By Mike Odeh James
The founder and *the Director General* of deservation.org who is also *the prime mover* of The PUKKA initiative, Dr Sani Adamu has described the Former Vice President of Nigeria and the Presidential candidate the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, Dr.Atiku Abubakar a detribalized Nigerian whose antecedents have helped to shape Nigeria positively.
He also disclosed that Atiku has contributed greatly to the unity of this greatly , perhaps more than any Nigerian death or alive.He also said the former Vice President of Nigeria is one of Nigeria’s greatest asset due to his unifying factor .
Dr Sani recalled how in 1993 sacrificed his Presidential ambition for the sake of the unity of Nigeria
“It was at the Jos Township Stadium, during the Presidential Primary of the Social Democratic Party, SDP in 1993, Babagana Kingibe, who came tightly close to Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, MKO, had the support of most SDP Governors like Oyegun of Edo, Bamidele Olumilua, Felix Ibru ,and also others like Emeka Ojukwu, Arthur Nzeribe, Olusola Saraki, Ben Obi, Ebenezer Babatope were all bitter haters of MKO and great supporters of Kingibe and as delegates, they cast their votes for him in the first ballot and were ready to do same in the second ballot.
“MKO got support from Osoba, Kolapo Ishola, Isiaka Adeleke, Lamidi Adedibu, Bola Tinubu, Lateef Jakande, Chuba Okadigbo, Sule Lamido, Balarabe Musa, Abubakar Rimi, Dosu Ladipo, Yohana Madaki, Tony Anenih, Ango Abdullahi.
At the end of the first round of balloting, the individual candidates polled as follows:
According to Dr Sani, there was no clear winner a runoff was embarked upon,
” Those three were the leading aspirants and a run off must be conducted among the trio to select the flagbearer.
Yoruba Leaders in Jos thought it may be over for MKO since Kingibe and Atiku polled 5,321 to MKO’s 3,617 and supposing Atiku merged with Kingibe, one of them will get the ticket.
Dr.Sani further explained how Atiku emerged as the troubleshooter and ensure that the Southwest candidate became the Presidential candidate of the SDP.
“To break any possible alliance between Atiku and Kingibe, these three people headed straight to Ambassador Kwande’s house where General Yar’adua was to have a chat with Atiku, also Present at the meeting were Dosu Ladipo, Adedibu, SM Afolabi.
On getting to Kwande’s house, they approached Yar’adua’s personal assistant Inuwa Baba who told them that General was sleeping and shouldn’t be disturbed. The trio ignored him and went straight to General’s bedroom and banged his door!
“Mi ni ni?” Yar’adua shouted..
“Open the door General” the trio screamed back.
He opened the door.
The trio begged Yar’adua to prevail on Atiku drop his ambition and stop Abiola.
“Remember how we became Yoruba people enemies when we supported you and jettisoned Falae, help us too to regain our love back from our people. Tell Atiku to step down.”
According to Dr Adamu, after much pleading, General YarAdua agreed to prevail on Atiku to support MKO.
“Yar’adua and Atiku spoke in Hausa at length and in the end, Atiku broke down in tears, wept when his boss asked him to step down. Yar’adua gave him handkerchief.
While he was weeping, Abiola went close to him, hugged him and told him “you will be my deputy..”
Atiku then spoke, facing Yar’adua “Since you’re the one who brought me into politics sir, I cannot disobey you”.
Adamu further asserted that it was that moment that sealed Babagana Kibgibe’s fate .
He further stated that at the Jos Stadium, Atiku stood up announced his withdrawal from the race and urged his supporters to queue behind MKO..
It was Dr Atiku’s heroic sacrificed that gave the Southwest and Abiola the 1993 SDP Presidential slot.However, instead of honouring his agreement and pledge to make Atiku his vice , MKO succumbed to the the blackmail of 12 Governors who insisted on Babagana Kingibe as the running mate to him.
Again, Abiola was to address SDP supporters in Kaduna, expectedly, to announce his deputy. Atiku had arranged two horses, one for Abiola, one for him. That was SDP style of celebration. Again, for the fear of the governors and IBB, Abiola didn’t announce his deputy again, for the second time.
One day, in his house in Ikeja, Abiola, via a press conference, announced Kingibe as his deputy, There by bowing to the deadly wishes of Governors and ready to go into war with IBB and pacify Atiku.
The excuse given to justify this was that “Atiku stepped down but he didn’t say he stepped down for Abiola”
Abiola supporters knew that Abiola won’t win if Atiku didn’t step down but politics is a crafty game.
Sani went on to explain that without Atiku’s magnanimity towards , the latter won’t have won the June 12, 1993 and without June 12, the current political dispensation which the Yorubas are the major beneficiaries won’t have materialized .