When the Lamb of Otuoke that was pounded by the Hurricane from Daura in the 2015 presidential election, recruits the Chameleon from Adamawa (also pounded) for an unfinished battle, you know that the 2019 election will be ugly. In the fullness of time, there will be back-stabbing, chaos, violence, throwing of the kitchen sink politics to distract from real issues and peddling of lies. 

Already, the “smart investor” from Adamawa rather than explain to Nigerians the question mark hanging over his no-show in the US is telling dumb lies about Mr. President. Even though fabrication has long been part of politics, Nigerians should not allow politicians lie to polish their résumés and to cover up misdeeds. In addition to glaring lies, there will be startling exposés when they start trading accusations about who is more corrupt. I am already excited.                                                                                                                  

On fighting corruption, President Buhari has not fully kept his promise, no doubt. But, in Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria will be worse off and pushed down the drain. If Atiku and Jonathan’s men known for acts of corruption with impunity are the only arsenal with which the PDP can use to challenge the troubling corrupt acts in Buhari’s administration, then, we are in trouble. I am left wondering if the wheels of democracy in Nigeria can ever turn without the grease of corruption.                                            

Atiku is not Jonathan’s or PDP first choice. If he was, he would have been their candidate in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Presidential elections. Atiku’s seemingly upper hand in 2019 stems from the fact that the PDP has been in disarray with its political fortunes declining at such an alarming rate that an emergency life support measure is needed. So, the corrupt political hyenas in PDP have to resuscitate a dilapidated ambulance, Atiku. The bad news for PDP is that Atiku is an emergency ambulance running on dirty diesel and two flat tires. But he is still moving and lethal.

No matter how Goodluck Jonathan, his surrogates, and PDP dress this up, the drafting of Atiku was a measure made out of desperation and fear. Fear that if the corrupt hyenas in PDP do not rise together to challenge the selective crippling effect of EFCC and DSS, they will all be castrated, one after the other. As is stands, corrupt opposition ranking members who have not been castrated have been tamed, forced to defect to APC or on the run.

Here is a small list of corrupt PDP stalwarts so far castrated: Dame Patience Jonathan, Senator Ben Bruce, Sir Emeka Offor, Chief Olisa Metu, Lamido Sule. Those tamed include Shekarau, Apkabio, Kwankwaso, Obanikoro, and Andy Ubah, who were forced to defect, while Mohammed Adoke and Kola Aluko are on the run.  When Atiku felt his back against the wall following the gradual crippling of his economic base starting with the termination of Intels’s contract with NPA, he knows he has to either succumb or rally the depleting troops. He chose the latter.

With Atiku’s recent offensive, one does not have to be a wise man from the east to connect the dots and unearth the overwhelming plot that the undisputed corruption heavyweights are regrouping. What will be left of Nigeria after a full-blown battle for her soul in 2019 with the combined armory of Atiku, Ibori, IBB, and Saraki on one side versus Buhari and his government’s security apparatus on the other will be ugly.

Before then, though, Atiku has much to do - and quickly - to feel the love of his brothers in PDP, a home where he has in the past been treated as a stranger. To spearhead PDP’s comeback, Atiku has to step on the heads of Makaffi, Lamido, Ekweremmadu, and others as well as manage the expected fallout of the battle for the chairmanship election the party at the December 9th Convention. Atiku appears to be stimulated and energized as he moves in to take control.

The first signal that Atiku’s machinery is trying to highjack the party structure was made when the chairmen of PDP in the 19 northern states and the FCT rejected suggestions that the National Chairmanship seat of the party is sub-zoned to South-west. From Atiku’s calculation, this rejection will guarantee the selection of a chairman from the South-south backed by their governors and oil money. Atiku will need this money badly in the run-up to the 2019 election.

Atiku’s hope for the 2019 election will also be aided by the iron-clad confidence and support of the heavyweights behind his ambition. If not anything, he can count on the support of the man he made the Senate President, Saraki, a PDP mole in APC. Atiku is fully aware that Buhari and the corrupt hawks running his government are afraid of opening an unnecessary second front by attacking Saraki head-on. So, that Joker at the Senate will be called to defect at the right time.

He can also count on the support of Chief James Ibori, the only kingmaker who produced governors, senators and state house members from jail in faraway Britain. Recently, Ibori fired a warning shot at Buhari and APC, mocking them for “shedding crocodile tears” for Ekwueme. Don’t be shocked that both Diezani and Dasuki are behind Atiku’s muscle flexing. Dreadful!

There is a saying that the child sent by his father to steal, breaks down the door. Sensing the momentum behind his return, Atiku is moving quickly to take control of the party he helped form. Former President Goodluck Jonathan appears to be buoyed too. He recently hit out at critics of his administration, saying his achievements in government are yet to be matched by his successor. My guess is that he was making reference to Mainagate not matching Dasukigate and Diezanigate. I flinched at the buffoonery of GEJ who apparently is engineering this grand design to return Nigeria to Babylon via Otuoke. Babylon is the land of waste and iniquity. It stinks with corruption.

In Nigerian Babylon, corrupt PDP, reeling under pressure due to its stellar performance in escalating corruption will be back. The surgical, though selective, activities of EFCC will be halted if Atiku wins in 2019. Jonathan’s baggage, including Dasuki and Diezani will return with vengeance and roam free once again. APC crooks currently acting as the saints will return back to their natural habitat to continue raping the now empty national treasury at will. Scary!

With the expected defection of Saraki, the PDP will reclaim the reputation of the largest political party Africa notorious for corruption. The level of looting witnessed in the era when “stealing was not corruption” will be a child’s play. Nigeria will once more be transformed to a political Golgotha of corruption. It’s going to be brutal in the new Nigeria, Atiku’s Babylon.

If you are disgusted with the stinking corruption oozing out from the combination of Daura + Kyari +Malami under Buhari’s administration, imagine, just imagine where the combo of Atiku + Saraki + Ibori + Jonathan + Dasuki and Diezani will take Nigeria. I leave you to slowly reflect on that.

As for my reflection, I am done. I have little, very little respect for both the APC and PDP when it comes to good governance and seriously fighting corruption. At this moment, however, the question on my mind as I observe the realignment of dangerously corrupt political forces behind Atiku is: Will Atiku lead PDP out of the trenches only to return Nigeria to Babylon? Your guess is as good as mine.

You can email Churchill at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi

Churchill Okonkwo

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