The recent admittance of Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, that he received his political training from Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, a controversial figure who is widely perceived as corrupt and mendacious, has increased doubts about the sincerity of the self-proclaimed ‘anti-establishment’ to continue the onslaught against corruption in the country.
Obi made the confession at the North East stakeholders interactive session where he declared that “Atiku has [trained and] settled me and I am doing the same trade with him.”
The Labour Party candidate described his relationship with Atiku using the Igbo apprenticeship system in which a neophyte is taken under the wings of a more experienced actor for training and subsequent empowerment, often to continue the [business] legacy of his trainer.
Although Obi intended to justify what is considered his betrayal of Atiku with the analogy, Nigerians meanwhile have read a darker interpretation to the admitted link, with many of them expressing doubts about Obi’s integrity and the future of the country if entrusted to an avowed disciple of the Atiku school of politics.
Atiku is viewed by a large section of Nigerians as the poster child of corruption and abuse of power in the country, in part due to his involvement in the Haliburton scandal which led to the conviction of senior political figures in the United States of America, and the revelations by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku’s former boss who told the world that his deputy was the most corrupt man in the country’s history.
“To disclose that Atiku taught him everything he knows in politics is to indicate there is patently no substantial difference between the two of them and that is a worrying thing for me because Atiku’s role in Nigeria’s politics has been largely negative,” one commenter told us.
Mrs Abolore, an Ogun stylist who also commented, said “every day Obi surrenders information that shows that he is PDP down to his placenta, and there is no difference between him and those who destroyed the country for 16 years. I don’t think anything good can come out of training under Atiku.”