“…Politics is Addictive and not Usually Easy to Quit”, Atiku Abubakar

Presidential Aspirant and Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar made the statement in a symposium tagged “The Man Atiku” in Abuja on Saturday.

He also talked on the vital importance for youths to be mentored before venturing into politics.

Speaking as a special guest of honour at a symposium tagged “The Man Atiku’’ organised by Turaki Youth Ambassadors (TURAYA) on Saturday in Abuja.

The Vice President from 1999 t0 2007 on the platform of PDP, identified poor quality of education as one of the factors affecting youths’ participation in high quality politics in Nigeria.

He was represented by the Chairman, All Atiku, Support Group, Mr Oladimeji Fabiyi, at the Symposium with the topic “Politics qua politic: Atiku Abubakar, the Youths and the Nigerian state’’.

Abubakar said that in developed countries, young people who had the potential of being politicians were identified in schools and exposed to political activities along their academic programmes.

“By the time they graduate from school they have mastered the political terrains of their countries. They also try to empower themselves before going full blast into politics.’’

Abubakar, however, said that in Nigeria, a large chunk of youths get involved in politics by accident, adding that they ventured into politics because politics was seen as a quick way to make money.

He said that a lot of them crashed in and crashed out of politics because they failed to achieve their targets within a short period.

“I have come to realise that the damage that poor quality of education has done to Nigerian youths.

“This is a matter that has to be addressed to raise high number of intellectually sound youths to play high quality politics.

“They also need exposure and financial empowerment in their quest to wrestle power from the older generation who have mastered the game over time.

“Remember, the older generation of Nigerian politicians ventured into politics when they were young and since politics is addictive it is not usually easy to quit.

“The reality is that young persons must work hard and should device superior arguments and strategies to send the older generation into retirement and to achieve their political targets,’’ Abubakar said.

He noted that a lot of mentorship is required in the country’s clime to come out of smoky political terrain.

“I did mine with the late Shehu Yar’Adua just as am impacting my knowledge, skills and experience on young persons I come across.’’

He advised Nigerian youths interested in politics to subject themselves to mentorship.

Earlier, the president TURAYA, Mr Ayo Akinrimisi, said that Abubakar has paid his dues to be the next president of Nigeria, saying he has empowered many Nigerian youths.

He pledged that TURAYA formed in 2003 would work with over 500 support groups now working and other available groups to elect Abubakar in 2019.

Atiku Allegedly Seals His $2.95 Million US Mansion

In an exclusive report by Premium times, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has sold his mansion which is co-owned by his fourth wife, Jennifer Douglas, in the neighbourhood of Potomac, Maryland, United States.

Mr. Abubakar and Ms. Douglas bought the 7,131 square feet house in December 1999 for $1.75 million. Built in 1988, the house was described on Zillow as one of the finest in the tony neighbourhood of Falconhurst, Potomac, where houses are valued between $2 million and $10 million.

The property gained international notoriety in 2005 after it was searched by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in connection with a bribery scandal involving disgraced former U.S. Congressman, William Jefferson.

The seven-bedroom cream-coloured single family brick house on 9731 Sorrel Ave, Potomac, Maryland, was originally listed for $3.25 million on Zillow and other online real estate websites on January 25, 2018 but was eventually sold for a pending offer of $2.95 million on February 26, 2018 after an online auction.

A pending offer means a buyer and seller of the property have reached a deal. However, a buyer can still pull out from the deal (which is very unlikely) if they cannot resolve issues like cost of repair or they cannot get a bank to approve a loan for the purchase of the property.

The Atikus’ mansion is a colonial-style building that sits in the middle of a 2.3 acres premises of lush green trees. The mansion has a total of 21 rooms, multiple terraces which are said to be ideal for outdoor parties, a pool sauna, a gazebo, a gourmet kitchen and an outdoor swimming pool.

Sources with knowledge of the state of the mansion but who requested not to be named because they did not want to be publicly associated with this story, said the Atikus had not lived in the mansion since Mr. Abubakar left office as vice president in 2007.

After 2007, house service staff lived in the mansion for some years, but the place was later locked up, and had remained unoccupied.

