Opinion

The Atiku I know today… Is better than the Atiku I know yesterday

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By Tom Garba, Yola

Much has been said and will still be saying about Atiku,much has been written and many people will still be writing for this Man of unique destiny. My Morals,my conscious will never let me free if I do not write my own little Epistle on the personal and the character of this great Man of our time.

Initially I was thinking the gentle Man custom officer in the late 80s is just having a fulfill working career in the Nigerian Custom service,who is going to be comfortable and relax with his pension and gratuity. Little did I know that the Man Atiku is a born politician,this I understood when SDP convention held in Jos,1992, along side the late Chief MKO Abiola, Late Shehu Musa Yar’adua, Baba Gana Kinngibe and the likes of late Chief Solomon Lar, Tony
Anineh Audu Ogbeh and so on.

During the convention his voice was the most outstanding with a resounding emphasis to the tenets of democracy in the country.

Being a servants leader he forfeited his presidential dream of contesting in order to consolidate democracy by aligning with MKO Abiola who eventually believe to win the election and later thwarted by General Ibrahim Babangida Administration.

The Atiku of Yesterday to some people, was a retired custom officer dumped office to be a politician but on contrary he willingly resigned to venture into politics-what he believe is the only way that can help democracy to stand in Nigeria.

Atiku fight against Military dictatorship during the times that Abacha was the Military head of states in the late 90s, were he ruled all forms of dictatorship at that time him and many others sought for asylum in other countries for fear of been arrest by Abacha because of their firm believe in democracy as the only cardinal form of government that will safe Nigerians.

See him as upholder of traditional institutions and has a rooted link with the grass root people and the downtrodden. To Atiku all about him is people and people are him an inbuilt
quality that is sustaining and what equally distinguishes him than any body as far as I know, a reason why the most
prestigious traditional tittle of the Adamawa emirate council graced him with the “Turakin Adamawa” – the first traditional tittle received by Atiku at the age of 32.

√Other traditional tittles receive by the former Vice President are;

Zegemule u Tiv of Tivland,

√Sardaunan Ganye-Man of the people and lover of Mankind

√Shettiman Bio- Meaning a child of the ruling family.

Other are;

√Zanna Zantalma of Borno,
√ Zege Mule U Tiv,
√Enyioha Ndiigbo of Enugu,
√ Aaare the Source of Ife,
√Mayedoro of Lagos
√Sardauna Arewa

Almost all the tribes in the country realized the vibrant vice president ever produce in this Nigeria is no longer a mare Vice President but a representation of Nigeria as a nucleus entity, confirming him tittles from every part of the county Of recent from Ekiti State. Atiku will be known as Aare of Ire-Ekiti land one of the highly envied tittle in Ekiti state.

My Man of yesterday is an ovum of Wisdom in terms of investment,He started business while serving the Nigerian custom and ventured into real estate business. In 1974 he applied for and received a 31,000 naira loan to build his first house in Yola,which he put up for rent. From proceeds of the rent he purchased another plot, and built a second house.

He continued this way, building a sizeable portfolio of property in Yola. In 1981 he moved into agriculture, acquiring 2,500 hectares of land near Yola to start a maize and cotton farm. The business fell on hard times and closed in 1986. “My first foray into agriculture, in the 1980s, ended in failure,” he wrote in an April 2014 blog. He then ventured into trading, buying and selling truckloads of rice, flour and sugar.

His most important business move came while he was a Customs Officer at the Apapa Ports.Gabrielle Volpi, an Italian businessman in Nigeria, invited him to set up Nigeriigeria, invited him to set up Nigeria Container Services (NICOTES), a logistics company operating within the Ports. NICOTES would go on to provide immense wealth to Atiku. Conflict of interest accusations have since trailed him on account of his involvement in business while a civil servant, who exercised supervisory
authority.

On his part, Atiku has defended the decision,saying his involvement was limited to the ownership of shares (which government rules permitted), and that he was not involved in day-to-day running of the business. NICOTES would later be rebranded INTELS, and go on to feature prominently in accusations of money laundering levelled against Atiku by the US government during his Vice Presidency.

