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Posts tagged ‘Atiku Abubakar’

Come With Me To APC, Atiku Urges Supporters.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

Erstwhile Vice President and new darling of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has urged all his supporters and loyalists in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties or associations to immediately register with the opposition party.
In a personally-signed statement released by his media office on Friday, he implored all his supporters to move to a common platform to accelerate the much-needed change in Nigeria’s democratic direction.

“The imperative of change demands a united front and voice. Instead of being on the fence, all my supporters should not hesitate to register with APC in order to be part of the historic movement towards revitalising our democracy by making it more results-oriented”, he said.

“For my supporters to be part of the much-needed change, they must register massively, as participation is the vehicle to influencing change in every society”.

Atiku left PDP in 2006 for the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), but he returned three years later. He again exited the ruling party on 2nd February 2014, citing the party’s failure to abide by the reform programmes it promised, as well as the plan of its leaders to constantly overlook him.

“Over these years since I returned, the PDP hasn’t invited me to any party functions. Even as a statutory BOT member. Even after walking out of the special convention to force changes, the party never contacted me. Not once. PDP doesn’t want change. I have also been kept out of NEC meetings and locked out of its caucus”, had written on his page on social networking site, Twitter.

“Like in 2006, it is the struggle for democracy and constitutionalism and service to my country and my people that are driving my choice and my decision [to defect]. Let me emphasise that this is not about me. We have to have a country before people can aspire to lead it, but as it is today we may be losing this country. That is not acceptable”.

But PDP replied him the following day through its deputy national chairman, Uche Secondus, who described the former VP’s latest defection as a voyage that would end in no time.

“The good thing is that the PDP is so consistent and constant that when they leave, they go on a voyage and they come back and we receive them” Secondus had said.

“I can tell you that they will go and come back and we are waiting for Atiku to go on this voyage and to come back. He has done it before. This is not the first time, and we will welcome him back when he comes because APC cannot win [any] election. They are not firmly rooted”.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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On The Practice Of Nigerian Democracy By Felix Di Netimah.


By Felix Di Netimah

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of people in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it. – Frederic Bastiat

The President has convened a national conference. From all corners of the country chosen delegates will pour forth upon the nation’s capital. The principals will meet in private. There will be initial discussions (horse-trading), negotiation (you scratch my back and I yours) and finally agreement (a nod and a wink). Thereafter, their factors will pronounce our fate in public. They will say the ‘people’ have decided. They will say this is democracy.

Is it?

My friends, it is not. It is a kleptocracy. Our leaders practice a form of government designed to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population and with the pretence of honest service . This national conference will do nothing other than to further the interests of the elite.

On the one hand, we should be honest enough to acknowledge corruption is the normal condition of human society. From the dawn of human societies whether Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon or Republican Rome, whether Victoria’s England or Boer South Africa, social organisation has been based on the use of force to seize assets and gain power. Once seized, the elite then create and cement rules that legitimise and sustain their hold on power.

So modern Nigeria is not unique in the history of human social organisation. Our corruption is endemic not because we are different from the rest of the world but possibly because corruption itself is part of human nature.

But on the other hand, we decry the greed of the elite, we decry their avarice, we decry their materialism. And why? Because this national conference, if properly done, represents a golden opportunity for change in the country.

It presents an opportunity to change the ethos of the elite. Major Nzeogwu condemned the ethos of ‘ten percent’ in explaining why he felt compelled to seize power in the coup of 15 January 1966. Then the elite creamed ten percent off official contracts in bribes and such like. But in the decades since, our elites have arguably taken corruption to deeper, more pervasive levels. Where once ten percent would do, the new elites take it all instead. Where once those in power showed self restraint in asking for 10 percent, our modern leaders will take it all, award a new contract for the same work and then help themselves to more again.

The national conference offers a real opportunity for the leaders to get together and impose self restraint on themselves. Let’s not talk about the aspirations of Nigerians, the type of democracy we should have, the composition of the National Assembly or Jonathan’s bid for a second term. No. The people do not want to know whether Jonathan had an agreement with the ‘North’ (more on that later!) They want to know when they will have uninterrupted power, food in their bellies and education for their children.

