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Buhari rules out deal with Yar’Adua

Posted by By FRANCIS AWOWOLE-BROWNE, Abuja on 2007/12/29 | Views: 634 |

Buhari rules out deal with Yar’Adua


Amidst pressures from various quarters on him to return to the Council of State in the new year, former Head of State and presidential candidate of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), General Muhammadu Buhari has said that no amount of appeal would make him change his mind on his decision to stay away from the council until his petition at the presidential election petition tribunal is dispensed with.

•Insists on boycott of council of state meeting

Amidst pressures from various quarters on him to return to the Council of State in the new year, former Head of State and presidential candidate of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), General Muhammadu Buhari has said that no amount of appeal would make him change his mind on his decision to stay away from the council until his petition at the presidential election petition tribunal is dispensed with.

He stated this, even as he dismissed the leadership of his party as political hangers-on, who could not stand on his way to becoming the next president, should the election petition tribunal order fresh presidential election.

Confirming pressures are on him to drop his hard line posture of not participating in the council of state meetings, the politician said he was aggrieved at the perceived monumental fraud that attended the last April presidential election on the basis of which President Umaru Yar’Adua of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared the winner.
With President Yar’Adua presiding over the Council of State meeting, he stated, he, then certainly could not be part of it or pressurised to partake in its meeting, more so, when he is challenging the election in the court.

It would be recalled that President Yar’Adua, through the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mamud Yayale had, recently, at the birthday ceremony of General T.Y. Danjuma attended by General Buhari himself, prevailed on the former Head of State to return to the council in the interest of the nation.
The Council of State comprises of governors, the president and all past presidents and Heads of State. They meet regularly to discuss national policy issues.

However, speaking in an interview with newsmen over the matter through his special aide and Director of Operations of The Buhari Organisation (TBO), Chief Edozie Ezengwai, the presidential candidate argued that he is yet to recognise Yar’Adua as the authentic president of the country and therefore could not sit by and watch a usurper presiding over a meeting he should not be part of in the first place.
According to him, it would be morally wrong for him to be battling the president at the tribunal and then be hobnobbing with him at the Villa in the name of a Council of State meeting.

The Director of Operations said: "Buhari will not return to the Council of State, how can he go back to the council, he can’t go to legitimize the government being challenged in the tribunal. At least, not until the tribunal disposes off the case.

"If we say we have democracy, then it must be pure democracy, Yar’Adua is not the president yet. He has been imposed and in democracy, you can only be elected, imposition is not part of democratic tenet, no amount of appeals or pressures will make the General change his mind. He is a principled man and his own politics is different. He is in politics to make a difference and improve the welfare of the people and not one of the hungry and food seeking politicians."

Chief Ezengwai maintained that since the former Head of State had chosen the constitutional option of venting his grievances against the election, "then it is only proper for him to wait till the tribunal rules before anything else. They don’t need to be mounting pressure on him to return."

The DOP stated that they believe in the prospect of a fresh election given the overwhelming evidences before the tribunal on the massive rigging and outright allocation of votes that were perpetrated during the last elections in the country.

According to him, the TBO was already looking ahead for another election which will be ordered by the tribunal and that there were structures in place to begin the process of another election.
He explained that General Buhari would defeat President Yar’Adua in any free and fair election in the country, pointing out that the president himself knew this and that was why he was giving excuses that he would not challenge the tribunal verdict if it is against him.

When reminded of the obstacles posed by the ANPP and its governors, with the party’s leadership already teaming up with the PDP government, Ezengwai stated that the TBO is not worried and that the presidential candidate is not losing sleep over the situation.

He dismissed the party as capable of constituting clogs in the wheel of progress of Gen. Buhari in the event of a fresh election being conducted, arguing that General Buhari had only learnt more about the character of his fellow party men whom he thought are principled but turned out to be "moles and food is ready politicians."

"For the likes of Ume Ezeoke, the Chairman of the ANPP, we know they are Aso Rock hangers on while the governors have no genuine intention to provide good leadership for their people, this is why they are not saying anything even when the party leadership is messing up, but all in all, no shaking"

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