impact.

An unrepentant Atiku summarily dismissed. Mr. Tinubu’s tirade as “amusing.”

Here are the bitter diatribe about Atiku Abubakar’s interview.

Atiku’s lies and Ignorance

Atiku and Tinubu quarrel

Mr. Tinubu

We have watched Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s interview on ARISE Television and were extremely shocked by the many lies and ignorance displayed by the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.

In the interview, Alhaji Atiku exposed himself as a man who is not prepared for the job he is applying for and a man who can not be entrusted with our commonwealth. He was flippant in his response to important questions about his record of service and how he made money while serving in Customs. He muddled up facts and exhibited befudling absence of mind.

Here are our takeaways from the bungled interview:

  1. PDP candidate is a law breaker: It was most shocking Atiku admitted that he cheated the system for decades and engaged in gross misconduct as a government worker. As a customs officer at the Idi-Iroko border, Atiku revealed that he ran a commercial taxi service, claiming ‘there is no law stopping public officers from doing business in Nigeria”. He punched harder, claiming there is no conflict of interest in doing so.

We found this to be untrue.

Every officer in the civil service is expected to comply with a code of conduct and service rules which bar civil and public servants from engaging in private business while in government employment to the detriment of the service he/she is employed to render to the public. The 1999 constitution further codifies this in Part I, Fifth Schedule, Section of 2 (b).

It says a public officer shall not, except where he is not employed on full-time basis engage or participate in the management or running of any private business, profession or trade. The rules however allow a public officer to engage in farming.

We wonder which rule or which law Atiku was relying upon for his gross misconduct as a public officer. It is our considered view that Atiku gamed the system all through his career in public service, culminating in his founding of the Intel Logistics along with Late Shehu Yar’Adua and some Italians, even while he was still in the employment of the Nigeria Customs Service.

  1. Poor Knowledge of key sectors of the economy: We also found it surprising that the PDP presidential candidate does not know the contribution of oil and gas industry to Nigeria’s GDP. He claimed the sector represents 20% of our national GDP whereas it is below 10 percent and it is still falling owing to the growth of non-oil sector under the current All Progressives Congress led administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
  2. False Data from Egypt: Atiku Abubakar wanted to impress his audience with his supposed knowledge of international affairs. He ended up embarrassing himself with false data he cited from Egypt. We found his claim that Egypt has 2 million police officers on the streets to be untrue. Various sources put the number at about 500,000 for a population of 104 million and not 80 million as falsely claimed by Atiku.
  3. Rotational Presidency: Asked to justify why the PDP jettisoned Section 3c of its own constitution which enshrines power rotation between the North and South, Atiku tried to fudge his answer by focussing on Governor Nyesom Wike and his effort to reconcile with him after he, a northerner snatched the presidential ticket that ought to have been taken by a southerner. While Atiku was playing to the gallery on APC’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket, he didn’t see seeking to be President after 8years of a President from his part of Nigeria as politics of exclusion.

Probed further, Atiku provided several contradictory answers. In one breath, he said power rotation is not in the constitution. In another breath, he said the PDP has never “micro zoned any position’. Then he admitted that the party has always rotated power between the North and the South. Atiku’s justification as to why he became PDP’s presidential candidate, instead of a southerner is a perfect example in ellipsis: “In politics”, he said, “we negotiate power through negotiations(Sic)”. Whatever that means.

Atiku ever an expert in not telling the truth also did not come clean over his once-upon a time preference for same-faith ticket. In 1993, after Atiku and Kingibe lost to MKO Abiola in the SDP presidential primary in Jos, Atiku was the choice of the Yar’Adua camp to become Abiola’s running mate. Abiola overlooked him and picked the more cerebral diplomat and bureaucrat, Babagana Kingibe. In all the tonnes of biographies written about him, there was no where he said he opposed Shehu Yar’Adua’s support for his candidacy as Abiola’s VP. He was not against it, since it favoured him. Now, it is politically convenient and opportunistic for him to oppose Tinubu-Shettima ticket.

  1. Political Credentials: Most reprehensible was Atiku’s lies about how many times he ran to become the governor of Adamawa or old Gongola state.

Mr. Presidential candidate, in case you don’t know due to your limited education, you run for an office, only, when you are on the ballot in an election. Your signifying interest in an office does not mean the same as running for the office. From available records, the first time you contested the governorship election in your state was in 1999. Your name entered the ballot for the first time and you won.

  1. Poor grasp of history: Atiku Abubakar also exhibited poor Knowledge of history when he claimed that Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s famous leaders contested the presidency five to six times before he eventually won.

This is a beer parlour tale that has been recycled over time. Lincoln contested U.S. presidency twice. He ran in 1860 and 1864 and won both, before he was assassinated on 15 April, 1865.

The false story about Lincoln’s failed presidential bids sprang from his previous failed state and national elections, from his state of Illinois. They were not the same as America’s presidential election.

According to historians, Lincoln lost his first election in 1832 for Illinois state legislature. In 1834, he ran again and won.

In 1843 he ran for Congress. He lost. Three years after in 1846, Lincoln ran for Congress again – this time he won and went to Washington. From established history, in 1848, Lincoln ran for re-election to Congress and lost. In 1854, he ran for Senate of the United States. He lost. Lincoln also made another failed bid for U.S. Senate from Illinois in 1858. He lost to Democrat Steven Douglas.