The starting point for ensuring we achieve the aspirations of the people lies in ensuring we spend more of the national wealth on the people. We cannot eliminate corruption overnight. But restricting our elites to 10 percent for starters would go a long way to ensuring our evolution to a modern socially progressive nation.

The other change I would propose for the national conference? An end to federation. The conference should dissolve this union as we know it and set the terms for a confederation of Nigerian States. The terms should then be put to the vote of the people in a referendum.

Felix Di Netimah
London January 2013

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Jonathan is Incompetent; we are sorry for making him President Ex-Governor Sylva Begs.


 

Timiprey Silva

The immediate past Governor of Bayelsa State, Timiprey Silva, on Monday  in Yola, Adamawa State capital, tendered an unreserved apology to all  Nigerians for giving them a wrong leader from the Niger Delta.Ex-Governor Sylva recalled that in 2011 he was in Adamawa State with  elders of Niger Delta to plead with the North to vote for their son,  Goodluck Jonathan, as President. He said that action was a big mistake.
“The country is not performing, the ship is sinking due to poor leadership,” he said and urged all Nigerians to drop petty sentiments and vote massively for APC and flush out PDP in 2015.Silva, who spoke at a grand rally organised by  opposition All Progressives Congress said he was tendering the apology  on behalf of elders of the Niger Delta region.He said the Niger Delta region is now regretting for bringing an  incompetent leader who has infected the nation with poverty, corruption  and religious sentiments to divide brothers and sisters.
Also speaking at the rallyNational Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said: “the hour has  come for well wishers to save the ship of the nation from wreck under  the leadership of the PDP.”Tinubu assured that APC will revamp the nation and give Nigerians true  dividends of democracy as is being witnessed in all the states that the  APC is controlling today.He said the coming back of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar into the  APC is a giant stride that will move Nigerian democracy forward.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Atiku desperate for Presidency – Clark.


 

Atiku-Abubakar

ABUJA- FORMER Federal Commissioner for Information and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark yesterday lampooned erstwhile Vice President Atiku Abubakar over his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to All Progressives Congress, APC, saying he is political ambitious wanderer.According to Chief Clark,  there were a number of reasons why Atiku left PDP, but was quick to add that the  former Vice President forgot that he was a founding member of PDP and one time  Vice President of Nigeria.Speaking yesterday at his Asokoro Residence in Abuja when a group of Niger-Delta protesters under the aegis, Coalition of Urhobo Nation Youth Leaders and Stakeholders led by a civil rights activist, Mr. Rex Anigboro, protested to him over what they termed, marginalization of Urhobo people in federal appointments, Chief  Clark who noted that Atiku Abubakar leaving the PDP was uneventful, however described him as a politician who is desperate for the Presidency and “will go to anywhere and will do anything.”
AtikuAtikuMeanwhile, the  Coalition of Urhobo Nation Youth Leaders and Stakeholders yesterday drummed support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s re- election bid come 2015, adding,  he is “the best performing President that Nigeria has ever produced, be it military dictatorship or democratic leadership.”Speaking further on Atiku’s new political journey, the Elder statesman said, “Atiku’s defection is not an event, it is uneventful because of his ambition to become President at all times. He will go to anywhere and will do anything. He now believes that one day he will be President, even though he is telling people that he is not interested in the Presidency. That is his main aim of going to APC and you will soon see it. Atiku will soon want to contest the 2015 Presidential election.“While he was Vice President, Atiku formed a party and contested election as a Presidential candidate. The Supreme Court allowed him to do so and he came back to PDP. The Governor of Adamawa State said he did not return to the party but came to the national Headquarters where he may have been granted certain concessions.“So Atiku had problems with his people in his state, he has not been steady. If he was not ambitious because of Presidency and so on, the former President of this country under whom he worked as Vice President, Olusegun Obasanjo would not have tormented him and almost charging him to Court. There is nothing he didn’t do and he called him several names like thief and removed all the powers, including security, from him. The same Atiku will go to Obasanjo’s house in Otta and want to be part of the same political system.“The five Governors who who were championing against the PDP, Mr. President and the (former) national

