2019: The Difference Between Atiku And Buhari

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In this interview with Ehi Ekhator, a former Member of the House of Representatives, lawyer and policy expert Ehiogie West Idahosa talks about next week general election the difference between Buhari and Atiku.

Below is the excerpt

Ehiogie West-Idahosa
Ehiogie West-Idahosa

Election is a few days away, how prepared is the PDP?

PDP appears prepared for the elections judging by their crowed campaign activities, materials and huge rallies everywhere. The presidential candidate of the party has put up a good fight to the point where many now believe that it would be a close fight between Atiku Buhari.

What is the distinction between Atiku and Buhari if the two are only a couple of years apart?

Atiku is lucky to be mentally alert at his age, Buhari is not so lucky. Atiku has a know-how on the economic management and job creation. Buhari is limited in such areas. Atiku appears to be a better talent hunter, Buhari is more interested in affinity and consanguinity.

The Presidency had recorded a few accomplishments of the present administration, in the meantime, despite everything a few Nigerians and the opposition has disagreed, what's your feeling on this?

I think Buhari has done well in curbing leakages of Government funds and ostentatious living amongst public officers. The elements are still there but narrowed to a smaller circle of privileged few. The presidency has done well with the completion of existing projects.

However, insecurity under the regime is unparalleled in our history. Nepotism in Government appointments is at the roof top. The fight against corruption is very partisan and has lost reckoning. Remarkable progress appears visible in rail and road construction. Hunger is excruciating due to unreasonable economic measures leading to loss of jobs arising from the relocation of industries and closure of businesses.

The inability to bring the price of the dollar down remains a problem for entrepreneurs who intend to promote industrialization by importing key machineries. The recent description of the country as the poverty capital of the world is an apt description of the story today.

Let's discuss Buhari alleged hostility against graft, is there anybody indicted that didn't generally give the EFCC motivation to prosecute them?

I believe the war against corruption is a necessity. At the moment, it is used largely as an instrument of repression against opposition leaders. Quite a lot of people who crossed over to APC have their cases stifled or kept in view with no further action against them. This is unacceptable. No visible Buhari appointee is on trial for any reason whatsoever despite frequent allegations of corrupt practices against many.

Who do you think will win the coming general race?

The forthcoming presidential election is a tight race from the outcome of many opinion polls. The biggest factor would be the role of public institutions. If they remain neutral, Atiku may swing it narrowly. If not, then we must prepare for four more years of Buhari’s rule.

If he did, what's next?

If the election is substantially irregular, I expect the loser to challenge the same in the appropriate tribunal instead of resorting to violence.

PDP lost the election to Buhari in 2015 in light of the fact that they supposedly lost their ways, what may be distinctive at this point?

Ideally, it is for the public to elect or sack a non-performing government. In 2015, PDP was sacked by the people. It is up to them to decide whether they want to keep Buhari or sack him.

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