The Presidency is Atiku's life ambition. His latest interview was part of that bigger picture
And boy, does he love some media attention!
In an interview granted Zero Tolerance, a quarterly magazine published by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Atiku made some startling ‘revelations’.
Let’s walk you through them with some insights of our own.
1. Atiku will vie for the Presidency again
This was a dress rehearsal for another Atiku Abubakar presidential run in 2019.
An Atiku Presidency has failed to fly in the past because the man has been tainted with a ‘corrupt’ tag.
He doesn’t like it.
Hard as he has tried, 'corrupt' is the first word that comes to mind when Atiku is discussed.
The ‘corrupt’ tag has undermined several Atiku presidential bids--from the Obasanjo era to the former VP’s attempt to become APC’s presidential standard bearer in the run up to the 2015 election.
In the interview with Zero Tolerance, the Turaki Adamawa did try to convince everyone that he isn’t as corrupt as Nuhu Ribadu made him look.
Ribadu was the no-nonsense Chairman of the anti-graft agency (EFCC) at the time.
Atiku said: “When Ribadu came to ask me for forgiveness, I said if you want me to forgive you, Nuhu, go to the same television stations where you said I was corrupt and say you now (have) realised that I am not corrupt.
“Then he said ‘Sir, you have forgiven so many people who have offended you publicly without them going to TV stations to apologise to you’ and I said, ‘your case is different because first of all, I helped to found the EFCC’.
“I was instrumental to your appointment, so, I believe I have contributed to your development and this is how you are paying me back. In any case, he kept on apologising and I said, ‘okay, no problem. That closed the chapter’.”
Atiku’s life ambition has been to become President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and he’ll keep trying to rebrand himself until he gets it.
This interview is all part of another ‘Atiku for President’ strategy.
2. The grudge against Obasanjo won't go away
Forget Atiku’s visit to ‘Baba Iyabo’ in 2014, he hasn’t quite forgiven his former boss for 'frustrating' his Presidential project in the past.
Atiku tells the story of how he fell out with Obasanjo:
“My offence was that I disagreed with him on the amendment of the constitution to remove tenure/term limits or what was popularly called the ‘third term agenda’.
“In fact, he sent the then Attorney-General and Prof. Jerry Gana to my office to bring the draft amendments to the constitution. After going through (them), I found out that tenure limits had been removed. In other words, he could be President for life.
“I then asked them that ‘if I send you to the President, can you deliver this message?’ They said yes. I said ‘go and tell him I will not support it and (I) will fight it’.”
Obasanjo had denied he wanted a third term Presidency—but no one believed him.
Atiku still harbours plenty of grudge against Obasanjo.
You only need to read his words above one more time to know it will take more than Photo-Op visits to Abeokuta and phony smiles before the media, to make him forgive ‘Baba’.
3. Atiku hasn’t forgiven Ribadu either
Atiku still can’t fathom why Ribadu hounded him so badly.
Atiku credits himself with making Ribadu.
According to Atiku: “I was instrumental to your (Ribadu) appointment, so, I believe I have contributed to your development and this is how you are paying me back?”
Oh well, Ribadu grew some wings and Atiku can’t wrap his head around all of that.