2023 Presidency: How Powerful Is Atiku and Who Can Defeat Him in Nigeria by Rukayat Okediran

2023 Presidency: How Powerful Is Atiku and Who Can Defeat Him in Nigeria by Rukayat Okediran

Editor's note: Rukayat Okediran in this opinion rubbished the idea that among all the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidates, only Bola Ahmed Tinubu can defeat Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in the general election. According to Okediran, Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo is capable of defeating the PDP candidate.

There is this cheap propaganda currently being touted by the Batists that it is only Tinubu that can defeat Atiku. There is a deliberate attempt to set this only Tinubu can match Atiku agenda. The truth however is that the Nigeria electorate are becoming more sophisticated by the day and I am surprised that events in the past few years have not taught politicians this simple fact.

I mean, how difficult is it to see that our people are tired of the devil and the deep blue sea situation which is what they are trying to do to us by presenting us with two politicians who are clearly part of the old order that is responsible for the present mess that Nigeria has found itself. One thing that I am very sure about is that the Nigerian people are tired of corrupt and old politicians and they want a change.

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2023 presidency: How powerful is Atiku and who can defeat him in Nigeria by Rukayat Okediran
Rukayat Okediran says Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo is capable of defeating the PDP candidate. Photo: Yemi Osinbajo.
Source: Facebook

Yesterday while discussing the option of Professor Yemi Osinbajo as the most presentable for presidential candidate within the APC, the person raised an argument that I believe should not be ignored. He countered the choice of Professor Yemi Osinbajo as a credible candidate because of his position within the present administration. As logical as this sounds and as difficult as it may be to separate the vice president from the achievements and failures of President Muhammadu Buhari, it is also important to note that the vice president does not wield as much influence as many people think he does.

We must also note that it is illogical to expect that the vice president will speak on certain issues when he is not the number 1 individual in this country. It will amount to gross insubordination if he does so. He can only make recommendations to the president and allow the President exercise his discretion as regards the final decision-making.

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I will however concentrate on highlighting the qualifications and Unique Selling Points of the Vice President. I am sure that since we started this current democratic dispensation which commenced from 1999 Nigeria has not had any individual with such level of brilliance, erudition, composure, professional and high level political experience as a presidential candidate. The vice president is such a breath of fresh air. It gives me goose-bumps watching and listening to his sound presentations at the committee of nations. Would it not be nice to have such a man as president of Nigeria.

Worthy of note is how Professor Osinbajo detected P&ID fraud against Nigeria. According to a Vanguard September 2020 report, “going by Friday’s ruling by a United Kingdom judge, the timely observation and interventions of the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was instrumental in how the Process and Industrious Development Limited (P&ID) became known and identified as a fraudulent endeavour according to a review of the court record.”

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Sir Ross Cranston of the UK High Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division Commercial Court explained that the vice president was a regular fixture all through the review process under the Buhari administration, noting that the Vice President’s “fraud on the nation” statement in June 2018 turned the case against P&ID in Nigeria’s favour.

The presidency said, “In our view, the judgment is right, just and provides a strong prima facie case that the fraudulent gas deal with P&ID and the subsequent judgment debt of $10 billion against Nigeria was a clear attempt to cheat the country of billions of dollars by a company that had not invested one Naira in our country.

Following a meeting, on 13 March 2017, Mr Malami wrote to Vice President Osinbajo, who was acting president at the time, exploring five “scenarios” and making recommendations on each.

He explained that Vice President involvements was not restricted to his role as acting President alone. “On 12 June 2018, the Vice President’s office reported that he had agreed with the recommendation and would take up the matter with the President.

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That same day, 12 June 2018, the Vice President wrote to the President recommending the reopening of negotiations with P&ID. The President approved this recommendation on 26 June 2018.”

I know that the Batists believe that PYO closeness to the presidency is a disservice to him. However, most right thinking Nigerians will agree with me that working with the present administration has provided Professor Yemi Osinbajo with insights on the workings of the Nigerian State, her strengths, her weaknesses, the available opportunities and threats as well as what could be done to eliminate these threats.

Another shallow point that has been used as a weapon to demarket Professor Osinbajo is his involvement in the TraderMoni initiative while he was still in charge of the National Social Investment programmes. However, as far back as February 2018, in a report by BusinessPost, the new special adviser to the President on Social Investments who took charge of the TraderMoni has denied allegations that the programme have been hampered by fraud in some states of the federation.

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There have been several other attempts to launch a smear campaign against the vice president especially using the religious factor. I will reiterate the fact that it is rather preposterous of anyone to think the Nigerian voters will not interrogate the groundless lie that the vice president is a fanatic. This particular one has been debunked by several past work employees, colleagues and friends of the vice-president who have attested to his liberalism. I will in fact strongly advise the Batists not to polarize the electorate along religious lines considering the sensitive state of the nation.

That is why I will reiterate that it is a very simplistic argument that only Tinubu can defeat Atiku in the 2023 presidential election. Don’t allow them to set the wrong agenda for you. If all Nigerians will get their Permanent Voters' Card and ensure to participate in the 2023 election by campaigning for their preferred presidential candidate both one and one and online, the people’s choice, not the politicians’ choice will emerge as the president of Nigeria.

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The improved IVED (INEC Voter Enrolment Device) gives me a level of assurance that the 2023 election will be credible to a considerable extent. In a Blueprint 2022 report, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Lawrence Oyekanmi was quoted thus, “the IVED is currently being used for the physical registration of voters. During an election, it will facilitate the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), which provides for both fingerprint and facial authentication. It will also be used to upload individual polling unit election results to the INEC Result Viewing portal (IReV) in real time on election day.”

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