Atiku’s business empire also includes a beverage manufacturing plant in Yola, as well as an animal feed factory. People need to know who Atiku Abubakar, The
Turakin of Adamawa really is. Apart from Turakin Adamawa being a practicing Muslim and champion of peace and prosperities, adhering to the glorious teaching of his Islamic faith for justice, truth, and humanitarianism, the only Muslim Vice President of Nigeria who embraces all and sundry without any form religion feelings against the non
Muslims.

A good father that his children portrays high level of discipline and humility whose lives were never hard misinterpreted or misquoted, to the extend they are mingling with the children of common men without showing any spirit of high mindedness or being pumporse in any chance.

MY ATIKU OF TODAY

After much I could have thought my Man of many enviable character and qualities is having to probably enrich himself,of
recent my Burns were electrocuted down when I heard this great Man recently given a an inaugural speech during the occasion of the 10th Annual Founder’s ceremony of the American University of Nigeria (AUN) founded by him yesterday in Yola, with a passion and concern Atiku said “the country had done a poor job in handling its natural resource endowment and therefore should not squander its human resource as he called for education reform which will make government at all levels to provide free and universal basic
education.”

The former Vice President believe that only Education can safe the country as all sectors are in the state of total collapse. He emphasis the present Government not to gamble with Education as is the only sector that can resuscitate our dying system. In his keynote address entitled ” Beyond Terrorism: The need for Education reform”, the Turaki Adamawa hammered on the failure of past leadership to had mishandled the educational sector. He called the attention of present administration to recognize that education holds the key to any growing economy otherwise we may squander our human resource much as we have squandered our natural resource endowment.

He continued saying that through education reforms supporting access to qualitative education to all its youths, we can be able to disabuse the minds of our youths who unleash terror, adding that nothing can justify the killing of any
individual.

” We can ask them to drop their guns and take up other means of productive activities, because this mindless killings of others through insurgency cannot be justified,” he said.

Adding that we must pester government to provide free and basic universal education that we will ensure that not one youth is uneducated, stressing that in the same vein government must ensure universities don’ t become a bastion of the privilege but a place for hope.”

He said as the nation takes the arduous road to reconciliation and reconstruction after the insurgency, these measures must be made to span borders.Huh! Atiku- What a Man today, a lover of our dear country, despite his great names in Politics, Business, Philanthropic life style the best he sees himself as a lover of Education.

To him Education is the best you can use to rebuild destroyed country, is the only tool that be can used to rebuilding bastardized economy. According to him in all he has, there is nothing he much value and adore like the mighty edifices of American University of Nigeria (AUN), ABTI Academy which he will still spend more to see that humanity is transform in order to contribute Better to the economy grow of our nation.

AUN is established in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was founded in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State to bring the America style of Education in Nigeria to have a trained faculty – emphasising critical thinking, small classes, student participation, problem-solving.AUN became the largest ever individual donation in Africa according to google Association’s history.

″Our country’s educational institutions are clearly not providing quality learning. Our teachers need to be taught. This situation is a new development—of the past 10 years or so.The steady decline of education in Nigeria is a reflection of our country’s relegation of education to the background of national essentialities. That is where the change must begin. Teachers are important—as important as senators and doctors. Indeed, teachers determine the quality of senators and doctors. And so, the entire country stands to suffer the
effects of this neglect in future. Nigeria must once again make education a priority. We must return to the basics.″

In a bid to alleviate the educational decadence in Northeastern Nigeria, Abubakar issued scholarship to 15 escapees of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping. Coopted over 200 Almajiris in the American system of Education.

To him if you can built good education, we can built good people, if we can built good people ,we can built good destinies, if we can built good destinies ,we can built a good nation,if can built a good nation, we are certain to have heaven our final good place of rest.

My Atiku of today is no doubt a good leader,if only but,”if” the who and who in this country are willing to give this Man a chance to prove to Nigerians that he can change the Country to be the most enviable of all in the entire globe.

Atiku my best Man today,my best leader and ever a revolver of human destinies.

Tom Garba wrote from
(Practicing Journalist)
Yola,Adamawa state, Nigeria
Opposite Yola international airport
Damilu Jimeta,Yola
tomgarba5@gmail.com
08030525758,08172570959

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