Obasanjo/Atiku Feud: The Genesis Of The Controversy

by Odimegwu Onwumere

The thing started like a joke, the outburst between President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President, Atiku Abubakar. In the 1999 elections, the two men were singing Hosanna together. They were admitting perilous matters each may have offered to the other for the

advancement of democracy in Nigeria. But today, as 7up Bottling Company may have it, “The difference is clear”. What would those who the two ‘former’ gentlemen are their mentors learn from them? Most especially those who knew them through the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) which has a pedigree with the late Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua! As they say, there is no fire without a source.

Many Nigerians today are members of PDP to promote the circumference of Nigeria’s democracy where there will be freedom of choice, speech or vote would dwell supreme, but others are in the PDP working out heinous and contradictory measures or principles that would hamper our democracy. To such political actors, it is drama or excitement, but to the rest of Nigerians, it is horrendous.

Nigerians are not near in character to finding this funny. Because the actors have suppressed the will of the people, conflict has eventually cropped-up. People that are around these ‘former’ two gentlemen are the firepushers. They are not ashamed of the air of their arrogance and ineptitude as aides and counselors.

That was before the general elections of 2003, PDP came-up with the threat of removing the VP before their re-election. The Vice President was overseas when President Obasanjo declared his intention of re-contesting without the cognizance of the VP. The PDP ‘organizers’ did not feel ashamed for not inviting the VP even when he eventually

heard of it and arrived Nigeria to see the arrangers did not include him. There was no photograph of the VP that was published in all the programmes during the declaration. Against this influence, the VP’s supporters all over Nigeria wanted him to contest against President Obasanjo. Observers called the President’s action: “Marginalize and sideline him” act.

When the PDP ‘organizers’ noticed this they raised options: for the VP to make known his intention before the public to contest against his boss or be in consonance with Dr. Alex Ekwueme, who also was contesting in 2003 or resign and go back to the antcave in Adamawa State (the VP’s home State) and prepare for 2007 polls. It did not end there, they asked him: “Or go along with his boss under all circumstances”. Tufiakwa!

In all these, observers noticed that the offence President Obasanjo had against Atiku started on the eve of the PDP primaries 2003, the PDP goons threw a question, when Atiku had too much pressure to leave President Obasanjo, if he was to contest, and the VP said he had not concluded with his thinking. But the VP who loved President Obasanjo too much had to reminisce that it would be improper to abandon his boss middesert but there was phobia if he (Obasanjo) would go along with him, if Obasanjo would accept him as running mate.

Rather than sympathizing with Atiku, the PDP goons most especially Ojo Maduekwe began to make fairy comments against the VP, instead of apportioning blame to themselves who organized that ‘declaration’ of intention for the President, which did not include Atiku.

Observers were not pleased with the way Ojo Maduekwe was handling the issue which prompted questions like: “Where was Ojo Maduekwe getting his power from? Does Ojo Maduekwe know that he’s not an elected person? Which school of thought had taught him to prove arrogance as though it were supreme? Which constitution says that PDP’s National Working Committee has the right to call on the Vice President to resign?”

Today, the same PDP ‘organizers’ is calling on the Vice President to resign for declaring his 2007 presidential ambition in another political party. PDP has been after Atiku for not supporting the blundering agenda to elongate the President Obasanjo’s stay in office beyond 2007? PDP is after Atiku for exposing the ‘alleged’ PTDF loot by President Obasanjo?

Even as in view of section 143 (1-11) of the Nigeria’s 1999 constitution, which succinctly puts it, there is no how the Vice President can be removed from office. Yet, PDP ‘organizers’ stand foolhardy to impose on other well-meaning Nigerians the Rule of Tyranny instead of the Rule of Law, and that has been the bane of Nigeria’s democracy.

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1 comment

uniben82 January 13, 2007 - 7:39 am

There are two things that work well for me as natural tranquilizers. Discussions about budgets; any budget, and politics. However, your article was well articulated-that I enjoyed. Nice job.


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