The troubled presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has been accused of exploiting the ethnic identities of his numerous wives after a suspected sideline of his previously vaunted ‘Igbo wife’ during outreaches to the eastern region of the country and a renewed promotion of Titilayo Abubakar, his wife of Yoruba ethnicity, as part of alleged attempts to raise his fortunes in the western region.
Atiku Abubakar has struggled to generate excitement for his presidency in most parts of the country, particularly in the southern region where his bid is broadly considered to be out of turn and a mark of his unyielding desperation.
This is due to the fact that a likely win for the former Vice President would amount to an extension of the northern hold of presidential power after President Buhari’s eight-year term – a development unfavorably viewed as a violation of the north-south inclusive, power-sharing arrangement that helps maintain political stability.
To elicit support, especially in the southwest zone of the country where the APC’s Bola Tinubu has emerged as the unanimous choice, Atiku Abubakar has deployed varying tactics, including the increasing promotion of his wife, Titilayo Abubakar, who is Yoruba. It represents a dramatic reversal of his ploy in 2019 when a failed challenge for the presidency saw him advertise his marriage to a woman of Igbo origins in a bid to secure bloc votes from the eastern region of the country.
These moves have been condemned by Nigerians as unseemly, mercantilist exploitation of his wives and a contemptible political gimmick premised on the exploitation of ethnic identity and solidarity.
Commenting on Twitter in reaction to Atiku’s amplification of an initiative spearheaded by Titi as part of the PDP campaign, @TheresaTekenah said “where is your Igbo wife Jennifer? Oh! I forgot you need southwest votes this time, so it’s Titi’s turn.”
Another user, @lorrarry1 said, “he married from all regions cos of this day he has duped those women in kind.”