As Atiku picks the broom,By Ali M Ali



Atiku-Abubakar-600x330Mark my words. Atiku’s defection to the All Progressive Congress (APC) dealt a mortal blow to the PDP. Disregard the taunting posturing Of Uche Secondus, deputy chair of the party. It should worry the party leader ,President Jonathan that heavyweights are exiting from the party and paperweights are replacing them. Consider, if you may, the defection of five sitting governors to APC and the defection of two former governors from the APC to PDP.
Qualitatively speaking, a former governor who is not in the Senate and not in the federal cabinet, is as effective as a road block mounted by an army of rats to stop a column of angry elephants.(Oga Dan, my apologies)This is the sad reality of Nigeria’s current political landscape.
Politicians not occupying executive mansions are yesterday’s news. The smart ones among them like Sarki ,Modu Sheriff,Tinubu, Kālu handpicked a successor. The idea is to remain ‘relevant’ in the local politics of their political milieu. The experiment has worked for some. For some, it has been a harvest of woes.
In most cases the godson invariably rebelled against the godfather. In Gombe, Abia, Borno and even Adamawa, the godfather is dancing naked with the godson in the public square. The fracture in relations doesn’t take long in coming. It goes invariably like this. Invariably, the godfather forgets he is no longer in charge and over reaches himself. Invariably, the godson wants to spread his wings but realizes that he can’t because his benefactor has caged him. At this precise point, the fracture between godfather and godson becomes irreversible.
Unless former governors know the political terrain too well, I don’t see them being useful to the PDP in the impending election. Bafarawa and Shekarau both pursued presidential dreams and failed to hoist their hand picked successors. In their respective states, their successors are their arch political adversaries. Wammakko and Kwankwaso are to the former governors what a cat is to a mouse.
This inverse proportion of defection was replicated in the House of Representatives. Currently, some 11 Senators among whom former governors have defected to APC. The Senate President, David Mark, is foot dragging in reading their letter of defection. I admire Mark’s adroit managerial skills. He has managed to navigate the treacherous waters of the Senate and gave it a semblance of stability. Until he happened, the mortality rate of Senate Presidents was unusually high. Their average lifespan was a year. Some didn’t last more than six months. But what confronts Mark now ,must be one of his toughest battle as manager of men and materials. The defection is tasking all his managerial skills. The looming possibility of more defection in the upper chamber, must be upsetting his stomach.It is understandable why he is jittery. If his party is out numbered, his Senate position would be affected. With Atiku’s defection, the idea becomes more crystal.
Unless the president has some rabbit to pull from his political hat, I don’t see how the bravado of Secondus and company would help reverse the tsunami that has hit the party. Atiku is not just ‘another politician’. He is ‘politics’ personified. By his own admission, he lives it, breathes it and eats it. He has the added advantage of deep pockets. Note the plural “POCKETS”.
In Nigeria’s contemporary politics, deep pockets are virtues. I am yet to come across a politician desirous of victory not having a measure of financial resources. For those eyeing the presidential chair, Atiku material profile fits the bill. This and his legendary ‘large heart’ make him a very dangerous adversary.
Except for one or two dumb moves in the past, Atiku is about the only politician who could take the incumbent head on pound for pound and win. One of Atiku not so shining move was returning to PDP in 2006.This is a blur on his otherwise shining political armour.
The zenith of his political wizardry was in 2003.The PDP governors were urging him to upstage Obasanjo who was reluctant to take him as running mate for the second time. But some how Atiku pulled a rabbit from his hat and had Obasanjo literally eating from his hand.
Before then, in 1999,he had out maneuvered some foxy politicians among whom Aminu Jibril, late Abubakar Rimi and to be Vice President to Obasanjo
He has fought more political battles and won in court than any current wannabes. It is not improbable that Secondus is oblivious of the Turakin Adamawa’s political trajectory. He should take some lessons from Jalo, the PDP deputy scribe.
Jalo was almost tearful lamenting Atiku’s exit. It is not improbable his tears were the crocodile’s but he made a convincing show of masking it. Not so Secondus and the ‘annoying’ and garrulous Gulak.
Again, mark my words. The former Vice President couldn’t have jumped the sinking ship of the PDP for the second and clearly last time if he knew that it could be salvaged. It is doomed. It heading towards an iceberg. A Bermuda triangle or a black hole awaits the PDP.By stating from the on set that he is not defecting to run for president, the Turakin Adamawa,for the first time, has shown signs of evolving as a true leader concerned for country and not self. Clearly he had no relevance in his old party. As a matter of fact, I strongly suspected he was treated with a lot of suspicion.
Moving to APC was a brilliant move. He is dealing with elements he is familiar with from his sojourn in defunct ACN.He knows their tricks. He can deal with them accordingly. With Atiku picking the broom now, only APC can stop APC!

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