chairman of the party were all boys of Obasanjo. Everybody knows that there was no way they were going to allow Atiku to be President of this country because Obasanjo will not allow it. But now, he has gone to APC and very soon you will know what will happen.”“His going to APC is uneventful and nobody cares about it. He has been moving from party to party. He formed PDP, he cannot deny to Nigerians that he didn’t form Peoples Democratic Movement as a party. He paid for it, the records are there and the evidence is there. One would have expected him not to leave PDP. Very soon, you will hear that PDM has joined APC. That is his intention, he wants to join APC and then bring PDM to join APC. So one is not worried, Nigeria is greater than any individual, no individual can hold Nigeria to ransom.On 2015 Presidency, Chief Clark who noted that every Nigerian was qualified to be President, provided they have the competence and necessary qualification, stressed  that  for one to be President of Nigeria, “you must learn to serve before people will serve you and that is the position.”Still on Atiku, Chief Clark who noted that he never expected  that Atiku would take late President Umaru Yar’Adua to Court after the 2011 election, having regard to the relationship between late General Shehu Yar’Adua and Atiku, said, ” Infact, he visited their mother when he was campaigning against Umaru Yar’Adua to show how close they were. One would have expected that after the elections, even when he claimed the elections were rigged, he should not have gone to court.” I wrote him a personal letter which I copied to the late Yar’Adua and Yar’Adua replied me begging Atiku not to pursue his case. He didn’t hear, so when it comes to Presidency, nobody can pin down Atiku from going to anywhere.“That is Atiku, you remember how he fought Obasanjo and both of them were accusing each other of spending money belonging to Petroleum Technology Development Fund. So people should know what they want for themselves; they should leave Nigeria alone to grow. There are so many people in this country and that is why we want national conference.”
By Henry Umoru

Source: Radio Biafra.

Why I quit PDP for APC – Atiku.


Atiku-Abubakar-0012

After weeks of speculation, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on  Sunday announced his resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.  Mr. Abubakar said he is now a member of the opposition coalition, the  All Progressives Congress, APC, and that he will hand in his resignation  letter to the PDP on Monday.
Coming amid the turbulence that has since engulfed the ruling PDP for  months, the former vice president said he left the party because it has  “lost touch with Nigerians”, and has failed to resolve its many crises,  mainly instigated by its leadership.“We have, therefore, concluded that that party cannot be redeemed. In  short the PDP has abandoned Nigerians, the very people who gave it life  and many electoral victories,” the former vice president said in a  statement Sunday.Mr. Abubakar is leaving the PDP the second time, having quit the party  in 2006 at the peak of his standoff with then President Olusegun  Obasanjo ahead of the 2007 elections.He later joined the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, a party  that would later, in alliance with other opposition parties, transform  to the APC.Mr. Abubakar rejoined the PDP in 2009 after Mr. Obasanjo left office. He  said he did so as a new leadership of the party and the country had  promised a new direction, inclusiveness, internal democracy, an end to  impunity, adherence to the rule of law and respect for the dignity of  members and Nigerians.“Sadly, however, those promises have not been kept. In addition, the PDP  continues to be beset with many crises, mostly leadership-induced  crises,” he said in his statement on Sunday.Mr. Abubakar’s decision to quit the party the second time would hardly  be surprising having been one of the leaders of PDP who staged a walkout  from the party’s national convention in September 2013.That protest, backed by seven governors-five, whom have already defected  to the APC- was the first public demonstration of the bitter divisions  within the PDP. It culminated in the formation of a splinter group  called the new PDP, which later fused formally with the APC.The former vice president said months after, the party, as well, has failed to address the issues that led to the walkout.“Many founding members of the PDP, I included, continue to be  marginalized and excluded from the affairs of the party. For instance as  a former Vice President, I am by virtue of the PDP constitution, a  member of the party’s Board of Trustees and its National Executive  Committee,” he said.“However, I am not invited to the meetings of those organs nor consulted  on their decisions, apparently because I dared to exercise my right to  contest in the party’s primary election for a chance to be its  flag-bearer in the 2011 elections.”Mr. Abubakar remained largely passive with the activities of the PDP  after the walkout, and recently announced he was consulting on his  political future.The former vice president was later linked with a new party, the Peoples

Democratic Movement, PDM. He denied being a member of the party.But the PDM said on Sunday it was briefed by Mr. Abubakar about his  decision to join the APC, and thanked him for the consultation.Mr. Abubakar said his decision to join the APC was the “right decision”,  and may not be popular among his supporters. He said he considered  Nigeria first.“As in 2006 it is the struggle for democracy and constitutionalism and  service to my country and my people that are driving my choice and my  decision. Let me emphasize that this is not about me. We have to have a  country before people can aspire to lead it, but as it is today we may  be losing this country,” he said.He said the APC is a party of change committed to the improvement of the  lives of our people and to the continued existence and development of  Nigeria as one indivisible country.

