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Atiku Abubakar 2023: A journey of inclusive leadership

By Bello Mustapha
12 April 2022   |   4:13 am
Nigeria’s political landscape has long been characterized by segmented party leadership and fractionalised representation which has, over the years, held back the advancement and development of our nation.

Atiku Abubakar

Nigeria’s political landscape has long been characterized by segmented party leadership and fractionalised representation which has, over the years, held back the advancement and development of our nation. Critically, Nigerians’ bold expectations revolve around the implementation of effective and workable policies that can enhance our economic, social, and political systems which will, in turn, help develop the country at all levels; we all want a progressive Nigeria, one that is grounded in unity, justice and fairness.

In the lead up to the 2023 presidential elections, our common goal as one people should be to choose a leader that exemplifies those attributes of unity, justice and fairness. A visionary leader that will achieve results; a leader that will lead us to the greatness we so desperately seek; a fair and reformative leader. With the way things are currently in Nigeria, immovably mired in the quicksand of seemingly unresolvable complexities, it is time for us to choose a leader who inspires, a transformative leadership, a leader that is bathed in empathy, a leader that proffers workable solutions with measurable outcomes to the myriad of seemingly unresolvable complexities that beset us as a country.

Like the good old saying goes, ‘we cannot continue doing things the same way and expect different results.’ We have seen the degeneration of our nation unfold before our eyes, at all levels. Our people are experiencing extreme and incessant insecurity challenges, a cataclysmic downturn in our economic fortunes, spiraling inflation rates, aggravated poverty levels, disunity amongst brothers, and high unemployment rates, the likes of which we have never witnessed before. The ruling political party itself seems to be coming apart at the seams and now seeks to distract us with their foibles, in place of good governance.

We need – nay, we desperately need – a new type of leader and leadership in 2023, to design and implement a roadmap and strategic framework to fix our country.

During the last presidential elections in 2015, the vision of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), led by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, centered around three primary focus areas: Unity, Security and Prosperity. The PDP established the necessity to reinforce Nigeria’s unity, by promoting the need for cooperation and consensus in the society. This has become even more critical, at this time, with the current abysmal situation of things in our country. We all know that the primary obligation of any functional government is the provision of security and protection for both the country and its people. Insecurity is something we cannot continue to tolerate, especially the kind of insane insecurity that now bestrides Nigeria like a plague, and has so negatively affected the lives, property, and assets of our people.

When Atiku Abubakar recently declared his intention to run for the 2023 presidential elections under the platform of the PDP, his passion and drive to rekindle and rebuild the Nigerian dream at once inspires and intrigues. It is definitely something to commend, emulate and look forward to. Atiku’s consistency and exemplary record of service and success will, no doubt, inspire hope in many Nigerians; and we know that this is no whitewash – the proof points are there and clear. He has done it before. He can do it again.

Atiku’s focus on building an inclusive government to revive the Nigerian economy and develop opportunities for job creation and progress, is one we must not overlook. Along with this focus, he also comes with a well rounded preparedness, and a robust coterie of effective policies that will lead to the enhancement of all sectors of our economy. With current inflation rates at 16%, unemployment at 33% and a 39 trillion Naira debt burden, Nigeria is sinking, and sinking fast. We must join hands and collaborate with the right man to rescue our dear country.

I must also applaud what I term ‘Atiku’s strategic five’ – Unity, Education, Economy, Security, and Devolution of resources to the nation’s federating units. These are the ultra critical areas that require urgent attention to rebuild and transform Nigeria, and advance our future potential. These are areas that Atiku is very familiar with, having consistently espoused them over the years, and my trust in him to deliver on his promises is absolute!

We have seen Atiku’s successes in business and the very important area of education, through the prism of his vast investments in his native Adamawa State, and his contribution to the economy of the state through multiple businesses and the creation of employment opportunities for the locals. This clearly shows that devolving more resources to the different federating units in Nigeria is a strategic and necessary move to engender government effectiveness at state and local levels – since they are closest to the people. The recognition that more resources must sit with our federating units, is the type of step-by-step nation building initiative which, if sustained, can support the tactical drive towards advancing development in the country as a whole.

Also, Atiku’s push for a liberalised economy will rapidly lead Nigeria to competitiveness and growth, even as the world around us continues to evolve. All sectors of the economy and businesses can contribute to this growth, adopting innovation and technology, and backed by rational financial and taxation policies.

Atiku is politically aware, possesses assessed effective leadership skills, and brandishes a practical political agenda that promotes inclusiveness, adequate and effective representation. Nigeria must be liberated from its current condition, as it has been driven to by the current ruling party, and we must let our voices be heard and must embrace a tried and trusted leader come 2023.

Atiku’s journey to 2023 is the way forward for Nigeria. As a brutalized citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as most of us are), my trust in Aiku’s leadership and his declared manifesto are absolute. This is a critical period for our nation and our people.

We all desperately yearn to dance to Atiku’s mantra of “One Country, One people”.
Mustapha is a businessman and public commentator. He wrote from Bauchi, Bauchi State.
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