By Mike Odeh James & Mada S Ibrahim
• His past experiences as an administratior
• His penchant for job creation
• His ability to unify the country
• His Master plan for the economy
Current international statistic about Nigeria economically showed than more than 100 million Nigerians have regressed into poverty in the past 5 years and from all indications more will fall in to poverty in the coming months .
It is no more a secret that the All Progressive Congress, APC have totally mismanaged the economy.
On the military front, Boko Haram is still controlling territories in the North East and causing havoc in Borno, parts of Adamawa and Yobe States .
According an international news outlet, Quartz, the North West of the country is gradually over run by bandits, kidnappers and foreigners. Equally the North Central States are still reeling from foreign herdsmen attacks .
The South East and South South are increasingly feeling marginalized by the actions of the incumbent President .
Similarly, South West have taken steps to move further away from Nigeria by setting up its own security outfit called Amotekunl.
All these are signs that did portends danger for the country .
By and large as 2023 approaches, the Nigerian project needs a man who is strong, well tested and trusted , a man who understands the working of the economy and someone who appreciates the diverse nature of Nigeria .
This is where the former vice President of Nigeria Dr.Atiku Abubakar comes in.
First, as a businessman, Atiku Abubakar is one of the highest employer of labour in Nigeria.
Atiku’s investments includes ABTI schools comprising of a world class university, secondary schools and other learning institutions.
There is the Adama Beverages which makes bottled water
Adamawa Beverages Limited in Yola, which makes bottled water and fruit drinks.
There is the Gotel Television and Radio outfit as well as Rico Gado Animal Nutrition which makes feed for all classes of livestock.
Others are ;
Intels Nigeria Limited which provides integrated logistics services for the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
The firm also offers agency services; cargo services; port management and support services in shore bases; and manages client operations, including pipe racks, stacking areas, warehousing, enclosed areas, jetties, offices, water tanks, fuel storage, generators, compressors, and various other services and facilities.
Prodeco is another company of the Former Vice President which operates in Nigeria. It is engaged in building, marine, and infrastructural construction for various clients in the oil and gas industry.
The bottom line is that as a politician and former vice President, Atiku Abubakar is of the few Nigerian that have provided means of livelihood for millions of Nigerians .
No ex leader in Nigeria whether former President, vice President, Governor, Deputy Governor , Minister or Law Maker has provided employment opportunities to hundred of thousands of Nigerians like the Wazirin Adamawa is currently doing .
It is expected that a man like the Wazirin Adamawa who has mastered the business climate and studied the workings of Nigerian economy would do a better job managing the economy of Nigeria if he ever becomes the President of the country .
Furthermore, if he could employment opportunities for millions out of office, when he gets to office by 2023, he would bring his acumen to the fore resulting in employment opportunities for millions of Nigerians.
Secondly , Atiku apart from being a foremost investor and entrepreneur is a good economic manager. As Vice President under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku was the Chairman of the National Economic Council which started a revolution of sorts in the management of the national economy.
Under the Obasanjo administration, Atiku who was the head of the economic team did well in introducing measures and implementing policies that gave the entire national economy a lease of life and breath of fresh air and created jobs and regular income for the majority of Nigerians. Several industries and companies, both local and foreign started business in Nigeria while those who had been in the country before 1999, expanded their businesses, and modernized their production processes.
Finally, an Atiku Presidency would mean that Nigeria would be economically prosperous with huge foreign Direct Investment resulting in millions of employment opportunities .
Between 2000 and 2006, Nigeria witnessed series of ethnic, religious and other sectarian crises but these were quickly nipped in the bud by the Obasanjo / Atiku administration, Sometime through the use of force and others through the use of dialogue, diplomacy and good reasoning .
A good example was the the sharia riots that was occasioned by Ahmad Yarima’s decision to implement sharia law in Zamfara.
Riots broke out in Kaduna and so other parts of the North, the situation was very dicey and dangerously precarious.
President Obasanjo being a Southern Christan was in a fix how to go about resolving the situation without being accused of taking sides, nonetheless, Atiku took control of the situstion, persuaded the Northern Governors on the need for unity and to shelve the implementation of the law. At a meeting in the State House in Abuja, the Governors agreed in the interest of national unity to suspend the implementation of the law.
The same Obasanjo – Atiku administration came down hard on Governor Joshua Dariye during the Jos crises and brought peace to Plateau State .
Similarly, it was able to curb the violence unleashed on Northerners in Lagos by a faction of the Oodua’s People’s Congress.
Furthermore, an Islamic group called the Yan Tsliban were quickly emasculated and squeezed out of existence in the North East of the country .in 2006.
While the Atiku Obasanjo administration dealt harshly with the ethnic and religious bandits fomenting trouble in the North East, it also recognized the genuine agitations of the Niger Delta people and set up a peace process that brought lasting peace to the Niger delta till this day.
In essence, Atiku is well placed to use his wealth of experience to crush the insurgency in the North East and banditry in the North West.
Dealing the insurgency requires a a holistic approach. The Waziri of Adamawa had in an interview with the BBC said he was going to probe the military and see what went wrong and why it is difficult to quell the uprising .ITherefore, it is not easy to fathom that a President Abubakar Atiku in 20230 would fire services chiefs who are underperforming in the theatre of war, rejuvenate and rejig the armed forces to better deal with the rebels .
More so, being a highly respected statesman like his principal Obasanjo, Atiku if he becomes the president would use his nexus internationally to procure modern arms and collaborate with world powers to defeat the insurgencies in the North .
A task that had proved so elusive for President Buhari.
It is not a hidden secret that Buhari’s administration had in the 5 years of its existence aggravated the tension between the North and the South.His lopsided appointments, his over dependence in people from his own region has made the South East , Middle and South West feel marginalized.
On the contrary, Atiku as the Vice President was able to assemble a crop of young, vibrant and active Nigerians from different parts of the country .
These Nigerians include people like Prof .Akwonjo Iweala, Oby Esekwesili, Nuhu Ribadu, Nasiru El Rufai, Frank Nweke Jr. and many others. All parts of the country felt a sense of belonging .
In 2019, Atiku picked a younger Peter Obi to his running mate in the run up to the election .
That deft move assuaged the South East and pacified the youths who formed over 60% of the voting population .
Similarly, as a bridge builder, Atiku in 2023 would seek to unify the country, assuage all sections and satisfy the yearning of all the aggrieved stakeholders.
At 74, one would believe that , he would serve for only one term and hand over to a younger generation probably from the South East.
As a humane individual, the task of diverdifyiny the economy would come with milk of humanity unlike what is currently going on.
The Waziri had said it over and over again that he has a master plan of keeping the pump price of fuel at N90 per litre . He proposed severally as well that privatization of the nation’s refineries is the way to go.
The most troubling sector of the country today is the economy.
Once the economy is fixed all other things would take ship and fall in line .