Atiku Seeks Political Asylum?

by Paul I. Adujie

The former vice president of Nigeria, Mr. Atiku Abubakar is said to be seeking political asylum and a residency permit, or green card, as they are colloquially referred in the United States of America.

Mr. Atiku Abubakar, it will be recalled, fled to the United States after he caught wind of an intensive and massive probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which has had an ongoing searing search for public resources pillaged and plundered by the former vice president, public resources which he converted for his personal benefit.

The former vice president of Nigeria, who was deemed expelled and dismissed by his former political party, the People Democratic Party last week, is currently in the state of Maryland, where he owns and maintains a palatial mansion in a well-heeled neighborhood. A mansion that he acquired about five years ago, an acquisition or purchase prohibited by law if undertaken while he was the vice president of Nigeria

Mr. Atiku Abubakar, now a political refugee in America, a man who was Nigeria’s vice president until last week, is said to have become a political orphan who has become so desperate. He is currently sitting in limbo in his Maryland mansion. Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports are that he is seriously contemplating a petition for political asylum, in which he may secure a temporary respite from a very likely extradition request by the EFCC, in view of the monumental charges of corruption he faces in Nigeria.

Keen observers of Nigerian political events will recall that the dismissed former vice president has in recent times, been making outrageous and outlandish accusations against his former political party, the PDP, upon his decampment to the Action Congress political party. The Action Congress has been dubbed “Active Crooks” by indomitable Nigerian commentator, Mr. Adebayo Animashaun. Action Congress has also been tagged the “Associated Crooks”! These nicknames, we are told, are a result of the presence of a preponderance of persons of questionable character in Action Congress. The question then arises, why would the former vice president be so desperate to join a party with such membership, in which unsavory characters are said to be predominant?

According to some political analysts, the former vice president’s personal ambition knows no bounds! His zeal to run for office as president at all costs and by all means, has in recent times, led him to making splendidly unwise choices, even as he has been making ridiculous and incredible pronouncements replete with a cocktail of lies and fictitious accusations against his friends and foes!

Take for instance, statements attributed to the disgraced former vice president Atiku Abubakar, in which he has been trashing the Nigerian leadership? Even though he has, during the past seven and half years been Nigeria’s number two citizen, as he functioned then as then vice president!

It is clearly incredulous to discerning observers that the former vice president now suddenly sees it fit, to portray his former boss and his former political party as evil personified. It is as if Mr. Atiku now looks at his former boss, the president and his former political party, the PDP, as some sort of hydra-headed snake. Atiku, suddenly awoke from some sort of hibernation or a seven and half year slumber?

Mr. Atiku should be seen for what he really is, a spineless, sniveling and dishonorable political opportunist! He should be seen as a man who has no honor, no courage, no finesse, an opportunist and coward.

It is infuriating that some Nigerians are clapping and egging him on, as Atiku postures as the leader of the rule of law and due process brigade, defending democracy and governance! Since when?

Mr. Atiku’s recent public utterances and grandiose pronouncements would make you wonder if he suffers from multiple personality disorder! Is Atiku Abubakar a schizophrenic or schizoid? How does anyone explain how Atiku could be an apostle of his former boss and the PDP for seven and half years, but, he makes a hundred and eighty degree turn to inform us that his former boss and the PDP are all there is, as all the evils in the world? Does anyone remember that only about thirty days ago, Atiku told the world that he would pursue the reform policies of his boss and the PDP, if he became president? So, what changed all that?

It is sadly debilitating and enervating a process in which anyone try to make the pro-Atiku crowd see logic or reason…Atiku is friends of the FBI courtesy of unethical behavior? He’s cooling his heels in a two million dollar house in Maryland USA even as I write this…yet, Atiku is the symbol of Democracy, Rule of Law in Nigeria? How can that possibly be, if there was good reasoning and logic in the heads of these Atiku supporters?

I have been asking some of these questions, both privately and publicly, to which others are now beginning to add their voices! Ask yourself; Can Tony Blair of Britain cross over from his party and join the Conservative Party and still remain the Prime Minister of the Labour Government. Can he? I don’t think so! Can Dick Cheney in America cross over from Republican Party to join the Democratic Party and still remain the Vice President, it is not possible. The answer is NO.

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Anonymous January 8, 2007 - 8:29 pm

Sadly this fellow called adujie cannot even differentiate between the political structure of Britain and that of Nigeria. No wonder he writes nonsense. Here is a basic lesson for Barrister Adujie free of charge. Class begins: In Britain the leader of the political party with the largest majority in parliament becomes the prime minister. That is why there can be a new prime minister without an election simply by having a leadership change. Please do not compare apple and oranges. Also Nigeria operates a bastardised(taiwanised) form of American system of government. And the key word is bastardised that is why you cannot compare Bush and Cheney with Obasanjo and Atiku. Bush cannot even dream of doing an inch of what Obasanjo has done with Nigeria and expect to remain in power. Obasanjo would have been long gone if you want to apply the American standard you so half heartedly desire to apply. Class dismissed

Jon V.Lawrence January 6, 2007 - 1:29 pm

They said that certain things never change their colours and your article on Atiku Abubakar shows that you will never change. Over the years you had been the lone voice of unreasonableness. I am neither Atikus supporter or OBJ's but if you had to write, try not to write tripes, because not everyone is a moron.

