If you read a review of Atiku Abubakar’s freshly released policy document (or the main thing itself) and thought it underwhelming, you are not alone.
Okey Ikechukwu, a prominent public affairs and leadership analyst who expects the PDP to win in 2019 expressed “thorough disappointment” with the former Vice President’s efforts at convincing Nigerians about his plans. Dr Ikechukwu, speaking on Arise News’ Morning Show, called on the candidate and his party to rework the plan as it contained mostly generalizations without details with regard to implementation.
“The Atiku document should show some greater effort to produce something credible. Too much of the early pages were spent on telling us about problems we know about. The vision in the document can best be described as statements of good intention. ‘This is what we want to do’; anybody can say that”.
Dr Ikechukwu was critical of the absence of “an organic merger” between the candidate’s vision and the PDP manifesto and constitution. He said the negative difference between the document and other policy drafts of which Atiku was part of while serving as Vice President “diminishes the expected stature of a seasoned statesman”. Implementation strategies, Ikechukwu says, should accompany recommendations for a campaign running as an incoming government.
Before Atiku Abubakar emerged from the PDP primaries, Dr Ikechukwu was the Director-General of the Aminu Tambuwal presidential campaign. It would not be surprising that he dismissed the ‘Next Level’ roadmap of the Buhari administration as “a no level document and, if we are to take it seriously and the government is to return based on that, we are finished”.
Meanwhile, Osita Chidoka, a PDP adviser on strategy and external engagement for the 2019 presidential election was bullish about the merits of Atku’s policy document. Stating that the PDP was giving the country another opportunity to heal from recent trends of hate and division, Chidoka projected Atiku‘s plan as a framework for unifying Nigeria and creating prosperity.
“You cannot have economic growth without dealing with the underlying feelings of marginalisation and division. The policy document Atiku brought out is all encompassing, beginning with the philosophical underpinnings of governance, unity, and security the Nigerian state.
“The APC’s policy document is a wishlist. There is no coherent philosophical framework for governance; we don’t know if this government is a free-market approach government or a statist government… We cannot go to the next level when we have the best level; Atiku represents the best level and Nigerians should definitely go to the best level”.
Mustafa Chike-Obi, the Atiku campaign’s economic adviser who was on the team that drafted the document echoed Osita’s positive vibes. He defined it as being aimed at achieving “a smaller, more efficient federal government” as against the ‘Next Level’ document which seeks to create more responsibilities for the federal government.
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