Source: Radio Biafra.

US: Nigeria Won’t Break up in 2015.


Mr. James Entwistle

Worries about Nigeria breaking up may not be unfounded after all.  The  United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, during an  interactive session with some journalists in Lagos, said his country,  contrary to misconception, was not preparing  for Nigeria’s breakup.
He said: “I don’t see any sign of a breakup. There is no sign that  Nigeria will breakup. If this country is going to breakup in 2015, to  me, I don’t see any sign of it. You have challenges in this country, but  you are moving forward towards a bright future. There is no issue that  the country might break up.“Yes, your country had a devastating civil war just like my own  country. It almost tore us into two. I think both of our countries have  learnt how difficult it is to hold a country together and that has  certainly been a big factor in my country. The idea that Nigeria is  going to fall apart in the coming months is news to me; I am not sure  where that idea is coming from.”
Entwistle, who assumed duty in Nigeria last November, said Nigeria  parades array of talents and extraordinary creativity that will continue  to make the country an important place in Africa.
“In three months that I have been here, my overwhelming impression is  how smart and intelligent that Nigerians are. After three months, I am  very impressed by the creative spirit of Nigerians as they face  challenges. It is clear there are huge challenges ahead, but we are  committed to help Nigeria.“Every conversation I have on any subject, (I am just coming from a    roundtable discussion on the power sector here), I have really been  impressed by the energy and the drive and I get this sense that Nigerian  people are saying: ‘yes, we have challenges; things we have to deal  with but we can do this. This is our country. We will get this done.’  They appreciate help from outsiders and they just have this very strong  sense of pride that this is our country. We are going to get this  right,” he added.
He urged the federal government to strengthen its coordination efforts  with international organisations and neighbouring countries to stop Boko  Haram insurgency.“Whether it is fighting terror or the war on drugs or any of these  international problems that cut across borders, no one nation can do it  by itself. To really get at Boko Haram, your government needs to  continue working with Cameroun and Chad because these guys cross the  borders. These are guys for whom international borders are largely  meaningless. The only way to deal with these guys is to collaborate with  your neigbours and relevant international organisations.“I think in my conversation with your government and military, I think  there is a growing concern over finding an enemy who mixes with the  civilian population. So, that needs to be a focus,” he said.
He reiterated his country’s commitment to a review of African Growth  and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for inclusion of Nigeria’s value-added  products for export into American market against the current Generalised  System of Preference (GSP) provisions that allow  just oil as export  commodity from Nigeria into America.“We will continue to review AGOA. We will like to see other sectors of  your economy to begin to take advantage of AGOA,” he said.
On the recent law which bans same-sex unions in the country, Entwistle  said gay issue was a controversial one all over the world and that it  was up to Nigeria to define  marriage is.
He, however, expressed worry about certain clause in the law that places restrictions on freedom of assembly.
“As a friend of Nigeria, we are worried that the new law puts  restrictions on freedom of assembly or association. When you start  limiting freedom, it is worrisome,” he said.
Adeola Akinremi

Source: Radio Biafra.

Billionaire House Helps By Okey Ndibe.


Okey Ndibe
Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

Nigeria’s (misnamed) Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the schedule for the 2015 set of general “elections.” The presidential and National Assembly “elections” will be held on February 14, 2015, followed by state “elections” on February 28, 2015.

I have put elections in quotes to underscore a given: the electoral exercises are bound to be another Nigerian-made mess, a fraud fest, a classic of rigging. Even INEC has signaled this by warning Nigerians not to expect a “perfect” election. That’s a Nigerian shorthand that translates as, “Expect a massively rigged election, as usual.” When a Nigerian (politician or a politician’s apologist) announces, in reaction to accusations of corruption, “Nobody is perfect,” it’s a coded way of saying, “Yes, I (or my oga) stole, but who doesn’t?”

