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2019 Presidency: APGA mulls Atiku/Obiano Ticket

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The APGA Think-Tank Nigeria, an APGA Policy directorate, has considered the possibility of a 2019 presidential election ticket between Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the incumbent Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano.

APGA Think-Tank Nigeria disclosed this in a press release on Monday, saying that they welcome the Atiku/Obiano ticket.

The group said their choice of preference followed announcement by the Secretary to APGA Board of Trustees, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, on Friday August 24, 2018, that the Party zoned its presidential ticket to the North.

Also, a statement later from media sources announced that the former Vice President, and Presidential aspirant under the People’s Democratic Party [PDP], Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had decamped to APGA.

Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano

The statement reads in full:

The Secretary to the APGA Board of Trustees, Nigeria Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, announced on Friday August 24, 2018, that the Party’s Board of Trustees had zoned its Presidential Ticket to the North.

A statement later from media sources announced that the former Vice President, and Presidential aspirant under the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had decamped to the All Progressives Grand Alliance [APGA].

 The news and the reception that went with it was shortlived, as Alhaji Atiku’s media aide – Paul Ibe, debunked the  decampment. However, the NWC of the ALL PROGRESSIVES GRAND ALLIANCE (APGA)  through its National Chairman – Chief Dr. Victor Oye, in a widely circulated news on the dailies remarked, “We will welcome Atiku 1000% “.

The APGA National Chairman short of an outright endorsement remarked,  “…He, Atiku, is free to join APGA, is he not a Nigerian? We will welcome him.” 

At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, the fire and the smoke are very visible.

Asked if the party will give Atiku automatic ticket to vie for 2019 presidency under its platform, Oye said, “Not just joining the party, if he eventually joins, he will follow the rules of the party. “

There is no two ways about it. But we will receive him 1,000% if he decided to come. He is a Nigerian. He doesn’t have any criminal records.”

“He does not have any criminal records?” Wow! Atiku must be in good hands. Very good hands. The APB on Atiku is out at the APGA.  The APGA National Chairman has already laid out the red carpet and cleared him of culpability.

Any culpability.

Well then, let’s get on with the APGA Presidential campaign already.

The grapevine certainly has it that Atiku reached out to APGA. Alhaji Abubakar Atiku after due calculation and recent disagreement amongst the official PDP circles, may face an uphill task in securing the PDP Presidential Ticket.

Atiku is a Septugenerian. He seems to be facing an onerous battle with mother time, and the Young Turks in the PDP ranks, including the likes of – Dr. Bukola Saraki, Alhaji Ahmed Markarfi, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso. At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, we will not rule out Alhaji Sule Lamido. Excellent men of caliber in their own right.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has personal and political baggage. Who doesn’t?  His former boss, Head of State – Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has made clear that, “God will not forgive me if I support Atiku.” Obasanjo openly accused Atiku of corruption.

Obasanjo also moved ‘highwater to scuttle Atiku’s 2007 Presidential ambition, which later went to Alhaji Musa Yar A’dua.  Alhaji Abubakar Atiku himself seems undaunted. He was instrumental to the formation of the Action Congress (AC), and later the All Progressives Congress (APC). 

Both emergent parties have made political inroads in the Psyche of our Nation. The PDM and other political Mushroom groups are also attributed to have an Atiku stamp.

Atiku however has not reaped the political rewards of the sown seeds. His hope to use the platforms of the PDP, AC and APC to advance an ambition towards the Presidency of Nigeria has met stiff resistance from his fellow political wayfarers.

Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, a Northerner, is a well-known political brand name in Nigeria. However, this has not been enough to make him the helmsman at Aso rock – The Premier Nigerian seat of Political power.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) Nigeria, a party with conscientious South-Eastern roots, has finally sunk into the political consciousness of Nigerians, as a party that’s here to stay. The APGA looks to wave its wand nationally.

At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, it is our opinion that we are witnessing a transactional APGA. No problems. As long as our issues are incorporated into policy and executed by the Government of the day.

