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Don’t expect much from Yar’Adua, sings

Posted by By KENNY ASHAKA, Kaduna on 2007/06/27 | Views: 375 |

Don’t expect much from Yar’Adua, sings


Progressive Peoples Party (PPA) says it will only participate in the proposed government of national unity if the current litigation over the April presidential election confirmed President Umaru Yar’Adua as duly elected.

Progressive Peoples Party (PPA) says it will only participate in the proposed government of national unity if the current litigation over the April presidential election confirmed President Umaru Yar’Adua as duly elected.

The party’s deputy national chairman, Alhaji Adamu Usman Song, gave the condition in an interview with Daily Sun in Kaduna.
Song, the former national leader of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), said although the party believed that the process that threw up Yar’Adua as president was flawed, it would not oppose any move at moving the nation forward.

His words: "I do not think there is any well-meaning Nigerian who will object to anything that will move this country forward. If at the end of the day, the tribunals and courts establish that Yar’Adua is the president, what do we do next? We will accept…?"
But what if the party was invited into government before the conclusion of the cases? The politician retorted: "Well, the party will sit down and take a look at it," stressing, however, that the party’s present position is not to accept any offer before the conclusion of all litigations.

He explained that despite its view that the April polls were flawed, the party had chosen not to contest the outcome in honour of a gentleman’s agreement its candidate, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, had with his fellow governors who ran for the office.

"In PPA, we have a tradition. And we are populated by people who are gentlemen, who respect agreements. Take, for instance, our presidential candidate, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, the best president Nigeria missed, clearly stated that there is an agreement and understanding reached by the governors that anybody who emerged among them, the others will accept…," he said.

Go for probe now if you are not corrupt
"The point is, Transparency International has said majority of the corruption that took place in Nigeria was at the Presidency. The Chief Servant in the Presidency is the president. Now that his immunity is removed, Nuhu Ribadu should go and do his work. It is only then we will begin to respect him as a blue blooded Fulani from Adamawa who is very upright. Transparency International has provided the grounds. Without wasting time, Nuhu should commence the probe. He should begin from the Presidential Library to Otta Farm which is going through the process of rejuvenation. Whichever one he decides. He can even begin from Transcorp or NNPC. He (Obasanjo) was the Minister of Petroleum for many years. The chairman of the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission even made some revelations of monies tampered with without legislation. So, what is Nuhu Ribadu and Yar’Adua waiting for? Nuhu Ribadu must investigate former president Olusegun Obasanjo, otherwise, he should be probed. He should be probed for abetting crime. There are allegations made against Obasanjo. Nuhu Ribadu should now swing into action just as he is investigating the governors who have left office. Obasanjo should not be an exception. He should tell Nigerians what his findings are."
Reminded that Ribadu had earlier cleared the former president, Song remarked: "That time, Obasanjo had immunity. In any case, how did he investigate Obasanjo? Who knows what he did? Now, Obasanjo is an ordinary citizen who was caught in a ‘go slow’ like others. He should report to EFCC. People should have the benefit to know what he did while he was in office openly now. On the part of Obasanjo, I challenge him to present himself for investigation now that he no longer has immunity if he is sure he has no skeleton in his cupboard. That would be the honourable thing to do to launder his image as a former Nigerian president. Let him prove Transparency International wrong now that he has left office. Let us see whether he has no hand in Transcorp. What of The Bells Schools, the library, Otta Farm, NNPC and the rest. Let’s see whether the income for the period of eight years in any way tallies with his investments and expenditure."

Don’t expect much from Yar’Adua
"Because of the circumstances of his emergence, the insinuation is that Yar’Adua is a puppet president. Even when he was president-elect, certain appointments were made and he has not reversed them neither has he made any strong statement about them to convince Nigerians that he is in charge. From his utterances and actions coupled with the past performance where he served, you may want to give him the benefit of doubt and wait till his 100 days in office end. But if we are going to limit our assessment of him to what is on the ground, I do not think we should expect much. Look at it, he was voted in on the 21st of April, this year, by May 29, it was one clear month. There are certain things we should have made very clear. And all through the campaign period, when he emerged as the PDP candidate; when he decided to run for the presidency, he has been a governor; he should have his own programme he wants to pursue after becoming the president coupled with the fact that PDP has a programme. There is no reason why a civilian president should be quiet for this long. It simply means he is not prepared for the job. He is the man all the 140 million Nigerians are looking up to and he is keeping quiet.
He should not be president of himself. He should not walk under the shadow of anybody. He should remove the insinuation of dependence by being himself."

