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No Reason for Obasanjo/Atiku Feud – ACF

Posted by From Agaju Madugba in Kaduna and Ahamefula Ogbu in Jos on 2005/09/06 | Views: 378 |

No Reason for Obasanjo/Atiku Feud – ACF


Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday said the face-off between President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar was unnecessary as the statement by Atiku that purportedly sparked it was innocuous.

Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday said the face-off between President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar was unnecessary as the statement by Atiku that purportedly sparked it was innocuous.

ACF's Secretary General, Col. Hamidu Ali said in an interview in Kaduna that there was nothing wrong with the Vice President's interview where he affirmed that Obasanjo would vacate office in 2007.

The ACF reaction came on the heels of warning from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the north that Obasanjo and Atiku should resolve their differences since the altercation was capable of overheating the polity.

The ACF scribe said, “since the Vice President has sworn to an oath to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he is not expected to be loyal to the person of Mr. President, rather be loyal to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the people, which he has done in many cases.

“If what Atiku said about the terminal date of President Obasanjo and that the President himself swore to him that he was leaving office in 2007 that is being regarded as disloyalty, I think Atiku, in this area has been loyal to Nigeria for saying that.

“This issue should not have caused a misunderstanding between the President and the Vice President, except there was more to it than we have heard and read in the papers.

“From all indication I think we would want to believe the recent revelation by Mallam Adamu Ciroma, in an interview that this problem between Obasanjo and Atiku did not just start today, rather it began as far back as year 2000".

The ACF secretary said the recent decision by the Presidency to direct the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and ICPC to open an investigation against President Obasanjo, Vice President Abubakar and Senate President, Nnamani, "is a trap by the executive arm of government against its foes in government.

He said, “We have never seen a situation where somebody who is in control of government will ask his agents to investigate himself and other people. Definitely when the report comes out, the head of government cannot be indicted of any wrong doing; but others will not go scot-free.

"The executive can still pursue such probe through the EFCC and ICPC, but any report that comes out of these agencies of government should still be subjected to the National Assembly, which will still set up an independent investigation, panel to either confirm or reject the report from EFCC or ICPC.”

CAN secretary-general, Elder Saidu Dogo, said in a separate interview that, “both the President and the Vice President should spare the nation of any problem that may endanger democracy in the country.

“If the PDP cannot put its house in order there are other parties in the country that are ready to take over the leadership of this country in 2007. The people in the country have had enough of poverty and starvation, anything that will endanger democracy in Nigeria will make the entire populace worse-off.”

Meanwhile, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Yahaya Kwande yesterday said "only God can stop Atiku from contesting Presidential polls in 2007".

Kwande who said that those angling for the exit of the Vice President from the PDP were ignorant of the man's political weight, also added that it was not possible to intimidate him into abandoning what he has built.

He said Atiku has worked assiduously to build credibility in the party which engendered its acceptability and insisted it was not rational for anyone to expect him to abandon what he has built.

"I have not seen any reason why Atiku Abubakar would be blocked from contesting, the only thing that will stop him will be an act of God. I know him to be a shrewd politician and we laugh at all these gimmicks that is going on, probably they don't know Atiku", he said.

He dismissed as a "figment of people's imagination", speculations that the VP has concluded plans to jump ship with some governors and join another party since it would be akin to building a house and running away from it.

The politician who is said to be a close confidant of Atiku vowed, "We are not going to leave PDP, I assure you on that, it is our party which we built from the scratch and it is only a loss at the polls that will stop us".

He admitted that the issue of who would be President in 2007 was at the root of the altercation since the Vice President wants to achieve his ambition of becoming President while Obasanjo was working on getting a third term.

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