Tax records from the Montgomery County, Washington DC, show that Ms. Douglas consistently paid property taxes on the mansion from 1999 to 2016. She, however, is in default of $27,913.77 being that for 2017.

The house was not in foreclosure as it was paid for completely by the Atikus and available records showed that no bank loan was involved in its purchase.

The sale of the mansion was not listed as a public auction, which is an auction done under a court order on behalf of government or its agencies.

There is also no evidence that the sale is connected to the now infamous 2005 case or any other unknown criminal investigations.

Paul Ibe, the spokesperson for Me. Abubakar, told PREMIUM TIMES the sale of the mansion was voluntary and strictly an investment decision.

“Atiku Abubakar is a successful businessman who has a long history of real estate investments,” Mr. Ibe said in response to an enquiry by this newspaper.

“The U.S. home was simply one of such numerous investments. The home was no longer serving the purpose for which it was bought. Consequently, it has to be put up for sale via open auction, a growing and preferred method of selling high end properties. The proceeds thereof will be deployed to business aimed at creating jobs.”

Mr. Abubakar has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the Jefferson corruption saga that led to the search of his home.

But the former vice president’s political rivals have always harped on that episode to discredit him.

What is more, Mr. Abubakar, believed to be nursing a fresh bid to become president of Nigeria in 2019 after several failed attempts, has not travelled to the U.S. for a long time. That has fuelled speculations that he might be avoiding a possible arrest or prosecution.

But in an interview with the BOSS newspaper last December, he explained he had made attempts to visit the U.S. but was turned down for administrative reasons.

 

Obasanjo, Babangida, Atiku, And Buhari: A Brand In Crisis By Bayo Oluwasanmi

Nigeria’s contemporary political history is as fresh as the morning newspapers. Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, and Muhammadu Buhari the erstwhile military dictators and civilian presidents and ex- VP Abubakar Atiku, are responsible for the chronic instability of our past. As dictators at different times in our political experiment, they alternated our civilian rule between democracy and dictatorship, and between different forms of pseudo-democratic rule. They created new political and economic uncertainties from which we’re yet to recover.

These old authoritarian and totalitarian rulers prefer a weak, unstable, dilute, democracy full of inadequacies. Politically, Obasanjo, Atiku, Babangida, and Buhari belong to the dead, old undemocratic system of the past. We must avoid and resist them like a dissident stream by any means necessary. Today, our young men and women grapple with serious social, and economic problems caused by the old brigade of these military rulers. Our youths are systematically excluded from policy decisions. They failed to marshal the energy, creativity, and talents of our youths to address multiple inequalities and discrimination they face.

The policies pursued by the governments of Obasanjo, Atiku, and Babangida, enabled them to amass outrageously large portion of Nigeria’s wealth. The hands of Buhari’s inner circle of Abba Kyari, Mamman Daura, and Tukur Buratai are stained with corruption. The result of large-scale corruption and unsolved socioeconomic problems produced a difficult present and uncertain future for our youths. Despite the energy, creativity, resourcefulness, and passion of our youths, they are largely excluded from political processes, economic projects and programs. They continued to be subject to age-based systems of authority. Our youths are the motor of tomorrow’s economic takeoff. Obasanjo, Babangida, Atiku, and Buhari: a brand in crisis.

This old brand created poverty and economic inequalities and insecurities which in turn creates “traps of disadvantage” which push our poor youths and the most marginalized others to the bottom and keep them there for ever. Our youths are denied the forums and opportunities for political participation and influence. They are woefully underrepresented in influential government positions and in hierarchical systems that favor the old rulers.

The old hypocrites keep saying “our youths are the leaders of tomorrow.” But tomorrow is never now. It’s time that our youths turn tomorrow into today. Old men only dream dreams, but young men see visions. There’s a difference between dream and vision. A dream is only what could be. Vision is what would be. Consider: Aguiyi Ironsi was 42 when he became head of state. Yakubu Gowon was 32 when he became head of state. Murtala Muhammed was 37 when he became head of state. Obasanjo was 39, Babangida was 44, and Buhari was 41 when they became heads of state. Audu Ogbe was 35 when he served as minister for communications. At 70, he’s the minister of agriculture. These people have consumed both the future of Nigeria and our youths. There must be an end to the insanity.

