Presidential aspirant Atiku Abubakar is stepping out into his last shot at it promising full employment for the youths but without indicating a clear development strategy. Instead, he suggested a Presidency that might not go beyond an economy driven by the service sector instead of the manufacturing sector. His approving reference to the telecommunication reform in 2000 is seen in that light by experts. This has taken some observers aback given the perception that Atiku is more than prepared for the race.
As it is, the former Vice-President has left President Buhari, the incumbent, the chance to steal the thunder should he re-emerge quickly with a comprehensive development discourse for Nigeria. The winner of this race if it eventually comes down to Atiku versus Buhari is most likely to be the one of them who makes the most major mistake.
Ideally, a comprehensive development strategy ought to be a party’s entry point into a presidential contest, not that of the aspirants or candidates. In Nigeria in the Fourth Republic, neither the parties nor the candidates have been forthcoming with such documents. Except Dr Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda and the NEEDS document that came in the middle of the Obasanjo regime, candidates are used to offering nothing more than their own goodness. Is it possible that this round might not be too different?
In a move indicating how hands-on and heavily reliant on the media Atiku’s campaign would be in 2018/19, the former Vice-President utilised Facebook facility of Live Announcement in re-joining the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) formally as well as taking and responding to questions from the youths. His media office has transcribed and circulated the conversation since. It all gives an idea of how tough and tight 2019 presidential contest would be like.