The APGA is a party which spread may be easily aroused given the right presence and environment all through Nigeria. Yes!, The Igbo vote is there. APGA National sympathisers abound also.

APGA’s last outing in Anambra State told all political watchers that you may not mess with the political mind of the South-East – in their den. They may be stoic, but not indifferent to opportunity. Good opportunity.

That far-reaching 21/21 consensus informed all of  the availability of APGA’s widespread constituency in every nook and cranny of Nigeria, who would use that vote, only if they have to.

That given the right environment, those will come out from the woodworks to demonstrate their political mettle. Atiku may be looking to tap into this base. And that base can be aroused throughout Nigeria. Believe that!

Just as Atiku is trying to innervate APGA’s potential energy to align with his, At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA  we ask, what are the foundations of this merger? A Northern political force rides an Eastern political machine. Atiku has made clear what he wants to use the Eastern political vehicle for. 

At the APGA THINK-TANK, we ask, What has the APGA echelon made clear to Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, and what is Atiku conceding to APGA? Recent political mergers in Nigeria’s History reveal a disconnect once power is attained. See the CPC/ACN merger.

The ACN Element is still searching for its deposit, till date. At the last check, Alhaji Bola Tinubu was being resisted to attend the APC NEC meeting. A party for which he is supposed to be a foremost principal. So much for the agreement of minds.

An Atiku/APGA merger may not be taken for granted. It may actually work. That is why the APGA may not act tentative.  APGA may suddenly find itself on the corridors of National power. But which APGA is in power?

Reportedly, an Atiku/Soludo Atiku ticket is in the offing. That duo has been on standby since 2006. At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, That is a pure PDP ticket. The flotsam PDP – and there are many marginalized power groups within that party, have no difficulty rallying around this ticket and marginalizing APGA.

Asking, what known APGA helmsmen helped towards the fruition of of the current political state? The PDP have been known to distance APGA, even when the APGA helm thought they had an understanding. At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, we may not repeat that Charade.

That is why we welcome the Atiku/Obiano ticket.

This potential ticket is very viable.

Obiano’s record on Governance and infrastructure is second to none among peer Governors in Nigeria. Obiano has also garnered enough charisma to make the doubting Igbo take a second look. That is politically pregnant. The South-East may not let this ticket slide.

However, We will also warn that amidst all the excitement, it was a potential Presidential ticket with Abubakar Atiku that left Dr. Alex Ekwueme pining in the lurch in 2003.

The former Vice-President never recovered from that political disappointment. Alhaji Abubakar Atiku may have to explain to the South-East what happened to that agreement. If Abubakar Atiku had stood by that agreement, Atiku would have been President eleven (11) years ago.

Truth.

The APGA may have actually presented a second chance to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to redeem himself to the South-East.

Atiku continues to make clear what he wants to do if he becomes President of Nigeria. Restructuring, Jobs… Ideals which tickle the APGA base. Atiku must also state in clear terms how the APGA and its apparatus would be involved in his nationwide campaign.

At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, we urge the APGA echelon to be very specific about responsibility, who, what, where, when, number, size, shape?  Yes.  The APGA cannot become the Pseudo-PDP.  There is no Pseudo-APGA. Either you are, or you aren’t.

The Pseudo PDP is exactly why Goodluck Jonathan lost in 2015. The Pseudo PDP never campaigned for him. They counted on the trust and goodwill of the APGA to do their hard work, while they simply withheld co-operation, funds and material for the general campaign, and hoped for magic using the apparatus of State.

That never happened. Olisa Metuh, Peter Obi, Jim Nwobodo are still alive. As a matter of fact, the N500 million from the PDP secretariat for South-East campaign, never left the coffers of a few. This time around, the APGA must be proactive in collecting what is agreed and due.

That trust issue continues to eat away at the current PDP hierarchy.

At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, we ask what are APGA’s goals? APGA may take nothing for granted regarding this outreach for power. The APC is a huge lesson in contemptuous treatment of its merging political parts.

