What You Need to Know
The former Vice President and PDP’s presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, is of the opinion that Nigeria’s “political elite” have conspired to keep him from becoming Nigeria’s president.
The former VP stated that the political elite has sabotaged his presidential ambition because they are afraid of his “independent mindset”. He further said that their efforts have succeeded because Nigerians are not politically sophisticated.
The former VP aired his views on the so-called political elite to a group of pressmen on Sunday in Abuja. He stated that candidates who refuse to be used and those who will not satisfy the aspirations of the elite are denied the opportunity to rule in Nigeria. He added that it was rather unfortunate that the masses relied on the elite’s decision on who they can or cannot vote into power. He also added that part of the problem the elite has with him is the fact that he is principled and independent.
Why It Matters
Atiku is making a play to position himself as an underdog outside the elite class. But as someone who has been in politics for decades, serving between 1999 and 2003 as the nation’s vice president, that’s a hard position to sell. He is right however that some other members of the elite class are opposed to his aspirations. Foremost in that group is Atiku’s ex-boss, former Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo, who said a few months ago that God would not forgive him if he supports Atiku. Obasanjo has repeatedly alleged that Atiku is a fraudulent individual.
Another reason why Atiku’s allegations of an elite conspiracy is relevant at this time is the ongoing tussle within the PDP for the party’s ticket. It is believed that the most influential politician in that party at the moment is the Rivers Gov. Nyesom Wike. Wike reportedly backs the Sokoto Gov. Aminu Tambuwal in the race to be PDP candidate, and the Atiku camp believes that the Rivers governor is leading efforts to manipulate the ruling party’s primaries in favor of Tambuwal.
The PDP will choose its candidate on the 6th and 7th of this month.