This is what goes on in civilized democracies: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is 45, France President Emmanuel Macron is 40, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is 37, Estonia Prime Minister Juri Ratas is 39, and Liberia President is 51. Nigeria is behind human race.

2019 will be a watershed moment for Nigerian youths. The youths have been uniquely disadvantaged by the economy. They are the impoverished generation. The youths have come to realize that Nigeria needs economic, social, and political rebirth to pull them out of the wells of poverty and unemployment. The old politicians are too backward, primitive, greedy, and wicked. They lack the creativity, the energy, the knowledge, and the exposure to make Nigeria work for Nigerians especially the youths. The youths are the revolutionaries for our urgent socioeconomic and political renaissance.

For 2019 presidential elections, it’s going to be a new democracy where our youths will take over the reins of government. These old leaders of discredited undemocratic regimes have no place, no role in 2019 democratic Nigeria. They are not needed. They are not wanted. They are expired liabilities. They need not apply!

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2019 Elections: Atiku Dumped By Ex Governors

News have emerged following a closed door meeting which took place at about 7pm on Sunday at the Delta state governor’s lodge in Asaba, that ex- governors of the People’s Democratic Party have decided to dump former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar for a ‘true, steadfast and loyal man of the party’.

Ex-Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) namely, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Henry Dickson (Bayelsa), Benedict Ayade (Cross River), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta State), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (Gombe), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), and Darius Ishaku (Taraba) together with the party’s NWC led by the national chairman, Uche Secondus, made this decision.

“The PDP Governors and the NWC after several hours of deliberation collectively agreed to settle for former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido for his consistency since the party was founded. They viewed former Vice President Abubakar Atiku’s moves as desperate and over ambitious. According to them, a true, faithful and loyal party man who has the interest of the party at heart will not turn into a political prostitute as the over-ambitious former Vice President Atiku has done.” a source according to Sahara Reporters said.

In a six-page communique signed by PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus and the Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum Nigeria, Ayo Fayose read by Mr. Secondus, at the end of the closed-door meeting the Governors and the party’s NWC, strongly condemned what they called the “unabated killings” across the country and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to come out clean on the herdsmen killings and address the nation on how to end the carnage.

“The President must take responsibility on the protection of lives and property of Nigerians which is the most important of his responsibilities. We believe that the Federal Government’s decision to set up a Committee to address the issues of herdsmen killings is a pretentious approach to a matter that requires firm action and leadership by the President in line with his oath of office to protect all Nigerians irrespective of creed, tribe and political affiliation.

“The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has been the author of restructuring and this was further expressed in the Report of the 2014 National Conference. The All Progressive Congress (APC) as a later day convert of restructuring is merely paying lip service to a matter of national importance. However, we have mandated our members in the National Assembly to immediately commence the process of initiating a Bill to address issues bothering on restructuring.

“We urge Mr. President to henceforth direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to adhere to the Rule of Law by obeying court judgements and orders such as the one involving the Ekiti State Government against EFCC and restrain itself from further political intimidation and harassment of known or perceived political opponents. We commend the judiciary for their commitment to the enthronement of constitutional democracy in the face of intimidation and harassment.

“We condemn in strong terms the massive corruption going on in the management of fuel subsidy regime which the Federal Government had declared non-existent while billions of Naira are being deducted monthly at Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings. The PDP states and local governments are vehemently opposed to the unilateral withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account by the Federal Government under any guise.

“We commend members of our party for their unalloyed support. We reiterate that our repositioned party is prepared for the 2019 elections and will ensure that all Nigerians aspiring to elective offices are free to contest on the platform of the PDP. We want to assure that no established organ of the party is allowed to align with any presidential aspirant. We thank the people and government of Delta State for playing host to this all-important meeting.” the communiqué stated.

Journalists who kept night vigil waiting for the outcome of the meeting between the PDP Governors and the NWC, however, observed that the eleven governors have had a three hours close door meeting at governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s lodge in the government house, Asaba where series of decisions had been  taken by the Governors’ Forum before the commencement of the enlarged governors and party NWC closed-door meeting.

