Female politician and House of Representatives aspirant, Hon. Fateema Muhammed, in this interview with Global Excellence magazine, speaks about the aim and objective of her volunteer campaign group, Atikunation, which seeks the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s presidency in 2019, why she is confident the project is already a success and the group’s other activities. Excerpts…
Please share briefly the aims and objectives of Atikunation.
Atikunation aims and objectives are; to introduce the real Alhaji Abubakar to Nigerians, campaign and mobilize the electorate to vote for him in the forthcoming presidential election in 2019, and to make sure that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is sworn in as the next president of Nigeria.
Atikunation is a perfect name for its goals, how did it get started, who initiated it and how did the initiator manage to bring together like minds for the purpose?
Atikunation Independent Campaign Group (ICG) was initiated by me, Hon. Fateema Abubakar. My team, some of who are in the national and state executives, bought into the idea and together we contacted all those who sincerely desired to see the end of hardship in Nigeria, the kind of hardship Nigerians have been experiencing since this government came into power in 2015. We all agreed that the best candidate that can reconcile all the ethnic groups, tribes in Nigeria, restore our economy and move Nigeria to the desired Promised Land where she rightly belongs is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
You definitely didn’t start politics with Atikunation; so, how did you find yourself in active politics and when?
After witnessing a particular situation while driving past a suburb in Alimosho, where a woman who wanted to make point in an argument was shut down because of her gender, I decided I had to get involve in politics. And my involvement with politics started from there.
Atikunation is about the most conspicuous of the Atiku Abubakar campaign volunteer groups at the moment. Do you have the blessing of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in this project, is he involved in anyway, given the group’s deep passion for his candidature?
I will not want to speak much on this. I will only ask you to watch as events unfold. Very soon you will have answers
to this question by His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar himself.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar just resigned from his party, APC, giving reasons of ideology concern. Do you think he has taken the best decision, and do you think this decision could affect his political life in anyway?
Yes, he took the best decision by resigning from APC and this certainly will advance his political career. Let’s watch events as I have said.
You spoke recently on a live television show on party loyalty and defection. How would you explain the two in a clearer language?
Party loyalty is about your political party sticking to its goals and purpose. For instance; if your party’s initial goal was to provide employment, improve economy, provide good and affordable healthcare etc, then the party must be committed and loyal to that goal and purpose. This also will make the members to stay committed, but if the party deviates, there is tendency that members may also do otherwise.
Defection on the other hand is when you as a person joined the party because you were attracted to its goals and purpose and all of a sudden, your party completely deviated from its original purpose and refuse to heed to warnings of its members to return to the status quo. The best thing to do in that case is for you to move.
A former president gave an advise recently that OBJ is still a factor in Alhaji Atiku’s presidential dream; he in fact encouraged Atiku to beg Obasanjo. From a loyalist perspective, do you think this really have anything to do with Atiku’s political future?
Well, everyone in Nigeria has something to contribute to Atiku’s political aspiration. So, we have to cast our votes in for him to win the next presidential election. The person you are referring to is Atiku’s elder, and we must respect our elders.
Atiku, like a typical Nigerian politician, has tried his luck in many political parties for many years; do you think 2019 is the Atiku year and what are the signs that are there for all to see?
2019 is certainly the Atiku year. The signs are there. If you care to know, Atiku, as we speak, is Nigeria’s largest private employer of labour with over 50,000 employees. Dangote probably comes next with 26,000 employees. That tells you that Atiku is the best person to be given the job to change the Nigerian economy positively in the next dispensation. And these are the very reasons Nigerian are ready to vote him into power in 2019.
PDP still has its crisis. Alhaji Atiku is said to be eyeing the PDP ticket for 2019. If you were his adviser, would you rather want him to continue with the PDP or look for another party since he has got a name in politics already?
I will prefer he continues with PDP. There’s no organization without crisis. As small as a nuclear family is, it is not without crisis.
Is Atikunation all about politics or it is involved in other social activities?
Atikunation is about politics and social activities. Recently, we visited a veteran actor, Mr Sadiq Daba who is I’ll and identified with his challenge charity wise. Also, regularly we identify with charity foundations and organizations, one of which is Kenny Rhoda foundation. We also constantly empower students and teachers in public schools, among many other charity activities.