Posted on Fri 12 Oct 2018, 12:03 PM

Photo credit: Guardian Nigeria

It will amount to witchcraft to refuse to congratulate you, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, after observing the tensed primaries that produced him as the flag bearer of the PDP ahead of the presidential election next year. Few weeks to the event which held in Port Harcourt, between the 5th and 7th of October, it appeared there was a grand conspiracy by the powers that be within the PDP to settle for a younger Aminu Tambuwal.  What could have informed that choice was in scarce supply as the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, cannot in his capacity, find a space in the top 4 ranking among the aspirants, considering their individual ability to win a national election. But by the time the curtain drew, the veteran showed up and played the game the way he knows best; the rest they say, is history. May I now say a big congratulations to Turaki Adamawa, for  his success. 

The singular reason I decided to pen this is to inform you, in case you are not aware yet, that majority of those praising you and pouring accolades on you today, actually hate you with passion.  

On the 31st of August, 2013, when you and about seven governors of the PDP staged a walk-out at the special delegates convention of the PDP in Abuja, many of these later day praise singers swore that you will never see any good thing in life again. There was so much bitterness as your protest was seen as nothing else than desperate attempt to pull down then President Goodluck Jonathan.  By the time the 2015 election went the way it did, another legion was added to your haters.  Many people believe that your exit, along with the governors, from PDP, was the singular most effective blow that sent the party out of power and reduced it to a mere, struggling opposition party.

At the inception of this administration, when you were made a persona non grata at the Villa, or so it seems, many of these your freshly recruited hailers made loud noise of joy that you were being paid in your own coin. Those who were either not prepared for the attending backlash, quietly whispered, "It serves him right."

After several years at the highest level of politics in Nigeria, you will be familiar with people who at noon, may be different from who they were at the break of day.  So, I am certain you won't be bothered about that, after all, it is a globally accepted rule that in politics, there can be only permanent interest, while friends and foes can dangle from side to side like the sack in-between the two back limbs of a well endowed he goat.  

Your Excellency, if you consider this, you will realise that this new generation of ATIKULATED WARLORDS have one need which you seem to satisfy. They are strongly united in the desire to see Pres. Muhammadu Buhari out of the power.  Some of those wounded by the outcome of the 2015 exercise are thirsty of revenge, and they see you as the most potent tool for this.  Your victory at the poll on the 16th of February next year has the balm that will soothe their soul.

I commend you for approaching your former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the way you did and secured the forgiveness of the 'gods', though  few weeks earlier, the former president said he will not want to attract the wrath of God by supporting you.  I am one of the very few people that have the notion that OBJ shouldn't be a source of worry to you if you emerge as the candidate of PDP.  Anyone who understands the elder statesman would know that he has an unequalled skill in identifying the popular wishes of the people even before it hatches. He moves ahead to identify with it, give is a face and then claim the victory. In fact, if you had delayed that visit to Abeokuta, your former boss would have addressed the media and 'forgiven you' in your absence.

Your excellency, I know you won't have time for long letters these days, but permit me to quickly point out these 7 things you must not fail to watch out for in this your final attempt at becoming President.

1.   Be careful not to make your campaign an ethnic or religious mission. Nigerians are tired of divisive politics and are longing for a unifier. 

2.   Prepare for very violent media war.  Some of the 'revelations' about you, soon to be made will come from classified, credible and verifiable sources.  The good thing for you is that most of those who have their PVC and are eager to vote, do not care about such dirt. They will defend you with a simple line, "this is politics."

3.   Spend every time you have to share your vision for the country.  Do not speak about how Nigerians have been disappointed with the system because you can't do it well enough. Just show what you can do as a president and how you can make things a little better at a time.

4.   I beg you in the name of whatever you hold sacred, do not make bogus  promises. Keep it simple and reasonable.

5.   While you should not ignore anyone, be mindful of those wolves in sheep clothing. All they want is a share of the spoil and off they jump to the next wagon. 

6.   In case you win and become President, please do all you can to make the people take responsibility for their future, that's the other meaning of restructuring you promised.

7.   In case you do not win, prepare to be dumped into the trash can of political history for good by the same people that ATIKULATED your candidacy. 

Wish you the best of luck sir. 

Uzonna Ononye writes from Lagos
Tweeter: @UzonnaOnonye
IG: simplyuzonna



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