“Moses and Jesus Christ came for different missions and the Almighty God did not say ‘stay on earth until all humanity becomes holy.” Audu Ogbeh (at Anti-Third Term Meeting)
Specific years will go down in the history of Nigeria as important, but few years will be more crucial than 2006. In 2006, the future of Nigeria will be either be made or be broken. Early indications have since being emerging. Newswires have been jammed with news of the open revolt of Mr. VP and his friends: and I must say that I am impressed. Impressed not by the personalities involved, but impressed how in a country like ours – good people can become bad actors and vice versa.
The sudden discovery of courage and “liver” as warfarians will won’t to say by my dear Vice President Atiku Abubakar is the good act that is the talk of town. Not that OBJ is a good actor by any stretch of imagination, neither can I really vow for the reputation of his “vice” in this case either. But the fast degeneration of the Principal Demonic Party (PDP) is what is coming as a surprise to watchers of the so called “biggest” party in Africa. Like the country which it presides over; PDP has shown us that bigger might not be better after all.
Mr. VP finally came out to defend his honor, as a true prince of the Yar’dua political dynasty not to tow the line of the bully, in this case his own president: our own dear baba OBJ. Watchers of political event in Nigeria cannot deny the symbolism of the gathering that came together at which the Vice President finally voiced his inner impetus. Without mincing words in the presence of the likes of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, Governor Orji Kalu, Audu Ogbeh, the “catch them mugu” ex alliance of democracy governors the western states excluding Adefarati, General Buhari, MD Yusuf, Orji Kalu, 45 serving senators, and 150 House of Rep members, Na’aba the ultimate enfant terrible; VP Atiku finally answered the name of his father. It is important to note that until OBJ through his mouthpiece finally confirmed his third term ambitions, the Vice President did not open up himself to flak from the enemy camp.
For those that have been quick to dismiss this gathering as a committee of losers, I beg to disagree. In fact, if the President men thought the people who gathered at this meeting were not potent enough why did they disallow them from meeting at Sheraton Hotel? In our own country we cannot freely hold meetings again? Haba! Is this how far we have sunk into dictatorship? I find it funny that supporters of this agenda, even those of them that enjoy the pleasure of freedom in foreign countries and are knowledgeable in law, will not condemn these acts. What a shame! Anyway, it was a demonstration of political courage by the Niger State government (an open opponent of the third term) that finally allowed Nigerians to see the first real opposition to the third term plot. The government of the state that gave us maradona (a man currently in denial), lent the “Nigerian people” the use of its government lodge. Future meetings of any groups opposing Mr. President may well be fixed for private residences because as far as OBJ is concerned only his supporters can have a meeting in our country!
Indeed, the personalities at this gathering were mixed but the benefit that will accrue to us should not be lost. Comments disavowing the people that gathered at the gathering as corrupt hence throwing the baby with the tub water is evidently misconstrued. What Nigerians may well be seeing is a true competition at the elitist level that might save us the torture of dictatorship and one party state. For the sake of political opportunism, many of the members of the new grouping may well have an axe to grind with the president but eventually what this will lead to is the break up of a monstrous party that have destroyed our country. The problem of Nigeria is PDP not even OBJ. PDP as it is configured is a party of crooks- let the crooks break up into two and then we might start having serious debate and competition at all levels of government.
The new gathering of 45 senators and House of Representative members is definitely enough to stop the third term agenda cold. Two-thirds vote from each chamber is needed to carry through the evil proposal, totaling 240 and 73; at the end of the day if the number of legislators is anything to go by, OBJ can kiss his third term agenda goodbye. The time to fight is now, but this fight is greater than a third term agenda. This fight is over whether multi-party democracy can take root in our country or not. At some point in the life of a nation her citizens must take a stand- we cannot afford to hand over the keys of our nation to a unified group of brigands- let the brigands compete for our vote and we might indeed make up our mind on whom to support. Apparently, this gathering was full of rhetoric- the real test will come at the polls next year when they will be asked to present manifestos, candidates on their platform (sure it is sure as death that the OBJ installed PDP Ex-co will expel them all), and then we shall see how they measure up in the hall of public opinion.
More than anything else, the meeting showed that in any case President Obasanjo’s greatest headache is not Atiku – it is the most adept politician in Nigeria today, that gets very little or no credit: Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu. This is a man that has stood up to the President and has won every step of the way. From 2003 election, to maintenance of roads in Lagos, to Local Government creation/allocation and now to this public fight over third term Tinubu has shown he understands the game of politics is not just about bullying and unnecessary rigmarole but sometimes it is about building a potent political force behind a central idea. It is not lost on me that Tinubu wants to play a role in the next dispensation and Nigeria will be lucky to have him: at least we can have someone that believes in true federalism in the federal government for the first time. His greatest task will be adequately convincing the sharks that surround him that they should give federalism a chance in our country because the motives of all these individuals vary greatly.
The ability of this new political movement to flourish will depend largely on managing the various characters that are in house. Some people will have to give up their ambition for others, and they must show Nigeria that they are different from the PDP. The first step they can take is to truly allow their members to elect their presidential flag bearer without some underhanded tactics as we are used to in PDP. Let Buhari, Atiku and Kalu begin their feverish campaign to gain the ticket of this grouping and let Nigerians see true democracy. It will be im
perative that they also present a cohesive front in programs and manifestoes that is not written, audited and published in Washington DC. It is my belief that the variation of the personalities and the varying reputation that each name brings to the table can be harnessed to becoming a political capital rather than a liability- but it all depends on what the message is.
Let the naysayer that have previously announced the death of multi-party democracy in Nigeria have a rethink tonight. Let Nigerians hope that this group does not also have a price- because we are in Nigeria; they can be bought. To the people that asked the Vice President to resign, I call them cowards. If they are not cowards let them go to the national assembly and seek his impeachment and see if they have the two-thirds vote to effect his removal. Keeping Atiku in the confines of power is a strategic coup that the current opposition must not give up- his face will be a reminder of dissent in the gathering of the sycophants. It is not surprising that the Alsatian dog in Aso Rock Mr. Fani Kayode has started barking; but this time, his barking sounds like those from a drowning dog. As far as am concerned, Nigeria is a better place when multiplicity of opinions is entertained. It is not unpatriotic when we disagree with the people governing us: they are public servants that should serve at our pleasure not lord it over us or over whose feet we must worship as many OBJokers are won’t to remind us. Nigeria is for all of us- the thieves, the pious, the saints, the conniving and the backstabbers. Let us make our country greater.
“Obasanjo is my brother, my kinsman; there is no way I can deny him. Abiola, my other kinsman, died for the cause of democracy. He is an Egba man. I don’t want another Egba man to die. I want to welcome him (Obasanjo) back home. I don’t want another Abiola. Therefore, help me to say no to third term.”
Chief Segun Osoba
“We are with your anti-tinkering, anti-amendment. It is a principled position we must maintain,”
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
“Indeed, the call for resignation should be directed at the President and others who are pursuing an agenda that is subversive to the constitution, and the will of the majority of Nigerians. The Vice-President was elected by the people of this country and he is busy doing what they have elected him to do. The Vice-President is committed to serving to the end of the second term and therefore will not resign.”
Press Release from office of Vice President
“I will be militant about it (agenda) if it succeeds. It is going to be dangerous for him; it is going to be dangerous for the society.”
Governor Orji Kalu
“The battle line has been drawn.”
Professor Ben Nwabueze SAN
“I will give you all the support you need. I will be with you. Nigeria, which is supposed to be the leading light in the continent, is lagging behind. We are still debating political succession”Vice President Atiku Abubakar