Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party

 

(By Sam Amadi)-

Let me be upfront on this: there is no doubt that many northern intellectuals and civic leaders support APC for many historic and ethnic reasons. That is not gainsaying. So, Kadaria is likely an APC supporter and El’ Rufai is also family to her.

But, she did a good job in pressing Atiku-Obi on the corruption issue. if you interview Atiku and do not make a heavy weather of the corruption allegation that means you just blew him a kiss. Again, Atiku answered well, as you would expect a good politician. So, all square. I think she did great in trying to pin Atiku-Obi down on specifics of their economic rebuilding strategies and action-plan. I think she sounded exasperated, and rightly too with Obi’s number crunching. she wanted a perspective, a theoretic statement of what Atiku-Obi will do differently and not what Buhari-Osinbajo failed to do. Only a partisan will fail to admit that Buhari-Osinbajo failed evidently on the economic policy front. The Lagos Boys did not show up for these 3-plus years. But, we need a clearer picture of where we will go under the PDP government.

Kadaria’s push to get Obi to react to inequality and social exclusion that could attend a mindless commitment to private sector economic drive did not get good response. We need to know how corporate tax cut and other pro-market policies will promote welfare-enhancing growth. Tax cut and private sector investment without strategic linkages to social programs will not result in poverty reduction. Atiku-Obi should be more forthcoming with policy choices that china and India made that made private investment welfare-enhancing. Don’t forget that Nigeria made great strides in economic growth under OBJ but did not greatly reduce poverty. Why? speak to the strategic difference between pro-business in Nigeria between 2000-2010 (the decade of growth) and China and India today.

I think Kadaria erred in sounding too provoked by Obi’s responses. Obi is perhaps the smartest politician around. He may also be very cunning and he exhibited it yesterday. He is as smart and cunning as Kadaria’s beloved uncle, El-Rufia, but harmless though. And Obi did a great job. Kadaria is right to pursue him. But she showed a lot of passion to demystify him to the point of sounding disrespectful some periods in the Interview.

Some people have argued that the level of attack she gave Atiku-obi was not given to Buhari-Osinbajo. Well, to the best of my knowledge, Buhari-Osinbajo is not running on competence and intelligence. They are running on integrity. So, may be Kadaria does not feel there is need to pursue them so relentlessly. Where she failed is to behave as if she is extremely vexed by Obi. She even seemed hostile at times to the obviously partisan crowd. She needs to review the clip to do better next time. Otherwise, a good work for the Nigerian voters. As the troika once said (referring to Soyinka), “A sturdy youth does not fear a Wrestling match on the sand”. Atiku-Obi seem to be ready for the wrestling.