I read with sufficient vexation a statement credited to the presidential candidate of the PDP Atiku Abubakar who gave a baseless excuse in support of his decision to boycott the BON/NEDG presidential “debate”, claiming that he could not participate because incumbent president Buhari was not present to defend his policies, etc. How preposterous! How ludicrous!
Firstly, it must be noted that Atiku’s presence at the venue of the debate was simply a theatrical performance, aimed at hoodwinking Nigerians into believing that he had the intention of participating at the “debate”. Buhari’s absence had already been public knowledge several hours before the event, particularly when one Prof Itse Sagay, a member of Buhari’s crumbled Administration, issued a laughable statement in which he described other candidates as ‘motivational speakers’, making a clear inference that the candidates under reference were not worthy to be on the same stage as Buhari. Although Sagay was simply shielding his principal from another catastrophic outing, could it be said that Atiku and his PDP cohorts did not read this statement before staging their play script at the venue of the debate?
It must be made explicitly clear that the absences of Buhari of the APC and Atiku of the PDP are based on this single reason: the two men lack the intellectual capacity to compete in a debate in which secondary school pupils are participants, and so it becomes clear that a presidential conversation is extremely grand for these fellows, especially when informed candidates are on the same podium.
Atiku, who has been one of the protagonists in the fight against development in Nigeria, has the temerity to stage such an affront against the people because he has a thorough understanding of the Nigerian psychology. He knew quite well that the Nigerian electorates are not armed with the questioning power to challenge his arrogance. He knew quite well that rather than subjecting him to criticisms, the people he openly insulted will jump at his defence. Atiku’s arrogance on Saturday cannot be exhibited in any serious country without attracting sufficient consequences. That some “educated” people are in support of such impertinence is enough to tell the magnitude of danger hovering over Nigeria’s airspace.
Whilst discussing Atiku’s arrogance towards the Nigerian electorates elsewhere, I drew the analogy below to ensure that his praise-singers understood the extent of his insult on the people whose back he hopes to ride to the Presidential Villa:
“How is it possible that an applicant wants a job, yet he is not willing to face his PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYERS to explain how exactly he intends moving the organisation forward in the event that he is hired. So what does he do? He boycotts the interview in the most huffish fashion because his fellow contender for the same position failed to come for the interview. The question therefore is: who deserves to hear from the applicant? Should it be his prospective employers or his fellow contender for the same job?”
There lies a fundamental question which Atiku and his cohorts must be made to answer because walking away from the “debate” is the same thing as walking out on Nigerians with a clear message that he owes them no explanation on how he intends running their country.
Like Buhari, Atiku is a dangerous opportunist who should never be allowed to come close to the Nigerian presidency for the second time. If Nigerians can indeed learn, his recent conduct is enough for all to see that he is an incompetent and deceptive job applicant who wants to occupy an office through the back door, without being subjected to a grilling process to assess his competence.
Atiku should desist forthwith from challenging an inept and failed Buhari to a debate. If he is so serious as he is determined to make us believe, why not challenge Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC), who was clandestinely rigged out of the said debate even when his exclusion was against public opinion.
Claiming that he boycotted the “debate” on the sole ground that Buhari was absent is risible, clueless, baseless and unfounded. This falsehood is too gigantic to be concealed so easily. At his age, aseptuagenarian,Atiku should have known by now that an elephant cannot hide behind a shrub! The world will see it.
Elias Ozikpu is a professional playwright, novelist, social commentator, activist and polemicist