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Author Name: Sam Nda Isaiah
Number of articles: 20
Recent events in the country necessitate that I repeat this piece, first published on November 3, 2003... (0) Comment


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Atiku: It’s Time To Move On!
Author: Sam Nda Isaiah | March 19, 2007



Vice President Atiku Abubakar is not barred from contesting the coming elections because any prima facie case of corruption has been established against him. He has been stopped by INEC because that is how Obasanjo wants it to be.

This is not the time for anyone to start gloating because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It is important to get that straight. People have their different perceptions about the vice president.

If you are one of those, like Nasiru el-Rufai, the FCT minister, who thinks the vice president is corrupt, you are still entitled to your view, but the fact on ground today is that no case of corruption has yet been proved against the vice president.

There has been a desperate attempt by President Obasanjo and his gang to present Atiku as the most corrupt man ever to walk the surface of Nigeria. From what we have heard from Nigeria’s rumour mill, it would appear that the VP himself has given Obasanjo and co ample opportunity to pin him down.

After all, was he not the one in charge of the economy during President Obasanjo’s first term? Was he not the one in charge of the BPE? Were there no whispers that he sold the AP to himself? Why wasn’t that used to nail him? Was Nasiru el-Rufai not a member of the Obasanjo committee that indicted the vice president?

Why was he mute about the sale of AP? That has become important because, as we can all see, the AP privatisation or was it allocation to Atiku has become one of the casualties of the Obasanjo/Atiku war.

It is very hard to see how Atiku is guilty merely from the reports of the PTDF probe. In fact, if one goes through the report of the pro-Obasanjo Senator Ndoma-Egba Probe Panel where Atiku is accused of abuse of office, Obasanjo was accused of the more grievous offence of breaching the law of the land, which is clearly an impeachable offence.

And if Obasanjo wants to hang his deputy on the crime of abuse of office, then the president himself should be sent to a maximum security prison with hard labour on such abuses of his office that are indeed very grievous.

Abuse of the allocation of oil blocks to his fronts, cronies and even companies like Transcorp in which he has substantial interests, the presidential library scam, forgery of electoral law and sundry others are just a few that could be the terms of reference of another committee any time after May 29.

What Obasanjo has succeeded in doing for Atiku since their face-off started is something far more positive than the vice president would have been able to achieve with all the PTDF money that was available to be abused. The president has helped in no small measure, in reconstructing the VP’s image.

To the extent that today Atiku’s image is that of a defender of democracy. He and his handlers should in fact be thankful and not see him as an implacable enemy. With enemies like Obasanjo, who needs friends?

Unlike in 2003 when the president and the vice president conspired against democracy to rig the elections together, today, the vice president is in the forefront of the fight against Obasanjo’s third term greed.

You may say he is doing that because he wants to be president himself but didn’t state governors with presidential ambitions pander to the whims of the sit-tight president even though they worked against it behind the scenes?

Today, it is really the vice president who is upfront against the president’s criminal serial breaches of the constitution no matter what anyone says. And he is doing that successfully in the courts.

The VP will be within his rights to continue to fight the president until he gets justice but if he reduces the struggle to “No Atiku, No Elections”, then he will start to lose the Brownie points he has garnered at the expense of Obasanjo in the last one year.

It is important for the vice president to note that he cannot judge his electoral strength simply by the number of people that attend his campaign rallies, as it should be clear by now that the vast number of Nigeria’s unemployed people are available for renting by politicians.

It is just N200 per person. Many people also attend the rallies to hear him and his followers thoroughly abuse the president. Nigerians love to hear that. People love to hear that Obasanjo’s government is the worst ever in Nigeria; they want to hear that there is no light, no fuel, no water, no security of lives and property, etc.

They just love the sound of that. But when it comes to the crunch, most Nigerians will remind themselves that even as a titular vice president, he was a part of the mess of the last eight years. When Atiku says “Obasanjo’s government is the worst ever”, it is true but he was virtually the alternative president during the first term and they shared power together.

For Atiku, this is the time to be a statesman. It is said, that while politicians think of the next election, statesmen think of the next generation. Atiku can still become president, especially with his new improved image, courtesy of Obasanjo, but certainly not in this coming election.

The only way he can become president in the coming election is through the type of rigging he and Obasanjo did for themselves in 2003, but this time around, he doesn’t have the security agencies, the police or even INEC to do his bidding; and besides Nigerians have made up their minds against rigging. And what is more, unlike Abacha, Obasanjo is not ready to drop dead now. And even if he is ready to die, we shall not agree.

He needs to be alive to see that power comes from only one Source.

So what is left for Atiku now is first, to make sure Obasanjo is pushed out of power by the next 70 days. The vice president knows more than anyone else that the president’s sit-tight agenda is still alive and well and he could really be helping in creating the chaos, and together with that, the excuse that the president badly needs to declare an extension.

But most importantly, the vice president must align with any of the existing presidential candidates to move Nigeria forward.

Even if Atiku on his own cannot win the presidential election today, whomever he supports among the frontline candidates will most likely emerge the next president. The VP, most likely, knows more than most of us how to stop Obasanjo’s impending do-or-die rigging.

This is the time therefore for Atiku to unleash his famous political sagacity and start making deals that would move Nigeria forward. And he doesn’t have much time!

EAR SHOT

Last Minute Oil-Field Stripping

The Obasanjo government will within the next few days award additional 30 oil blocks to several companies, most of which are owned by his cronies. But it will be unwise for any company to put money into any oil block at this point in time because most of them are going to be revoked anyway.

And this is irrespective of who takes over after May 29. General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s awards were revoked. These too will suffer the same fate.

With this coming jamboree, Obasanjo would have awarded more than 60 oil blocks in the last eight years.

This is more than the aggregate total of what Generals Babangida, Abacha and Abdulsalami awarded in nearly 15 years of their reign. No wonder, it’s a do-or-die affair!

(1) Comment


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NGEX welcomes and encourages reader comments. Permission to post reader comments is assumed, and we reserve the right to excerpt or edit for clarity any comments that are posted. We won't be able to publish all comments. And we can't vouch for the accuracy of posts from readers. Nickname or Name will be used to identify your post.
Skinner.    Greater Manchester., United kingdom.    March 19, 2007
Obasanjo has done his worst.But GOD Almighty is there to jurdge every man according his or her deeds.

Where are the mythiyers of Nigeria democracy today.....they have all gone but im sure they never envisage this type of urgly development after their departure.

All i know is that Obasanjo was only doing this to cover up his dirty past in the last 8 years.

I would only advise Atiku not to forment any trouble so that democracy can have its root in Nigeria,and more also he should remember that where two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.

Obasanjo has won him enough reputations to qualify him for the next coming election,this is just in four years time,its around the corner.

The Bible says.....100 years is just like a day before GOD almighty.

Team up with any other credible presidential candidate and make sure Obasanjo and his puppet presiential candidate does not make their way into Aso rock come May 29 2007.
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