“There are a lot of ways Atiku can serve Nigeria other than being the president. Except he has other motives for aspiring to be the president of Nigeria. Former Vice President of America Al gore, who served under Bill Clinton for two terms, contested the American presidential elections in 2000 with George Bush. He lost and told Americans than he will never contest elections again. Al gore took up a project towards finding solutions to the threats of global warming. He has won several awards since taking up this project. This project will touch more lives in America and all over the globe. Till date Al gore remains relevant in the world. Atiku can do similar thing in Nigeria and beyond, this can make him a better statesman.
Alternatively Atiku can use his influences at the national assembly to influence policies that will better the Nigerian masses. He can be the leader of opposition parties in Nigeria, which we desperately need at this point in our polity. Atiku should remember that people are looking up to him. Whether he likes it or not, he is a role model to many Nigerians. Therefore he should try inspiring Nigerians in a positive manner. Dearest Atiku, kindly use all your political know how to support the clamour for transparency in our electoral system. Use all your political strategies to make sure transparency is established in our electoral process”. (http://briefsfromakuta.blogspot.com/2009/04/atiku-abubakar-and-his-nigerian.html).
The excerpts above were part of an article I wrote in 2009, suggesting to Atiku, to reconsider contesting future presidential elections. This is because, there are more he can do for the country. Now that Atiku has lost the Peoples Democratic Party presidential primary nomination, he should devote his time and energy to better the course of democracy in Nigeria.
First, I will suggest he join the campaign or lead the clamour for the abolition of zoning formula. Call it zoning, quota system or federal character should be abolished in all its ramifications. President Goodluck Jonathan cum the PDP has set a precedent towards the abolition of zoning. If our president (a signatory to zoning) can violate the zoning arrangement/agreement, then there is no better time to bury this concept than now. Therefore I call on the Turaki Adamawa (Atiku Abubakar) to lead this crusade. He and many more Nigerians are victims. If we fail to stop zoning, zoning will not fail to stop us.
Atiku has criticized some of President Jonathan’s policies in the past. Now can be a better time and opportunity for him to increase his criticisms of bad government policies. Atiku can criticize whoever wins the next presidential election. Here I will suggest constructive criticisms. When he does, he should also provide better alternative solutions. He can be the leader of opposition to checkmate government excesses, for the benefit(s) of Nigerian masses. This he should do if he truly loves Nigeria like he claimed. Above all, strong opposition is vital for the survival of any democracy.
Atiku can also devout his time to finding lasting peace to some trouble spots in the country, such as Jos etc. Former President Obasanjo was appointed a special United Nations envoy to Congo Democratic Republic to find peace (Though he was not the best person for that job). Obasanjo was also spotted in Cote d’Ivoire trying to mediate between Alassane Ouattara and Gbagbo. Atiku can establish a peace institute in Nigeria. But before finding peace in Nigeria, Atiku can champion the setting up of a sovereign national conference to discuss the future of the country. May God bless Nigeria.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta.
An activist and leader of “Support Option A4 Group” Leicester-UK