Earlier, before the closed-door meeting the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus who was addressing leaders, elders and members of the PDP at the Unity hall government house, Asaba, discredited former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s newly formed Coalition for Nigerian Movement (CNM), saying it is dead on arrival, adding that the All Progressive Congress (APC) failure to provide good governance will be a yardstick for Nigerians to vote for candidates of the PDP in the 2019 general elections.

INEC Warns Atiku, Bindow Over Campaign Billboards

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned ex- Vice President and presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar and Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow against campaign billboards, saying that their actions have contravened the electoral Act.

The INEC Resident Commissioner for Adamawa state, Kassim Gaidam said in Yola on Friday that the duo are engaging in massive campaign billboards ahead of the time for campaigns.

On the reversal of the election timetable be the National Assembly, he said that the timetable announced by the commission remains unchanged and that there is no new legislation that voided the powers of the commission from designing election activities.

Gaidam further disclosed that 94,766 voters’ cards are yet to be collected by their owners and called on political parties and other government agencies to mount awareness campaign, to enable voters collect their cards.

Atiku’s Tall Ambition And His Miserable PDP By Joe Igbokwe

They tell me APC should stop the blame game and focus on the jobs that need to be done.
by Joe Igbokwe Dec 06, 2017

“Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third, it is regarded as self-evident.”- Arthur Schopenhauer

They tell me APC should stop the blame game and focus on the jobs that need to be done. I agree but those who destroyed our yesterday should keep quiet while we fix what needs to be fixed. The destroyers of yesterday do not show any remorse, they pretend that nothing went wrong in 16years, and they talk as if we are the ones that should apologize to them.

The shenanigans in their wildest imaginations think that we have all forgotten the pains they inflicted on us, how they frittered away billions of dollars of our hard-earned resources in the days of the oil boom, how they left Nigeria desolate, decimated and at best desecrated. They stole al the food, all the Children’s food and broke the pots and destroyed the plates and even the kitchens.

Come to Apapa and Tincan Island Ports and see the ruins they left behind. They were busy looting everything in sight and could not think about raising up the minimum wage. They were busy stealing every kobo in sight forgetting that a wise person saves for the rainy day. They even forgot one of their own, the South East that has been voting for them since 1999. They left Enugu-Onitsha Road to go under, they left Enugu-Port Harcourt road to go under, they abandoned Nnewi-Okigwe road to decay and then forgot the critical 2nd Niger Bridge.

Billions of dollars ‘invested’ in the Power Sector went under the drains, which opened the highways and byways to private properties in Europe, America, and Asia. Nigeria they left behind became a dumping ground for imported rice and other items which can be produced here.

While the massive looting was going in all fronts, our educational systems, Hospitals, Infrastructure, our National carrier could not be restored, security of the nation suffered without measure, and our Foreign Reserves depleted with reckless abandon. We woke to behold recession.

Today the idiots in PDP tell us that Nigerians are suffering, nothing is working and nothing is going on. They are Liars from the pit of hell, all. They have no shame, no regrets, and no remorse. They are planning to come back. They cannot even wait for what they destroyed to be fixed. They are pretending that the past never existed or that Nigerians have short memories. They have lost their thinking caps. They cannot trace their navigational compass. They missed the road to the promised land. They got lost in the land of Patmos.

Look at their man Friday, Atiku Abubakar, a sad reminder of our ugly past. He is talking tough as if we are strangers in Nigeria. The excess baggage is just too much to ignore. They want power back at all cost. Absolute nonsense! They play politics without principles. They seek power without responsibility. They seek wealth without work. A foolish constituency is the hobgoblin of small minds. The level of greed ravaging them is yet to be discovered scientifically. They are over bloated kids with a protozoan intellect. They have eyes but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear. They need to receive brains.

Ah, ah, the fundamentals have changed. The era of Epicurean spirit is gone and gone forever. Great soldiers, great writers, great journalists do not die in their beds. In the fullness of time, we will checkmate their infantile hunger for power and wealth without responsibility. We will do our duty to the fatherland. We will tell them 1999-2015 story. The story of avaricious tendencies and rapacious greed on all fronts. A story of Alibaba and the forty thieves. The story of vicious plunderers and congenital thieves without conscience.

APC should not lose sleep over Atiku and PDP’s road to nowhere. Let us fix our eyes on the ball, doing the needful, fixing what needs to be fixed, and telling the story as it is.

