To the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his supporters, the ‘successful’ visit to the United States of America, after a 12-year wait, must have come as a welcome relief considering the enormous pressure the non-issuance of visa has placed on him and his already badly dented political reputation. That much is attested to by the wide coverage the news item received on the local and foreign media. However, a closer look at the whole saga-from his application for visa, to the actual visit itself would reveal that Atiku Abubakar has actually created more questions regarding his political integrity as someone who hopes to be the president of Nigeria.
In the first place, why should Atiku and his cohorts think that the visit to the USA is so important for Nigeria? Is he not aware that some Nigerians are even unhappy with his establishment of the ABTI-American University on Nigerian soil? What of the financial ‘noise’ surrounding the staffing of the university? Just what is it in the American System of education does Atiku fancy so much? Is it the ‘spirit of capitalism’? Or the crass individualistic creed that it brainwashes its recipients with?
The questions surrounding the non-issuance of visa have still not been answered. Why was he denied visa to visit the USA in the first instance? Was it because of some financial impropriety as alleged by some media sources?
And why have the Americans themselves decided just now, barely a month to the Presidential election in Nigeria, to issue him with a visa after a 12-year wait? My thinking on this issue is that the Americans have now turned to Atiku Abubakar as their preferred candidate for the 2019 Presidential elections in Nigeria. In many important senses Atiku is like former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose. He talks too much and makes little sense. He presents himself as a tough-talking, no-nonsense politician, just like Fayose. He is as desperate now as Fayose was before he was thrown out of the PDP’s Presidential primaries. He is also gullible, assuming and self-centred, just like Fayose. And both are, unfortunately, like Donald Trump – arrogant, stubborn and shallow. In a BBC-Hausa interview a few days ago, Atiku is reported to have said that he would privatise NNPC even if he would be killed. I urge the Nigerian government and people to watch Atiku’s relations with the USA over the next few weeks. Were any political and or economic deals struck?
Atiku’s ‘success’ in visiting the USA would, in the long run, be a monumental failure for his presidential ambitions.