What Yar’Adua should do
"It is to allow all the litigation process to go unhindered and at the end of the day, embrace everybody and establish a broad-based government. In fact, if he likes, he can look at his government as a transition government that is my expectation. He should remove the toga of an Obasanjo puppet by being himself. He should not be the president Obasanjo installed. If you looked at it critically, before his arrival, I have never seen anywhere on the eve of the new president, a brand new administration, the outgone president was appointing service chiefs. It is unheard of. Unless the appointments were made in close consultation with Yar’Adua. Even at that, he should have given respect to the president to announce it himself. As it is, I can see the service chiefs not seeing Yar’Adua as the man who appointed them.
Let him (Yar’Adua) get rid of all the Obasanjo’s vestiges. He should reverse all appointments made by Obasanjo and replace them with people of his choice. They are security outfits and he (Yar’Adua) is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. How can somebody appoint service chiefs for you? The Chief of Staff was announced by Obasanjo. The Chief of Defense Staff was announced by Obasanjo. They were not Yar’Adua’s appointments."

Obasanjo’s eight years of horror
"Obasanjo’s eight years in the saddle more than ruined the nation. It was eight years of horror… Eight years of misfortune, eight years of calamity, eight years of bad administration, eight years of flagrant disregard for the laws and authority of Nigeria. That is what we have passed through those eight years. Obasanjo was a colossal failure. It was eight wasted years."
Between General Ibrahim Babangida’s administration and that of Obasanjo which was better for Nigerians, you ask Song. Without giving a thought to the question, he passes a verdict of failure on Obasanjo,
"There is no basis for comparison. The only basis is the fact that two of them were Nigerian leaders. One, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under military dispensation which was more humane than the president in a civilian administration. So, to compare Babangida’s eight years of humane military dictatorship and Obasanjo’s eight years of draconian civilian administration is just like comparing light and darkness. Babangida’s humane military dictatorship was far better, whatever yardstick you use to measure the two administrations. The citizens were better off then. There was enough to go round. Schools were functioning: our social infrastructure functioned. But the eight years of Obasanjo were eight years of structured hardship foisted on Nigerians by deliberate government policies. So, there is no basis for comparison. Obasanjo’s eight years was the worst years of Nigeria ’s existence.

Why PPA is not at the Election Tribunal
"In PPA, we have tradition. And we are populated by people who are gentlemen; who respect agreements. Take for instance, our presidential candidate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, the best president Nigeria missed, clearly stated that there is an agreement and understanding reached by the governors that anybody who emerged among them, the others will accept. But he has made a proviso: that the process was questionable. So, out of many presidential candidates (PPA is only one), the others who feel bad about it can go to the tribunal. We are not saying no. For us, we want to stand by our word and maintain our integrity. We have given our word and we want to stand by it. However, that does not stop us from insisting that the process that made Yar’Adua to emerge as president was not transparent.
We will embrace a broad-based govt. If…
"I do not think there is any well meaning Nigerian who will object to anything that will move this country forward. If at the end of the day, the tribunals and courts establish that Yar’Adua is the president, what do we do next? We will accept, so long the tribunal and the litigation process confirm that Yar’Adua is the president. Well, it depends on when we are invited. In the first place, he has not even invited PPA to come to his government. We are not interested in drawing Nigeria back".

Since the tribunals have not concluded the case, will the PPA accept any position allotted to it?
"Well, the party will sit down and take a look at it, I also told you that the broad-based government will be accepted after all litigations; not before the conclusion of all litigation. And if this offer is made before litigations, then certainly the leadership of PPA will sit down and look at it".

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.