This is Alhaji Atiku’s last chance and he knows it. President Buhari will retire him from politics in 2019, and that will be the end of the story.

In Chief Paul Unongo words, by 9.30am on the election day, Atiku would have been permanently retired and disgraced out of politics. It is only then that Turaki and his gang will know the difference between a leader and a dealer, the difference between light and darkness and the difference between Egbe( gun) and Egbe( kite).

Joe Igbokwe
LAGOS.

#iStandWithBuhari

Unongo Calls Atiku to Caution Fulani Herdsmen, Calls Him Chief Financier

The Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum, Paul Unongo, has called on former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to caution Fulani herdsmen on the gory spate of violent killings linked to herdsmen around the nation.

Unogo said this when he accused the former Vice President of being the chief financier and most influential member of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, the apex body of Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria.

However, the former Vice President said that although he is a Fulani, he was not a member of the Miyetti Allah.

Unogo however supported his claims saying in a media interview that the former Vice President told him (Unogo) personally that he was an influential member of the association.

Unogo said “I am aware that the most powerful person in Miyetti Allah is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who wants to be the next president. If they are fighting for power and Atiku wants to create problems for Buhari, I don’t know. There are so many possibilities.

“The most powerful person who finances the Miyetti Allah is Abubakar Atiku and he is a prince of the Tiv Court. The Tiv gave him a traditional title, meaning ‘the biggest shade of the Tiv people’.
“This implies that the Tiv people should be able to run to Atiku who will protect them.

This is the man who heads Miyetti Allah and is the greatest financier of this organisation. He has more cattle than anybody in Miyetti Allah.

“It is an establishment of the big people, a very rich group of Nigerians and they pack small boys to take their cattle all over the place and then buy all these arms to give herdsmen to go and kill people, and the government is doing nothing.”

Atiku: I Don’t Know Yet If I’ll Run In 2019

His recent political comments, realignments and permutations notwithstanding, Atiku Abubakar has not decided to run for president in 2019.

The former vice-president told VOA Hausa when he featured on a magazine program there Tuesday that Nigerians will know when he eventually takes the bold move.

“For now I have not made up my mind,” Mr. Abubakar said. “When I decide, I will let the world know.”

Mr. Abubakar’s statement is capable of demoralising his supporters, some of whom have already commenced groundwork for his 2019 bid, said Azibola Omekwe, the national coordinator of The Atiku Rennaisance, a political group.

Mr. Azibola said the 2019 ambition of Mr. Atiku has gained considerable momentum in recent weeks, a ‘moving train’ he said would be difficult to reverse.

“Just recently, some people came out to say that they will sue the former vice-president if he fails to join the race,” Mr. Azibola said. “That’s how serious some of his supporters have now taken his ambition.”

Mr. Abubakar’s spokesperson, Paul Ibe, said the politician’s fans should not be demoralised by the comments.

“He spoke in the context of his ongoing consultations, but he’ll eventually make up his mind to run,” Mr. Ibe said. “Those who have started politicking on his behalf should continue.”

Mr. Azibola acknowledged that the final decision on Mr. Atiku’s political choice in 2019 would be the former vice-president’s to make.

“But I’m sure he will ultimately decide to run because he’s the best option to beat President Buhari,” said Mr. Azibola, a former state legislator in Bayelsa. “We expect him to do this within the first quarter of 2018.”

The last one month had seen Mr. Abubakar resign from the ruling All Progressives Congress to return to the Peoples Democratic Party, under which he served eight years as VP between 1999-2007.

After using his resignation letter to convey his misgivings about President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Atiku granted a media interview in which he accused the president of incompetence.

He also accused Mr. Buhari of stoking ethnic and tribal divisions in the country, saying he will handily ‘defeat’ the president in 2019.

Mr. Buhari has not openly exchanged words with Mr. Abubakar, but the presidency warned the former vice president to stop disparaging the president.

The reprimand followed allegations that Mr. Buhari was banned from travelling to the United States for 15 years as a consequence of his religious views.

Mr. Abubakar used the purported ban to ward off allegations that he is wanted in the U.S. for fraud.

Mr. Abubakar said he had applied for visa to the U.S. but was denied on administrative grounds.

