By Uche Mbah
Prominent Nigerians are trooping to Atiku’s Dubai office for consultations and political jobbing with the hope of positioning themselves for the post-2019 presidental election appointments. Others are party leaders who are there on consultations on the modalities ogf the 2019 prsidential eletions.Many are using the opportunities of the lesser Hajj for political meetings also in Saudi Arabia. This magazine gathered that leading figures of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have converted the office of Atiku into the new Mecca. Besides, aggrieved party, ethnic and religious groups are trooping to Dubai to get the ear of the one that many believe will eventually unseat the incumbent Muammadu Buhari.
It will be recalled that shortly after the 2015 elections, Atiku left for Dubai where he had acquired an office, fuelling speculations that he was there to upstage the newly sworn in President Buhari. But Atiku denied the allegation, insisting he was there for medical treatment, citing physiotherapy for a knee injury as the reason.
This time, he has stayed more in his Dubai Office than he has stayed in Nigeria. Shortly after his emerging the PDP flagbearer, he left for Dubai, and since then has been shuttling between Nigeria and Dubai.
Latest among his visitors are former Niger Delta Warlord, Government Ekpemukpolo, also known as Tompolo, who was there to bridge the long-lasting rivalry between him and the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex Agiators, NCNDEA, Esghanekpe Isreal, also known as Akpodoro. Akpodoro was said to have been close to President Mohammadu Buhari, and was a point man for the presidency on Militancy affairs. With the meeting of both parties in Dubai, Atiku appeared to have reconciled them into unity of purpose in his bid to make serious political inroute in the Niger Delta. Prior to this, there has been an elaborate meeting at Ughelli, Delta state to deliberate on the political interests of the zone.
Besides this, a select group of Igbo leaders are said to have also headed for Dubai on the thorny issue of Atiku’s term limit. Many were made to understand that Atiku has decided to do a single term, after which he will hand over to the South east. That seemed to be the position until he became the PDP flag bearer, and, according to sources, he has been silent on the issue. They are also expected to present the issue of Ike Ekwermmadu, who, was said to have been worried that with the Obi Vice presidency, the possibility of Deputy Senate Presidency in the incoming adfministration is at best slim, though calls from the party Chairman, Uche Secondus apeeared to have calmed him.
His alleged meetings with the presidency has rattled his supporters and sent conspiracy theorists into overdrive. The Igbo leaders are expected to also discuss the sudden reappearance of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Biafran Separatist movement. Kanu has reappeared in the scene spitting fire and brimstone, claiming that the Isreali secret service helped him to escape. Aparantly chided by Isreali Government, he changed his story in subsequent broadcast saying his famlly smuggled him out of his house during operation Python Dance when, Acording to him, the Nigerian Military came to kill him.But the most serious issue is Kanu’s Claim that the current president is an impostor from Sudan, and that the PDP flag bearer is aware . This, according to those in the know, needed to be watered down for Atiku, and a unified reaction taken by both the party and the region. It will be recalled that Peter Obi, a former Governor and PDP Vice presidential Candidate, is said to be sympathetic to the cause of the Indegenous People Of Biafra, IPOB, though he is said to be uncomfortable with Nnamdi Kanu methodology.
Atiku is also using the Dubai Office to reach out to foreign dignitories. Representative of the Emirate Family were said to have visited him in Dubai in growing international recognition and solidarity.Only recently, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Wellby, visited him in Abuja. The Archbishop was said to have been a longstanding Buhari ally, who usually visits him whenever he finds himself in London.
There has been global predictions that the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari is on its last lap. The most recent salvo has ben from the Economist Magazine, arguably the voice of the shadow government of the world. It is said to be the mouth piece of he European Union, and that it usually encapsulated the official position of the Union.
The Atiku Campaign Apparatus is said to be in top gear waitng for the November deadline for Campaigns to begin.