The elections for the election of new leaders are 7 days away and the Electoral umpire INEC has extended the time for the collection of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) till Monday 11 February, 2019. While there have been various online polls for Nigerians online, many other media houses (home and abroad) have been running theirs as well. One of such is Eurasia Group known for their political analysis of the world with their headquarters in the United States. Even though the predicted that the election will be a draw between President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and the PDP Atiku Abubakar earlier in the election, they have concluded that President Buhari will win.
Atiku campaign they said has gained momentum but they are confident that President Muhammadu Buhari will win the election massively. On the other hand, the described the persona of the two major contenders; President Muhammadu Buhari as a former dictator and reformed democrat while Atiku Abubakar sustained his reputation as kleptocrat with an added feather of having international repute. Atiku Abubakar is campaigning on his abilities to create jobs while neglecting the fact that he started comfortable businesses on stolen wealth resources. This reputation of unexplained wealth spans across Nigeria up until the United States and was domestically perpetuated with this fourth wife. Jennifer Douglas Atiku has now become a tool to make inroads to the South-East region of Nigeria where she is from. She is Igbo from Imo State.
Atiku on the hand is running an elitist campaign that can only widen poverty and inequality in Nigeria should he ever become President. All his businesses are targeted towards first-class, wealthy Nigerians to the exclusion of middle-class Nigerians and the poor. His time as Vice-President was seen as a windfall for those who had the resources to buy state assets and companies like NITEL, Transcorp and others. The poor never had any real program of empowerment which the current government is aggressively addressing with their social investment programmes. These poor ones are ironically the ones who vote, who still believe in Nigeria more than a middle-class that has remained laid back, leaving the country and hoping that stolen funds from people like Atiku Abubakar will trickle down to them.
For President Muhammadu Buhari and his team, they are running the first bottom to top approach to governance in Nigeria. While the country still runs normally and the fight against grand corruption has been increased, the poor Nigerians have a program that keeps them at the heartbeat of the government every week. From the TradeMoni to NPower to the School feeding programme, these initiatives have been designed to be incremental beyond what people say about it. Some say that giving out 10,000 loans won’t do much but the government has designed it to be incremental for those who repay their loans to be able to get more. Atiku Abubakar does not understand what it means to empower the downtrodden and poor in the society or in a country he claims gave him the good opportunity of an education. Nigeria had the longest of ASUU strikes under his time as Vice-President with his boss that is about to lose his age-long grip on Nigeria as we head for the polls.
Nigerians do not trust the likes of Atiku Abubakar who only seeks wealth for his friends who make up less than 4 percent of the Nigerian population. He has not built any political capital to be able to win in his home state of Adamawa. The momentum he is gaining can be attributed to the party and the likes of Bukola Saraki and others who have built more than he ever did despite being over 70 years old. He has now resorted to public and media sympathy knowing fully well that he cannot win a sizeable amount of states or the popular vote.