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OBJ will destroy you, Rimi tells Ya r'Adua

Posted by By DESMOND MGBOH (Kano) on 2007/07/07 | Views: 651 |

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OBJ will destroy you, Rimi tells Ya r'Adua

"(Ex-President) Olusegun Obasanjo is not a democrat. He is a dictator, a very bad politician, a bad influence and he is not good for our country's democracy."

"(Ex-President) Olusegun Obasanjo is not a democrat. He is a dictator, a very bad politician, a bad influence and he is not good for our country's democracy."
With those harsh words, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi at the weekend urged President Umar Yar'Adua to be wary of people he seeks advice from, lest he is misled into disaster.

Rimi, second republic Governor of the old Kano State and current National Vice Chairman of the Action Congress (AC), offered the counsel while speaking exclusively to Sunday Sun in Kano. He was shedding more light on why his party Thursday formally pulled out of the Government of National Unity (GNU) being proposed by President Umar Musa Yar’Adua.

AC had announced its withdrawal from the arrangement at the end of a five and a half hours emergency meeting held in Abuja. Former governor of Enugu State, Chief Okwezileze Nwodo who read a communique at the end of the meeting disclosed that party members were opposed to AC’s participation.
Among other conditions, Nwodo revealed that AC had set the probe of the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation[NNPC] under the tenure of Obasanjo’s presidency as part of its condition for participation in a government of national unity but he did not disclose what the response of government was.

For the eight years he ruled, Obasanjo was widely seen as the de facto "Oil Minister" since there was no substantive Petroleum Minister.
Giving insights, Rimi said the stand taken by AC was partly informed by the realization that the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasajo still enjoys an overbearing influence on the government of the day.
Given this influence which he descried as "overbearing", Rimi, in his characteristic frankness, warned that except the new president asserts his independence in policy issues and decisions, Obasanjo’s perceived meddlesomeness in the government affairs would ruin Yar'Adua at the end of the day.

Rimi pointedly said the decision to stay away from the proposed GNU came from the obvious concern that Obasanjo is still in control of the government, adding that this scenario is made most tragic by the fact that, "All his (Obasanjo) lieutenants are every where, dominating the government of the day.
"He (Obasanjo) is definitely not a democrat. We have seen him in the last eight years."
He also remarked that with Obasanjo’s recent appointment as the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, there are no signs that things would get any better.

On whether AC would re-think its case against Yar'Adua at the election tribunal, Rimi ruled out the possibility. He harped on the need not to trivialize the issue of the on-going legal battle because "We are talking about issues of the sanctity of the ballot as a factor in the democratic process."
According to him, the issue in question is not about "where the president (Umar Yar ‘Adua) comes from, whether he is a northerner or not, but it is about the fundamental rights of Nigerians and the survival of democracy in the country. The Nigerian people need and deserve a flawless democratic process." He said that the AC is pursuing the whole issue from the wider interest of the Nigerian society.

Rimi, however, declared that contrary to the reports in some media, he was not aware of any moves by traditional institution in the North or any other interested party from the traditional institution to sway the decision of the party or that of its presidential candidate, Alhaji on Atiku Abubakar, to withdraw the law suits filed in the tribunal. He also disclosed that, personally, he had not received any such message from the Emirs in the North.

Meanwhile, the Lagos chapter of Action Congress yesterday denied a report by a national daily (not The Sun) that the former governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was about to defect to PDP. It described the story as a " sponsored script of those who are not comfortable with the gargantuan profile of the most progressive and influential politician today, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu".

In a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, the AC said "it is unthinkable that a man who contributed material and intellectual resources to the emergence of Action Congress as a truly national party and a force in national politics would abandon the result of his sweat and decamp to a party that he defeated.

" From all indications, this story was packaged, designed , constructed and sold to the unsuspecting media by those who apparently are afraid of Asiwaju’s profile, not just in the Action Congress but also in national affairs.

"As usual, all such devilish designs against Asiwaju will fail woefully. It is on record that Asiwaju is the only leader of the Action Congress who was able to deliver his state to the party despite facing the most murderous, violent and aggressive threat from the national body of the Peoples Democratic Party who wanted to capture Lagos State at all costs.

How can such a seasoned politician and strategist, leave the party he built? Those who are hallucinating about a possible exit of Asiwaju from the AC in the hope that they can benefit from the political vacancy that might be created should wake up from their slumber. They are the ones who should decamp if they do not believe in the capacity of the AC to win back its stolen mandate in many states of the federation."

The Lagos AC called on all party members and the general public to "ignore the sponsored rumour and join hands with the leadership of the party to build a more formidable organisation that will lead Nigeria to the Promised Land."

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