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Umar warns Obasanjo… Says attempt to shift handover date will be resisted

Posted by By FEMI BABAFEMI on 2007/02/27 | Views: 750 |

Umar warns Obasanjo… Says attempt to shift handover date will be resisted


Former Military Governor of Kaduna State, Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd), has tasked President Olusegun Obasanjo to ensure that he does not stay a day longer than the May 29, 2007 terminal date of his administration.

Former Military Governor of Kaduna State, Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd), has tasked President Olusegun Obasanjo to ensure that he does not stay a day longer than the May 29, 2007 terminal date of his administration.

Col Umar, who spoke against the backdrop of fears of fresh plot to shift the handover date to October 1, warned that tampering with the on-going democratic process would not only be resisted, but the ensuing struggle would consume the perpetrators.

The fiery retired army officer also warned the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to desist from "fanatical activities" capable of derailing the nation’s democratic experience.

According to him, "any attempt to tamper with the on-going process or change the hand over date will start the destruction of the nation. No cause for a shift in handover date. Why will anybody seek an extension of handover now? The longer this present regime stays will spell doom for this country. It will tear the peace and unity of this country into shreds.

"I think their reason for trying to do that is to say we want to hold election in a peaceful atmosphere. But if they can’t prepare for election between 2003 and 2007, how can Nigerians trust them with six months? It is a ruse, it is untenable, it will be resisted. It will amount to sowing the seed for the destruction of this nation and anybody planning must know that he will be consumed by such evil agenda. We are prepared to fight it, we will resist it and fight it to the last."

Speaking on the activities of EFCC, especially the controversial indictment of some public office seekers, Col Umar berated the commission and its leadership, stressing that Ribadu has of late turned to a fanatic.

His words, "the commission has engaged in fanatical activities. Why has EFCC not been able to prosecute these people before now. If they surely know that they have these cases they are parading now against these people, why wait till this time, it makes the whole thing smack of hypocrisy and fanaticism on the part of the commission."
While stressing that both the EFCC and INEC lack the power to disqualify any candidate in the April elections, the former military governor stated that "anything done in that direction is not only totally wrong, it is also null and void."

He charged all those affected to go to court to seek redress. We should not allow it, it should be resisted and it must not stand," he added.
Also speaking on the latest Court of Appeal judgement over the feud between President Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the outspoken retired soldier said the court’s declaration had contributed immensely towards the stability and growth of democracy in the country.

"After the truncation of the third term agenda, this is an addition to the stabilization of democracy in Nigeria. The judiciary has actually contributed to the stability of Nigeria," he stated.
Umar praised the courage and determination of Atiku to challenge every injustice against him in court, stressing that he has through the various court judgements obtained in the last few weeks portrayed himself as a true democrat.

"When the correct history of Nigeria is written, the name of Vice President Atiku will be up there because he has fought his battles in a way that will strengthen democracy. Atiku has behaved like a democrat by taking his cases to court rather than being on the street or causing trouble. He has challenged every battle set before him by the presidency in the law court."
While condemning President Obasanjo for his attempts to label Atiku a corrupt politician, Umar said the scandals and revelations on the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) have shown that the President himself is not clean.

"I don’t believe that Atiku is as corrupt as the President wants us to believe. I have been following the PTDF issue, both are culpable as far as the allegations raised are concerned. They should go and prove themselves openly. Labelling Atiku alone is wrong and misleading," he stated.
He urged Nigerians to brace up and be ready to defend their rights as the nation prepares for another transition, adding that it will take the vigilance and commitment of all to see the country through the critical weeks ahead.









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