He, however, failed to present evidence of his claim that Mr. Buhari was also banned from the U.S. despite being challenged by the State House to do so.

Atiku, IBB In Closed Door Meeting

Former President Abubakar Atiku is in Minna the Niger State Capital where he is meeting with former military president Ibrahim Babangida.

He was received at the Minna Airport by the Deputy Governor of Niger State, Ahmed Ketso, the Head of Service, Yabagi Sule and the State PDP Chairman, Barrister Tanko Beji and other party members.

Also on ground to recieve him was a crowd of supporters.

He arrived the Uphill residence of the former military leader at about 12:40 PM and is currently holding a meeting with General Babangida.

While the purpose of Atiku’s visit is not yet clear, there are indications that it may not be unconnected with his political ambition ahead of the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party scheduled for December 9.

Atiku Meets PDP Leaders At Wadata Plaza

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has arrived the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja.

Accompanied by a large crowd of supporters and praise singers, Atiku was received by the Spokesman for the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye.

Atiku is currently meeting members of the National Caretaker Committe of the party led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

Meanwhile, supporters of Atiku are busy dancing and singing his praises within and outside the party headquarters, also known as Wadata Plaza.

Atiku, Tinubu, Buhari And Other Choices

By Lasisi Olagunju

Some decisions have irreversible consequences, no matter how much you try. One of such is deciding who to marry. Another is choosing who rules over you. A lady got married and walked into a media house to publish her change of name advert. A week after the publication, she was back with another advert to revert to her maiden name. Her marriage lasted only four days and she was unfazed by it. She was calm and cool as she gave instructions on when she wanted it published. Such status reversals are very common nowadays. Someone advised every man and woman to choose their life mate carefully. From that sole decision, he says, “will come ninety per cent of all your happiness or misery.” He may be right. Every action (or inaction) has intended (and unintended) consequences. You can reset your phone to factory settings but that doesn’t make it new again. That device, no matter how expensive and new, has lost its innocence forever. It is the same with that lady who breezed through a marriage. She is a tokunbo forever, her beauty notwithstanding.

Atiku Abubakar has changed party again. He is wise, and he should know that jumping up and down has wear and tear effects on brand integrity. His friends defend him; his enemies deride him. They liken him to practitioners of harlotry. They think political party membership is Catholic marriage: till death do us part. But Atiku is a legendary proof of the falsity of that idea. Walking in and out of political parties has become the bane of his politics. And Atiku is not alone here. He is just the bold tsar holding court in the chancellery of camp switching. Apart from Muhammadu Buhari who joined politics after the 1999 elections, who else hasn’t been a PDP member among the saints and sinners in our public space? Our twenty-something-year -old millennial cyber warriors can’t know that the heroes and heroines they worship started with that old, dirty, diseased PDP 19 years ago. They may be too young to know that the PDP is the source of all these sparkling parties they hail. The PDP is old, creaky and unfortunate. It is a badly used, poorly maintained old war horse. Politicians will continue to do what Atiku does with it every season. They will dance back and forth in the courtyard of the PDP. The ones who have built new mansions will keep welcoming PDP members into their bedrooms. It is the ancestral home of the Nigerian politician. Its members are the extended family of these other peacocks in the marbled APC. Nothing will make them abandon their source completely.

Switching parties happens also in other climes. And it worked for some while others fail to their sorrow. Theodore Roosevelt was Republican governor of New York 1899-1900. He was also Republican US President 1901-1909. Yet, when he could not secure his party’s third term ticket in 1911, he left to form his own Progressive Party. He failed woefully. But it worked for Ronald Reagan who was to become US President from 1981 to 1989. Until 1962, he was a Democrat. Something snapped in his relationship with that party, he left and told Americans: “I did not leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.”

So, changing friends and enemies is a salient feature of politics. But the examples I have seen abroad are not the every-season-back-and -forth type we have in Nigeria. Should persons who lead or aspire to lead be seen as rolling stones? The English say that a rolling stone gathers no moss. ‘Rolling’ means wandering. A wanderer cannot hope to go far in matters of trust. He cannot also amount to much. Latin writer, Publilius Syrus, is unflattering in his definition of who a rolling stone is: “People who are always moving, with no roots in one place or another, avoid responsibilities and cares.”

