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2023: Atiku miles ahead of others – Otorkpa

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Many of those who championed the “Sai Buhari” mantra in 2015 are regretting their actions today because they have seen the negative impact of the NEPA bill certificate they promoted on the economic, educational, security and social strata of our nation.

Unfortunately, while some are doing  a retrospective analysis for the purpose of making informed decisions on the candidate they will support, some have joined the emotional band wagon hell bent on repeating the mistakes of the past.

In today’s article we shall be looking at vital areas of national development and the capacity of the leading candidates to deliver based on their experience and antecedents.

Education

In terms of educational qualifications, Atiku is the most educationally qualified among the leading candidates, with an Msc in International relations from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK. Obi has an average bachelor’s in Philosophy from UNN, while Tinubu has a questionable degree in accounting from the United states.

In terms of their contribution to education, Atiku is far above his competitors, towering above them in terms of direct and indirect contributions to the development of education in Nigeria.

As Vice President, his passion for education led him to directly intervene in the plight of Anambra school children who were left at home for over two years by Mbadinuju, it was also under the OBJ – Atiku led government that the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme was launched.

Atiku built Africa’s first development university, the American University of Nigeria were rescued Chibok girls were given scholarship. Tinubu on the other hand has no history of support for education beyond few secondary schools he built during his tenure as governor of Lagos, same goes for Obi and none of them have also gone back to school to earn an additional degree since leaving school.

Peter Obi’s  record on ASSU strikes and lecturer welfare is also abysmal. Under him, University students stayed at home years while he owed some educational workers for 36 months.

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Job Creation

If there is one qualification the next Nigerian leader needs is the ability to create jobs. Tinubu is the worst when it comes to this benchmark because even though he eats from virtually every tax payer in Lagos, he has no business that creates real jobs in manufacturing or other key sectors that drive the economy.

Obi is not far behind because as a trader, Obi’s major supermarket businesses are import-based most of which takes jobs from Nigeria and send them overseas to countries where those goods are manufactured.

In contrast, Atiku’s businesses are massive creators of jobs. In some states Atiku is the highest employer of labour after government because his companies are into manufacturing, agro based products and other key drivers of job creation in the economy.

Power Generation

No economy can develop without power. Energy generation is the single reason why most companies are not making profits even banks are now closing early because of the prohibitive cost of power generation.

Peter Obi travelled all the way to Egypt to learn about power generation yet he does not know the meaning of “green energy”! This is  after 8 years as governor of one of Nigeria’s biggest states.

Tinubus credentials on power generation is far better than Obi because he single-handedly championed the Lagos state Independent Power Project (IPP)  handled by the American Company, ENRON to generate 90 megawatts of electricity which led to some improvements in power supply in Lagos.

Atiku’s first class hands-on experience in the areas of power generation and transmission is one area Nigeria stands to benefit from when elected into office. The 

OBJ – Atiku led administration built or started most of the power generating entities we have in Nigeria today. The PDP led administration of Jonathan and Sambo completed the rest. 

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Healthcare

Tinubu and Obi’s records in the provision of healthcare are also very poor. Under Obi, Anambra State Government employed medical doctors were on strike for 13 months as a result of his refusal pay the right salary, poor conditions of service and lack of proper working equipment, Nigeria cannot afford such tragedy. Lagos under Tinubu had healthcare centers that are known for delivering the worst health care services. The claim that Tinubu met one functional ambulance as Governor is also false.

Atiku even as a private citizen is actively involved in the provision of healthcare for Nigerians beyond what he did while serving as vice president between 1999-2007.  Long after leaving office, Atiku Abubakar went into partnership with the Saudi German Hospital  to establish a 100-bed hospital and referral centre in Abuja among many other interventions in the health sector.

Security

We cant talk about the 2023 presidential elections without talking about who among the candidates has the experience to tackle our current security challenges. It is a fact that the Obasanjo-Atiku era is the most peaceful period since our country transitioned to democracy.

It was a period  when the term bandits was alien to our dictionary. As the number two man in that government, Atiku has the requisite skills and experience to rejig our current security system like they did between 1999 to 2007.

Obi on the other hand, lacks experience in security matters which explains why the Ezu River tragedy where hundreds of people were murdered under his watch is still a mystery. Tinubu lacks the energy needed for a robust engagement and monitoring that our collapsing security architecture requires.

Preparedness To Lead

Its unfortunate that Tinubu the “Emi Lokan” coroner appear totally confused and directionless after being handed his party ticket. Till date, he does not have a policy document, the entire APC manifesto of 2015 he helped prepare which they disowned and failed to implement has suddenly formed the foundation of the documents they released recently.

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Tinubu also fumbled when it came to naming a running mate resorting to placeholders, even when he finally found one it was a one-sided  aggregation which is currently tearing the nation apart at a time religious sensitivity is at an all time high.

As at today the party has still not formed and Inaugurated a simple campaign council. The fact that Tinubu forgot to attend the peace accord signing clearly shows that he is not prepared for a job he claims as his entitlement.

Peter Obi towers above Tinubu when it comes to level of preparedness even though he also employed the services of placeholders for running mate and currently does not have a campaign council or team that reflects the diversity of Nigeria.

However, like Tinubu, Obi has no policy document or manifesto that tells Nigerians what he plans to do if they vote for him. Beyond mad men tales and vomiting crammed statistics most of which are wrong, the LP presidential candidate does not appear ready to lead a complex nation like Nigeria.

Atiku and the PDP on the other hand appears to be the most prepared candidate and political party. Atiku is the only candidate that has released his policy document with a clear blueprint of what he intends to do when elected into office.

He named his running mate on schedule, inaugurated his multi ethnic and multi religious campaign council and  flagged off his campaign council right on time as directed by INEC.

Nigeria does not need a President that will learn on the job, Nigeria does not need a rockie to complicate an already messed up system, what Nigeria needs is an Atiku Abubakar to reset our country, get it working again and return her to the path of greatness.