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OBJ, Atiku, Anenih meet, trade words on corruption

Posted by By LUCKY NWANKWERE and JACOB EDI, Abuja on 2008/03/18 | Views: 563 |

OBJ, Atiku, Anenih meet, trade words on corruption


The trio of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Works Minister, Chief Tony Anenih yesterday turned the Ninth Shehu Yar’Adua Memorial Lecture in Abuja into an occasion for trading words as they poured venom on one another.

• At Yar’Adua memorial lecture

The trio of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Works Minister, Chief Tony Anenih yesterday turned the Ninth Shehu Yar’Adua Memorial Lecture in Abuja into an occasion for trading words as they poured venom on one another.

Anenih who was dethroned as the ruling party’s board of trustees chairman by his former boss and friend, Obasanjo, fired the first salvo during his opening prayer, when he asked God to give the incumbent president, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, the wisdom to clear the mess heaped on the country by the immediate past administration.

“Thank God for the president we have now. We pray that God will give you the courage, wisdom and political will to clear the rot you inherited from the previous administration,” Anenih prayed.

Hardly had he finished than Obasanjo, as Chairman of the Board of Trustess of the Yar’Adua Foundation, characteristically took on Anenih, and in a veiled language, accusing the Edo chief of abandoning the late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua (Tafidan) in his hour of need.
Said Obasanjo: “Some people stood by the late Tafidan in his hours of need, while some chose to abandon him,” he stated in apparent reference to the betrayal Shehu Yar’Adua suffered when Anenih allegedly mobilized members of the National Constitutional Conference to campaign for the elongation of late General Sani Abacha regime. That action was in defiance of late Yar’Adua’s admonition to his followers in the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) to quit the administration within a year.

When it was his turn to speak, Atiku described Musa Yar’Adua as a leader who would not use power to terrorize anybody, pointing out that he (Yar’Adua) stood for good governance, good election and did not use powers to intimidate anybody - even his opponents - and saw politics as a means of bringing people together for common good.
It was a day the former leaders and once political associates proved to Nigerians and the rest of the world, including visiting Rwandan president, Mr. Paul Kagame, that the animosity they nurse against one another still festers.
Indeed the atmosphere was palpably tense as Obasanjo and Atiku, for the first time in several months, sat side-by-side even though they refused to exchange pleasantries. In fact, each completely avoided the other.

Atiku paid tribute to the late Yar’Adua, acknowledging him as a bridge builder in his lifetime. He also acknowledged that the Yar’Adua political dynasty had been ruling Nigeria for the past eight years, no matter how imperfect it had been.
On his part, Obasanjo who commended the late Yar’Adua for his sense of unity, administration and governance said “Yar’Adua unites Nigerians even in death, because here today, there are people who would not ordinarily like to sit together.”

The former President also commended the resilience of Yar’Adua in his cause for democracy and democractic principles, sense of judgment and rule of law, adding, “if not for Yar’Adua, those seated here would not be here to talk of corrupting themselves or self aggrandizement.”
In his address at the occasion, President Umaru Yar’Adua commended the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame for his lecture on good governance, stating however that Africa should stop blaming colonialism for its troubles.

Instead, he called on Africans to stand up and embrace the challenges facing it, stating that the roadmap out of the present woes is good governance and respect for rule of law, which he described as the road to free enterprises.
He reiterated the need and importance of his seven-point agenda, which he said is capable of leading Nigeria out of its present economic woes.
Earlier former President Obasanjo and Atiku attended a meeting as members of Board of Trustees of the Yar’Adua Centre.
Dignitaries at the occasion included Chief Yomi Edu, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, top government functionaries and politicians.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.