by Segun Odeleye
No, Atiku Abubakar did not say that Sam Nda-Isaiah, one of the aspirants for the presidency on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is not a serious contender to win the ticket. He would never be that rude. Instead of saying it, Atiku showed it.
Atiku decided to prove the point to Nda-Isaiah by being kind to him in a way that he was not with his other more prominent challengers.
Consider the following:
Atiku was the first APC candidate to formally declare for president. The other challengers – Buhari, Kwankwaso and Nda-Isaiah were absent at his declaration rally.
Buhari was the next to declare. The other challengers were absent at his rally.
Next was Kwankwaso. No other presidential candidate was present at his declaration rally.
Yesterday was Nda-Isaiah’s turn and Atiku decided to show up.
Seriously, who attends the declaration of a major rival who hopes to deny him of the ticket? Atiku, apparently.
Atiku not only attended, but he decided to shower Nda-Isaiah with niceties and sweet talk, describing him as a “personal friend.”
He said that the other four aspirants in the APC (including Rochas Okorocha, probably) have agreed to back whoever emerges as the flag bearer during the primary election in other to terminate the Jonathan administration.
“We are united. We have resolved to support whoever emerges. We are not fighting each other, that is why I am here today. Our target is to rescue the country from the misrule of the PDP.”
Nice talk from the former vice president. But how come he didn’t come forward to say that when Buhari or Kwankwaso declared. Oh yeah, he released a press statement welcoming Buhari into the race, but nobody saw him ride into the Eagles Square to join the rapturous “Sai Buhari” supporters on the day.
Atiku, of course, used the occasion to reiterate his position that President Goodluck Jonathan needs to be voted out next year. Addressing supporters of Nda-Isaiah during the rally, he said: “Any of the APC aspirants is better than Jonathan; whoever wins the party primary is better than President Jonathan.”
Anyway, it’s not as though there is anything particularly wrong with Atiku showing up at the rally of his political opponent (yes, that’s what they are for now); even Nda-Isaiah probably knows that his chances of nicking the ticket ahead of Buhari, Atiku or Kwankwaso is slim. We just had to point it out all the same.