You made several comparison between Dick Cheney and Atiku but you failed to asked yourself if Bush will wake up and sack Cheney, no matter what sort of disagreement they had outside the corridors of the constitution provisions?

You are busy mixing up constitutional issue with moral issue. I agreed that since Atiku now think that OBJ is a crook and PDP are band of thugs, he should on moral ground leave the VP position and distance himself from them. But that is a completely moral issue. You can accuse him of lack of moral for staying put but you can't say that he is doing anything unconstitutional for staying put either.

And you and I knew why Atiku don't want to leave. Because of the way those in power had abused their position and using government agencies to intimidate their opponents, what will they do to him if he is to lose his immunity? If they can ignore the law and use impeachment vragrantly or telling a part of an elected joint mandate that his position is vacant, what will they lose their sleep doing?

I can only admire Atiku's understanding of Nigerian political play game and his opponents don't seem to like that and want to stop him by all means no matter what it takes and it's becming very childish every single day. PDP told this man that they had suspended him and then the next minute they had sacked him all because they do not want him in an election that Nigerian masses are meant to determine. Unless they knew something we do not know about elections.

OBJ can sack his ministers because he appointed them but not your vice, whom you had an elected joint ticket and that mandate no longer belong to PDP but to Nigerians that elected them, no matter the political affiliation of the person with the mandate unless the law says a different thing. PDP were not asleep when ANPP governors declared for their party and still remain in office or do they select where the law of the land should be applied and where it shouldn't?

Just as OBJ was an eye witness of Chris Uba/Ngige confessing of rigging an election and kept quite instead of telling the police and on the other hand will probably sign a death warrant of convicted robber. They want Atiku to leave and at the same time beckoning Mrs Etiaba to leave APGA to join PDP.

When you sit down to write your tripe, just think and remember that people that will read these nonsense are not fools or politically biased and blind like yourself. I wonder what you will write if Atiku will go back to Nigeria tomorrow, when you are already calling him a former vice president.

If you want a prediction, I will predict that OBJ may end up being the one impeached before you know it and then guess who will be president. Afterrall this is Nigeria, the lawless and anything goes country.

Dickson January 4, 2007 - 2:31 pm

I don't really know what's going on in Nigeria. However, I'm sure this Atiku guy is not one of those with the best interest of Nigeria at heart. That doesn't mean that if AC is "Active Crooks" PDP is not "Principal Derailers of the People's-mandate". I can foresee a massive rigging spree in the coming election, courtesy of the PDP. We must decide what we want; a free and fair election or a continuation of the status quo, by whatever means possible!

Anonymous January 3, 2007 - 10:13 pm

Any one who carefully reads some of Paul Adujies articles will come out with one conclusion. He lacks objectivity. His article is often a waste of time really. It appears that he is incapable of rational thought. He is no doubt an Obasanjo apologist so his rant against AC and Atiku is not suprising. For someone who claims to have a law degree his views on the law and the constitution is a shame. I probably have more law in my pinkie than he has in his head. He is a good poster boy for all that is wrong with educated Nigerians. Blind allegiance for the sake of obtaining favour from power. No wonder past military rulers see no value in education. The questions for Adujie are, what crime has Atiku committed that Obasanjo has not committed? How is PDP better than AC in calibre of membership? PDP has been characterised as a den of killers and thieves and they have indeed earned such characterisation. Adujie is a partisan hack. He expects Atiku to play according to the rule when Obasanjo is not doing the same. For sure Atiku would have been expected to resign honourably upon declaring for another party. But is there honour among thieves? He is simply playing the game he and his boss have played with Nigeria for the last 7 years. Look at it this way, the thief-in-chief will like to lock up the deputy thief-in-chief for daring to challenge his re-election in 2003. But the deputy thief-in-chief is smarter than him. He knows that as long as he remains the deputy thief-in-chief he cannot be prosecuted or arrested as the thief-in-chief would like to do. No matter how lawyer Adujie and his beer parlour court twist the constitution, the power does not belong to the president or his party to declare the seat of a vice president of the federal republic vacant. In fact the house should take a que from Obasanjo's misteps in this case and impeach him for trampling on the constitution he promised to uphold on assuming office. That is a clear breach of his oath of office. A responsible president would have refered the issue to the courts for clarification before making a pronouncement. He has set a bad precedence and desecrated the office of the president. One last advise. Adujie dear, I think the IT stuff is confusing the law in your head. Stick to one please

Xtreme January 3, 2007 - 2:31 am

How can you sit down at your home in front of your PC and regurgitate fiction and call it reality. Do you have any proof to support all that you have said, including the VP seeking assylum in US. Your piece is totally illogical, fallacious and completely untenable. It shows a deep sense of shallow-mindedness on your part and lacks the objectivity it deserves. As a result of that, i insist you be barred from this forum as describing Atiku as a "former" VP of Nigeria.

