Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s quest for the presidency got a significant boost from the North when Nigeria’s former ambassador to Indonesia and member of the defunct Constitutional Conference, Ambassador Ibrahim Mai-Sule proclaimed that the Adamawa-born politician can succeed President Muhammadu Buhari because he has all it takes.
Baring his mind in an exclusive interview with The AUTHORITY in Kaduna, the respected diplomat and politician also dismissed the decades-old long myth of one monolithic North and stated it was now a dead horse.
With the peculiar insight of a diplomat he stated that the crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is firmly linked with members of the n-PDP group who migrated to APC and helped it topple former President Goodluck Jonathan. He said they have now infected the party with cancer.
According to the ambassador, “I think the north will seriously think of what to do in 2019; whether they want to continue with the same person or bring in another person…The fact is that Atiku is well qualified to be Nigerian President. He has the credentials and the capacity.
“He was elected Vice-President for eight years and has made the political atmosphere very lively, especially during the Obasanjo’s Third Term agenda. If you put what Bola Tinubu had become politically and you put all these together, I think Atiku has become somebody who has the capacity and attributes.”
Further laying out the basis of his position, stated that Atiku has both the experience and capacity. His words: “He has age on his side. He has experience, capacity to provide leadership, to carry people along. Look at all the people that worked with Obasanjo, he remained the rallying point.”
Responding to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s allegation Atiku is corrupt, Ambassador Mai-Sule said that, “I think he is one of the most highly probed politicians in this country and yet, they have found nothing against him.
“It is two of them that are in a better position to say why it is so. Tony Anenih equally said Atiku stopped him from being party chairman and so, he stopped him from becoming president.
“But the important thing is that nobody has found him culpable. When people look for what to use to pull you down and it is not there, they will look for something else and pull you down.
“Atiku’s problem was more of perception. He has always been an entrepreneur right from early stages in life. He is a self-made person.”
On the idea of a monolithic Northern Nigeria which represented a major conceptual plank influencing the region’s political influence, he stated that the concept was effectively dead.