The ACN element has not recovered from the minority CPC chokehold. They – CPC, mercifully threw out a late token GCFR to Late Chief MKO Abiola to assuage the ACN base, secondary to the 2019 elections. Unfortunately, Alhaji Bola Tinubu seems to be basking in that bone. 

At the APGA THINK-TANK, the tokenism and Grandstanding is egregious. It does not and has not created a consensus in APC. Tinubu is still looking for redemption.

Crouching Tiger. Wounded dragon.

We warn that the APGA  may not become the victim of such Hostile takeover,  becoming nominal only in a so-called co-operation. The base will be unforgiving to our leaders. The APGA name and base cannot be lost to nothing, and may never lose value.

That is why APGA’s quietness on political, economic and social issues must not be condoned. A transactional echelon which only sees benefits may pay a steep price if its ideals are made over. Again, See Bola Tinubu.

The lack of publicity on APGA values, and ability to create and develop strong men and women of national political calibre, aside the usual suspects who advocate pertinent issues vital to the APGA base, may put APGA in a position that the PDM machine could ride rough-shod over it.

APGA may not rely on Cross-overs to defend its ethos. It has never worked. It is our opinion that APGA’s issues in the National firmament must be reinforced in the media and political circles by members its NWC, NEC, and Board of Trustees, and well-meaning APGA devotees.

There are no more qualified megaphones. They must shout it in the East, West, North and South. Over the Sea, mountains, lowlands, highlands, hills, valleys and everywhere. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar must know what APGA stands for, and must demonstrate how he will incorporate those into the affairs of State.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar likes to lead a consensus. He likes being in the middle of it, and he hates to disagree with it. He also hates to be burnt by it.

That is why joining APGA may only be the tip of the Iceberg in this looming alliance. Should the mother PDP or APGA  finally build momentum towards the presidency, do not discount an outreach to an Atiku APGA to join the PDP or vice versa, to swing the votes in their favor.

Then, wither mother APGA? Our members are always too quick to see the green grass on the other side. We have difficulty tending ours.

A strong APGA  echelon must make clear what it wants to Alhaji Abubakar ATIKU. Now! So that Atiku as its Presidential candidate, can truly speak for APGA. The base will like that. A win win for both APGA and Atiku Political echelons.

At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, we warn that it will be wishful thinking to expect a crossover and winning ATIKU to suddenly follow the APGA party’s constitution, when those were not laid out in any Memorandum.

Such agreement or understanding may not be worth the piece of paper they were written on following recent events, but it shows seriousness regarding the terms of the power merger. One way or another, somebody, or clique has it on their conscience, or to do list.

At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, That reference point is always a fallback and may become a cornerstone, someday.

The APGA must reinforce its ideals to the political marketplace. Domicile security, Political restructuring are at the forefront of APGA’s policy stable. Viable economic policies that increase Trade, Industry, Middlemen and Financial Development issues are very important to the APGA base.

Opening up of the Southern Industrial and Transportation corridors thru Roads, Bridges, Railways, Air, and Sea network – Calabar, Oron, Port-Harcourt, Warri. 

So are issues of Public health, Maternal health and Childcare, Child Education, Trades and crafts development in different domains for the Educated child,  Industrialization, Job creation, Job re-training,  Electricity to manage infrastructure and improve human welfare.

It behooves APGA to have developed men and women who will defend its policies in the political arena.  And not sudden crossovers from PDP, or other groups who simply follow power.

APGA must make bold its bid for political power in Nigeria, such that after all is said and done, our party and its members will be stronger for it, rather than  defect to the other side because they are a stronger presence, and since we are talking about one Nigeria, are first to make clear that there is no difference in viewpoint.

At the APGA THINK-TANK, NIGERIA, it is our opinion that APGA’s opinion about Nigeria cannot be swept under the rug.

State it. Tend it. Defend it.

Make sure it is implemented.

Once again, We welcome the ATIKU/OBIANO TICKET.

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