Ugo Daniels

prince kennedy Iyoha January 2, 2007 - 4:56 pm

Happy New Year. Mr. Paul. I had to read through this long article again before I could come to terms with the message you are trying to put forward. Like I have always repeat in some of my comments to articles related to the politic and social affairs of Nigeria, We most be objective about what we write, and most put the general interest of the Nation before any person, groups or party. It is understandable that the VP after been expelled from the PDP, look for alternative party to further his ambition to run for the office of the president. What is confusing, is why the VP, having opted for another party still want to retain the office, and its benefits. One would have expected him to resign honorable and to concentrate his energy and efforts to achieve his goals, and not waiting for his dismissal and subsequent humiliation. We have been following events related to his corruption charges, waiting to hear the out come of the allegation, and the viaduct of the couth, which has not produced any results so far; but the action of his party. he has not been legally condemned for the supposed crimes of mismanagement of fund under his jurisdiction and therefore presumed innocent until the couth rules. There is every indication that the president of Nigeria is working toward improving the economic and social situation of the country, and my personal opinion is that he is doing his best to comb the country of corruption. But what is surprising is, some sector of the elite population is not supportive of his policies, and has therefore aligned with the VPs camp. You sounded very much like a PDP member when you qualify the Action Congress AC. As Active Crooks, or Associated Crooks. The party I can understand is one of the most formidable, though like the PDP, and every other party in the country may have bad eggs among its members, this general qualification of all members as crooks, require an apology from you.

Is it true information, that the VP. Is seeking political asylum? Is NIDO only for Nigerian in the Americas? How can organizations in Europe subscribe for membership of NIDO, and what are the responsibilities and benefits of such organizations? Finally I want to congratulate you for your last article about the president, it was indeed Wellcome after reading articles of doom that is common in this page.

obi, USA January 2, 2007 - 2:20 pm

I post my comments with a heavy heart. I expected more from you.

First I want to state that I am not an Atiku apologist. I won't vote for Atiku in any election. Having said this, I want to comment on specific aspects of your article.

"Has Atiku not stolen enough public money?"—-nobody has shown us a concrete proof to this effect, not even the EFCC. I agree with your insinuation that Atiku may not be able to explain the source of his wealth. OBJ has similar questions to answer.

"Atiku should resign or be impeached, then he could use his illegally acquired wealth, his ABTI University in Yola, and his mansion in Maryland USA as pawns for money for his campaign with Action Congress…"—- Someday, the story of the private universities, farm equipment supplies to Ota, expensive houses of the first children, would be told.

"How does anyone explain how Atiku could be an apostle of his former boss and the PDP for seven and half years, but, he makes a hundred and eighty degree turn to inform us that his former boss and the PDP are all there is, as all the evils in the world?"—– To rephrase your question: why did it take OBJ seven years plus to realise that Atiku was a "thief"

"a petition seeking political asylum in the United States or France! according to usually well-informed sources."—— You probably proof-read and edited the petition in question. Please learn from the experiences of all the fallen, informed sources, aka low lives.

"NIDO would not allow Atiku into its membership! Not with the former vice president's soiled reputation as a pillager and plunderer of Nigeria's public treasury. NIDO is certain to say, absolutely NOT to any application from Atiku and his ilk!"—- I assume you're NIDO and NIDO is you. Please wait for the man to apply first.

The problem with our country is not Atiku but the constitution and processes of governance. OBJ had seven years plus to address these problems but he failed to.

PDP and OBJ celebrated the first cross-carpeting of members of other parties to PDP. It was good then, even to when Governor Turaki of Jigawa State left his ANPP for PDP. These people didn't lose their political positions. Atiku should not lose his, even though this would appear wrong morally. Let OBJ and PDP use the constitutionally stipulated means to remove him. If they can't, then they should learn to tolerate the him (Atiku).

This will serve as a good lesson to the next government….to act for the good of all at all times. I am sure the members of "Active Crooks" you referred to in your article have learnt this lesson.

My brother, to conclude, the situation of our presidency is embarrassing. However, what we need is not a quick fix, but a fundamental review of our constitution. This is a task the new government must emabark on immediately it is sworn in.

Anonymous January 2, 2007 - 11:49 am


edna January 2, 2007 - 11:24 am

then ask your self this,can bush declear the office of the vp vecant


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