2019: 4 Options Open To Atiku In The Presidential Race
All eyes are on 2019.
Political parties in Nigeria are gearing up for the general elections. The calculators are out and the dramatists have taken centre stage while the masquerade dance to beats only them can hear.
Nigerians woke up to the shocking news on Friday that a leader of the All Progressives Congress and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has chosen to walk away from the party.
He was one of the founding fathers of the APC and seems to have been on the short end of the carrot.
In his love letter to members of the APC, he said "I and others who accepted the invitation to join APC were eager to make positive changes but fell for a mirage".
Does this mean what Nigerians see in Aso Rock and the executive is film trick? We'll wait and see.
Moving on, Bounce News reviews four options that are open to Atiku as he takes a critical decision that could make or mar his obviously secret presidential ambition.
1. Return To PDP - Terms and conditions apply for this to happen. The People's Democratic Party has a constitution that requires a minimum number of days for a presidential aspirant to have been a card carrying member of the party before seeking to become a flag-bearer.
To fulfill this requirement, Atiku had to leave the APC on or before the December 9, 2017. The PDP and Atiku are very familiar fellows.
Although, his former principal and former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has torn his PDP membership card; Atiku would have to weigh his options closely before jumping in with his old pals.
Already seeking to run for the office of president in the party are former Jigawa state governor, Sule Lamido; Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe state, former Kano state governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose.
If Atiku is to join the PDP and expect to run for office as president, he would must be certain that he would get the support of whoever emerges as Chairman of Nigeria's leading opposition party during the December 9 National Convention in Abuja. #fingerscrossed
2. Run As An Independent Candidate - After being schemed out of the presidential ticket of the APC in 2015, Atiku made quick gains in earning the respect and support of lawmakers in Nigeria's parliament.
The legislators are considering amending aspects of the Electoral Act which will have tremendous impact on the outcome of the 2019 general elections including the race to Aso Rock.
Apart from the Not Too Young To Run bill, there is the option of legitimizing Independent Candidacy. This could play out in favour of the Waziri Adamawa.
Atiku's presidential ambition dates back to 2003. At each point in time, he has been outsmarted, outwitted and arm-twisted into accepting and sponsoring his contemporaries into the office of president. But it appears all that ended in 2015.
There is no doubt that he has the credentials and finance to run without the backing of any political party. He does not need a godfather.
Perhaps he would also earn the respect, trust and sympathy of Nigerians if he walks this path.
However, the Waziri would have to form a coalition government; another tough task because it has never happened in Nigeria's political history and I doubt if this has been taken into consideration by parliament.
3. Start A New Political Party - This is a much longer walk to freedom. The ideology might not be easy to sell and the people might think he is too desperate in his desire to lead the world's largest black nation.
There are already permutations that there will be some political mergers and horse trading in 2018.
If Atiku is to float a political party 448 days to the presidential election then he must begin immediately.
The party would have to be registered by INEC and its leadership selected from the existing APCs and PDPs.
Some of these people would be difficult to sell as brands considering Nigeria's political gladiators battle field.
Atiku would also have to consider who would be his running mate as he and perhaps another contesting northerner would share the votes up country.
An Igbo man would be considered worthy of the ticket to challenge the APC North/West ticket.
4. Become A Godfather And Sponsor A Younger Politician - Atiku's previous campaigns have been about empowering the youth to think outside the box, dream big and work hard.
He has also been keen on transforming the nation's economy like he once did between 1999 and 2007 while he led the nation's economic reforms team - they privatized and opened the door to investors.
Atiku has the business acumen and credibility to guide an entire political process while leveraging on past antecedents.
Would the Waziri Adamawa consider staying behind and pulling the strings while another person act as Commander-In-Chief? Only time will tell.
Perhaps it would not be too much for Atiku to take into consideration the advice once given by Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima.
"Nobody had ever aspired to be president of this country and got it. As popular as President Buhari is, with is bite-like grip among the northern masses, on three occasions he couldn’t realise his dream.
"The fourth one, we literally (the governors, the party, the party leaders) dragged him to contest the 2015 election. So going down the memory lane, the Nigerian presidency doesn’t go for the person who runs after it."