Choosing and dropping friends and friendships diminish the glitz in the gem of leadership. And Atiku is not alone here. He is no worse than Bola Tinubu who is in Afenifere’s coven today and is dropping vital info in Buhari’s cosy jet tomorrow. And those two, again, aren’t worse than Buhari who embraces an Atiku and a Tinubu in daytime and fetes their ‘enemies’ at night. And all of these potentates and their tribesmen are still not worse than you, the profligate party man without constancy. When the leader drifts and rolls without any explanation and you drift and roll with him without questioning, what kind of human are you? Trust thrives on deeply entrenched tap root of consistency. You cannot frequently replant a tree and expect it to yield good fruits — Planta quae saepius transfertus non coalescit… But we are being told that changing friends like sanitary pads is a choice – the choice makers say they have the right to so do. And the people also should have the right to choose who to trust and enthrone – and to enjoy the fruits of their choice.

Knowing the consequences of making wrong choices is wisdom. It is the reason our fathers take extra care in endorsing marriages or approving princes for thrones. Choosing presidents and governors is like choosing spouses. That singular decision affects lives, careers and destinies. You don’t entrust such decisions to the manipulative influences of strangers to goodness.

Two weeks ago, Ogun state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, said a foreigner would not succeed him in 2019. He did not name names. I was amused by the noise that followed that statement. Who among his critics would pray to be ruled by foreigners? Your brother may be a stranger if his ways are strange and weird. I expected every freeborn of that state to endorse that Amosun statement. He is not alone on that puritanical route. The position is already an issue in the coming elections in some other states. There will be louder noise on it in weeks to come. Does the Bible not even decree against giving your throne to outsiders? “You may not put a foreigner over you who is not your brother”(Deuteronomy 17:15). It is like marrying a stranger to the values you cherish. He will wantonly violate you while professing love. Every morning on Islam (TV) Channel, there is this profound prayer of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “…Let not those who do not show mercy towards us rule over us.” (Hadith al- Tirmidhi). Foreigners don’t know it pains you when it hurts. Almost all the wars ever fought by humanity were wars against foreign rule. If our fathers were not averse to rule by just any sovereign, the Fulani would be installing their emirs in Yorubaland. And the British would still be around, giving tasks to Her Majesty’s subjects to perform.

Our fathers took special care to choose their kings from among the best. They also never solely relied on their own mortal wisdom. They knew that every installed sovereign possessed awesome powers of life and death. So, they worked deliberately to exact “moral guarantees” against the powers they were investing the king with. They tied the human sovereign to the powers of the transcendent Creator. They trusted the divine in making vital choices. And they were very clear on the dangers that follow and come with strangeness. They kept vigils on their throne to make it pure and free of predatory saviours.  Choosing presidents and governors is not as simple as choosing a sleep partner. It is not even as flexible as that marriage that can be dissolved whimsically. It is the same as giving the brass ring to the priest in the market shrine. It will take more than violence to wean the ring off the finger of the powerful. When you empower someone to become your president or governor, he becomes your lord and saviour or the opposite of what a saviour is. Kingmakers know the risk when they kneel down to hang the power sack. They know that when they are done and risen on their feet, their hands won’t reach that pouch again.

Another season of elections is here. There are already many strange movements here and there. Godfathers who suffered abandonment are being rehabilitated. It is wisdom to feed the ones you plan to sell. Political hostages are also showing affections towards their powerful captors. They appear ready to do what kidnapped Patricia Hearst did in 1974: She assisted her kidnappers to rob a bank in California, United States. There is an ongoing redefinition of the virtues of loyalty, honesty and friendship. Politicians are changing shades and colours. They will soon adopt new names and oriki. They will wear new masks and costumes to confound many. They will switch camps the same casual way s3xual perverts change paramours. Kingmakers, priests and prophets will take over the night with long knives. They will anoint the next destiny deciders for the millions who follow without questioning. Choosing rulers is a life-changing decision. The wise won’t follow monkeys of spin doctors to feed on bananas of foolishness. Wisdom teaches that you choose wisely, carefully. I pray that those who won’t show you mercy won’t rule over you — again.