It’s become settled practice: every four years, INEC puts together an obscenely expensive show called “elections.” But the point of the bazaar is to enable the various political parties to exhibit their varying levels of versatility at rigging. Yet, at the end of the show, determined to dress up the event in borrowed garbs, INEC and the “winners” declare that “no election is perfect.” Or, to explain away the more mystifying aspects of the hollow exercise, the “winners” declaim that God, not the electorate, voted for them.

Many wonder whether Nigeria will survive past the 2015 “elections.” It depends on what they mean by survive. Nigeria has subsisted as an increasingly lawless place for decades now. Post 2015, the degree of lawlessness will be compounded. Violence, already the currency of Nigeria, will be writ larger. The endangered species called the Nigerian citizen will be further diminished and crushed. The instruments of the Nigerian state, at the local government, state and national levels, will be hijacked anew by a set of buccaneers. Filled with disdain for so-called citizens, driven by the singular mission of transferring public funds to their private pockets, unable or uninterested to legitimize themselves through the popular consent of citizenry, the hijackers of state power will resort, more and more, to the use of violence.

INEC’s timetable for the next set of a rigging jamboree is not the only source of foreboding in Nigeria. Nigerian politics—which is often reduced to politicking—is amazingly bereft of issues. Yet, it is a country that has a lot of issues.

The organized scam that bears the name Nigeria has not addressed the most basic of questions. With the exception of the few who run the shop, Nigerians can’t claim to possess any rights as citizens. I know: somebody is going to flip through the pages of the Nigerian constitution and read the bla bla bla it says about the rights of citizens. But the words are baloney. The fact is that, all too often, the Nigerian constitution wilts and the law courts shiver when the occupant of Aso Rock sneezes. It doesn’t matter what the constitution says, any sergeant in the Nigerian police can arrest, beat up, and lock up any poor Nigerian who crosses a big oga. The security detail of a any Nigerian state governor can wreck the car of any driver slow to move out of the governor’s way in traffic—and expect not to be called to account.

The recklessness of the police is matched by the timidity and corruption of the Nigerian judiciary. Many of my Nigerian lawyer friends despair of the willingness of too many judges to cheapen their bench by accepting lucre in exchange for judgment. In a country where custodians of the most exalted offices are the boldest, grandest thieves, few are tempted to stick to the right path. To insist on doing the right thing in Nigeria is to risk losing your job, being passed over for promotion, being jeered at by peers, friends and relatives, and being excluded from the list of recipients of national honors.

Nigerian “elections” are such violent affairs because political posts are a sweepstakes. The Nigerian president, governors and local government chairmen rake in billions each year in a scam called security vote. The Nigerian president and governors enjoy immunity from prosecution, even when they commit grave crimes. Nigerian legislators have become legislooters in popular parlance, and for good reason. Elsewhere, political office holders function as servants. In Nigeria, they exchange knowing winks as they announce, in jest, that they are our servants. Americans pay President Barack Obama $400,000 per year for the job he does. Each month, each Nigerian governor pulls in five to seven times Mr. Obama’s annual salary as security votes.

Nigeria’s public officials are like domestic house helps who have been allowed to set their salaries, and have set them at billions of naira. Yet, they are house helps who don’t know their right from their left. Their pay packets may dwarf Mr. Obama’s, but they and their hired hands are first to protest that they must not be held to American or European standards of performance.

It works for Nigerian politicians not to set any store by issues. Ideas-based politics is the graveyard of hollow politicians, the surest way to expose their mediocrity. That explains the recourse to such trite, boutique phrases as “dividends of democracy” and “moving the nation forward.” The Nigerian politician’s worst nightmare is to be challenged to specify what s/he means by “dividends of democracy” or to articulate the particular means as well as philosophic underpinnings of “moving the nation forward.”

It is this absence of discursive rigor in Nigerian politics that has brought the country to yet another absurd moment. The absurdity lies in the way in which a faction of the PDP establishment has joined an opposition coalition, and is now presuming to represent a fundamental alternative to the ruling party. With each passing day, the All Progressives Congress (APC) resembles a re-baptized PDP. In fact, a part of me suspects that the APC is something of the PDP’s Plan B, a part and parcel of the PDP’s threat to run Nigeria for a minimum of sixty years, or until the country collapses and dies.

 

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

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