In the past two months, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has been on the first stage of the classic Nigerian decamping strategy – the wailing stage.
At different fora, he has complained about being sidelined by the Pres. Muhammadu Buhari administration despite his service to the party. He has pointed out that the government can and should do better and that the nation is more divided than at any time in the past. His allies have written opinion pieces and granted interviews about his perceived marginalisation and even the “witch-hunt” involving Intels, a firm in which he has substantial interest.
Now Atiku has entered Stage Two – the begging stage.
In the build up to the second stage an interesting letter showed up earlier this week, written by a former assistant to Atiku on research and strategy, Dr.Umar Addo, and addressed to the PDP national chairman, Ahmed Makarfi.
- Addo alleged that Atiku has hijacked the party in Adamawa state.
- He pointed out that loyalists of the former VP who returned to the PDP about a week ago were returned elected at the party’s congress without first obtaining waivers as required by the constitution.
And then yesterday, the Adamawa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, called on Atiku Abubakar to please return to the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“It is not a wise decision for Atiku to abandon the house he helped to build, so we want him back. We are calling on Atiku Abubakar, who is among the PDP founding fathers, not to abandon the house he had helped to build. This is because the party needs him now to continue from where he stopped,” said the state chairman of the party, Shehu Tahir, while speaking to party stakeholders at a meeting on Wednesday in Yola.
“We urge our stakeholders to prevail on him and others who left to reconsider their decision and return to the party,” he said.
In the buildup to the 2015 election, the begging stage was the second step adopted by the then opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) as it poached Atiku, alongside several state governors and lawmakers elected on the PDP platform who had been wailing. n fact, the average Nigerian politician only ever runs for office after a cross section of his constituents have begged him to run. It appears that the PDP is perfecting a similar strategy for 2019.