Can Atiku fight corruption?

The political space has now been centred on a single debate, which is, President Muhammadu Buhari, with his score card filled with numerous impacts to people’s lives, in addition to his indisputable and incontestable integrity, can Atiku Abubakar defeat him in a free and fair election? Everyone is now at liberty to choose between President Buhari and Atiku. In view of the above, as the 2019 election is under way, and for us to save ourselves from aftermath of election, we are at liberty to carefully evaluate and appraise both Buhari and Atiku.

Even though from the initial stage, I decided not to utter even a spew from these developments, but as I sat ruminating about Atiku’s past as Vice President under Olusegun Obasanjo, I failed to resist the urge to echo my position. Although, I will do everything possible to maintain objectivity to both the two contending aspirants, but despite this, as a major stakeholder in Nigerian project, and an anti-corruption protagonist, my objectivity must rate President Buhari higher than Atiku.

Before expressing myself further, let me clearly say, my main motive is not to coerce or induce anybody into voting for Buhari, but to freely exercise my inalienable right as non-partisan Nigerian, I must at this juncture unequivocally canvass in support of President Muhammadu Buhari. Sincerely speaking, if Atiku needs to woo me and my fellow anti-corruption proponents, I advise him to convince us beyond any shadow of doubt about his readiness in fighting corruption. I have every reason to say so, because what appalled me most was, without taking us too far, just recently, Atiku Abubakar granted an interview to some journalists, and he expressed utmost displeasure to Buhari’s anti-corruption fight, saying corruption is not Nigeria’s number one problem. By making this expression, Atiku has explicitly casted doubt in his commitment in fighting the vicious circles of corrupt elements. And again, by this assertion, one might assume that if Atiku becomes president, he will probably abandon all defense mechanisms used by Buhari in fighting corruption, and resets us back to the days of blemished ruling.

Our fear is, if Atiku finds his way to presidency, Treasury Single Account (T.S.A) might not be a driving mechanism that will govern the affairs of the state. While it’s interesting to note that, adoption of Treasury Single Account produced positive results, and as such contributed greatly in subjecting government affairs to probity. Furthermore, if we can recall, with the immediate inception of Buhari’s government, we have witnessed how T.S.A exposed a considerable number of double-dealings in numerous ministries, financial agencies and parastatals. For this reason, people need to know the type of magic wand Atiku will apply to consolidate Buhari’s anti-corruption achievements. Still, under this regard, most people’s concern is, since fighting corruption might not be Atiku’s number one concern, all leakages blocked by President Buhari might eventually be opened for corrupt people.

Because, as an astute observer of public affairs, I closely watched all proceedings of PDP’s primary election, to sum up all the events for you, none of all presidential aspirants present a clear-cut technique in fighting corruption, thus, fighting corruption is not in P.D.P’s book. One must wonder, despite all hardships we endured courtesy of corrupt government officials, why all the PDP’s presidential hopefuls chose to ignore this when soliciting for votes from delegates during their presidential primary election?

Abbas Datti, Kano.

Hassan Usman Author

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