Our conclusion is that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is ill-prepared to be President of Nigeria if he could bungle a Television interview that was planned well ahead of the day and time the duo of Dr. Reuben Abati and Ms.Tundun Abiola conducted it.

We expected the PDP presidential candidate to be well informed on any issue before coming on national television to expose himself to avoidable ridicule.

  • Bayo Onanuga, Director, Media & Communication, Tinubu Campaign Organisation
  • July 23, 2022

Take the hot seat, Atiku challenges

Atiku and Tinubu quarrel

Mr. Abubakar

We were rather amused to read the knee jerk response from the Tinubu Campaign Organisation to the wave making interview granted by Waziri Atiku Abubakar to Arise TV on Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Amusement, because we expected this. Mr. Tinubu has not sat down to do any prolonged interview for obvious reasons. Nigerians have seen him talk in public and can themselves gauge the reason why he is mortified to do so.

Nevertheless, I will now take the issues in their statement one after the other.

  • The Tinubu campaign exposed its gross desperation and vacuousness by citing the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) 1999, to declare Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s stance on engaging in a side business while he was a young custom officer as a breach of the law. It is pertinent to educate the Tinubu campaign organisation that Nigeria is not under a military regime and our Constitutions are not retroactive in nature.
  • Again, the Tinubu campaign betrayed either dishonesty or lack of attention to detail by claiming that Atiku Abubakar said oil contributed 20% of Nigeria’s GDP. That is a lie. What the Waziri said is as follows:
    “Oil only maybe accounts for about 20% of our GDP”.
  • The use of the word maybe by the Waziri was in reflection to the different figures given. While the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics states a figure close to 10%, other multilateral organisations have given a much higher figure of between 15-20%. So, while the jury is still out, it is right to qualify the contribution of oil and gas as a maybe. However, we do like to point out that Waziri Atiku Abubakar mentioned both the PDP and the APC during the interview and did not forget the name of his own party.
  • It seems the Tinubu campaign organisation (can a disorganised body be called an organisation?) does not know the meaning of rotation of power and micro zoning. So, we will gladly educate them. Rotation of power refers to a constitutional provision where power is zoned between North and South. Micro-zoning refers to a non constitutional idea, where power is zoned not between North and South, but amongst geo-political zones. We hope this cures the political illiteracy of the authors of that document.
  • The rude response also accuses Waziri Atiku Abubakar of having “limited education”. Atiku Abubakar has an earned Masters degree from Anglia Ruskin University. We challenge any of the present Presidential candidates to present an equal or higher degree. Moreover, his university attendance is a matter of verified record. Can we say the same about some other persons?
  • On President Lincoln, we are afraid the poor student of history is the Tinubu campaign disorganisation. Yes, it is true that Lincoln ran for President with his name on the ballot twice. But he ran at other times, and failed to get his name on the ballot.
  • In conclusion, we would like to challenge Bola Tinubu to subject himself to an hour long interview, like the Waziri did, and if he is able to be as articulate and mentally present as our candidate, then he can talk. Until then, we will only want to remind him and his yes men that they are not in a position to point fingers when they have not sat on the hot seat.

Paul Ibe, Media Adviser to Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the PDP, Abuja
July 23, 2022


I’m a miracle child, says Obi

Atiku and Tinubu quarrel

Atiku and Tinubu quarrel
Mr. Obi

Labour Party flagbearer, Peter Obi responded to Atiku Abubaka’s claims in a Channels TV interview.

Atiku said so many things about you. He said it will take a miracle for you to win the election. What’s your take on that?

Well, my political journey has been a miracle. So many things have happened in my life that people never thought would be possible. In 2003, I contested for the Anambra Governorship election under a party that was just one year old. People said it will take a miracle for me to win the election that year.

I Won.

Six months later, I was impeached. I challenged the impeachment in court. People said it will be impossible for me to come back to Office, that no Governor has ever come back to office after impeachment. They said it will take a miracle for me to win the case in court.

I won the case.

When I came back to office and in 2007, an election was conducted and Andy Uba was declared the winner. I went to court again to seek for the interpretation of our laws. I told the court that the tenure of a Governor is four years and I should be allowed to finish my tenure. People said it will take miracle for me to win that case.

I won.

So my Political journey has been like a miracle. I’m waiting for the bigger miracle to happen in 2023. That’s my response to Atiku’s statement.

Alright, Atiku said that 90% of Northeners are not on social media, so he is not bothered about your popularity online. What’s your take on that?

Well, that’s the problem I’m coming to solve as the Nigerian President. I have said it before that the North will be our new oil; I will convert that population to wealth through production. I will invest in education so that those who don’t know how to operate the internet in the North, will learn how it is done.

The north is our new oil.

Alright, maybe I should stop talking about what Atiku said and go into other topics. But before I do that, I will like to ask you this question: Atiku said you didn’t inform him when you left the PDP. Is that true?

Yes, it is true.

Why didn’t you inform him? As his former running mate, many expected you to inform your former boss before taking that decision.

You see Seun, a time will come in a man’s life, when he will decide to take a very strong decision about his life and his people without informing those who are likely to tell him not to take such decision. I have so many important people in my life that I didn’t tell that I was going to leave PDP; I didn’t even tell my family at that time. I took that decision because it is the best thing to do and I didn’t want anybody to dissuade me. Remember when I left, I told Nigerians that I’ll rather lose doing the right thing than win doing the wrong thing.

Atiku and Tinubu quarrel over TV interview

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