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Obasanjo: My Chickens Miss Me

Posted by By Tokunbo Adedoja with agency report on 2005/05/25 | Views: 418 |

Obasanjo: My Chickens Miss Me

President Olusegun Oba-sanjo yesterday in Paris, France assured the international community that he would not stay in power beyond May 29, 2007 as he is already planning his return to Ota farms to tender his chickens.

* Says census survey puts Nigeria's population at 150m

President Olusegun Oba-sanjo yesterday in Paris, France assured the international community that he would not stay in power beyond May 29, 2007 as he is already planning his return to Ota farms to tender his chickens.

Answering questions at a press conference he addressed with the Director General of UNESCO, Obasanjo said: "I now go back regularly to the farm and that tells you I am preparing. My chickens are crying that they missed me."

The answer was obviously aimed at once again clearing doubts by some people who believe there are plans by some groups in the presidency to either make Obasanjo run a third term of four years in office after 2007 or extend his tenure by another two years using the recommendations of the on-going National Political Reforms Conference as a basis.

The controversy over a possible plan to make Obasanjo stay in power beyond 2007 came to the fore after some presidential aides who are delegates to the national dialogue tried to covertly get the conference to adopt a draft constitution prepared by the all-party committee on constitution review which suggested a 6-year one term tenure for the president and governors.

Some of the president's loyalists at the conference like Ambassador Greg Mbadiwe have been clamouring for extension of Obasanjo's tenure to bring to maturity the various reforms his administration has initiated before handing over to a successor.

However, Obasanjo had at the April edition of Presidential Chat on NTA and FRCN assured the nation that he would quit when his term expires in 2007 as indicated by the constitution. He accused those seeing hidden agenda in his plans to initiate political reforms through the National Dialogue as cynics who were never honest in their own endeavours.

Also at the UNESCO press conference, Obasanjo said Nigeria will not release former Liberian President, Charles Taylor unless there are "incontrovertible evidences" of atrocities he committed in Nigera since his arrival in August 2003.

Obasanjo said the decision on Taylor was '' a global decision that involved all countries including the U.S., France and the UN.''

A reporter had asked if Nigeria would release Taylor to the UN criminal court in Sierra Leone following latest revelations that he (Taylor) was being funded by Al-Qaeda while in Nigeria to destablise some countries in West Africa.

Obasanjo said that the condition under which Taylor was brought to Nigeria was agreed upon by the UN and many other leading world nations to stop a looming catastrophe in Liberia.

''It was not a unilateral Nigerian decision,'' Obasanjo said.
He added that ''it was a humanitarian act'' involving those nations, along with the ECOWAS and African Union, whose leaderships escorted Taylor to Nigeria on Aug 11, 2003 when he left Liberia.

''It is bogey and I will want to see an incontrovertible evidence of what wrong Taylor has done since he came into Nigeria,'' he said.

According to him, both the AU and ECOWAS, which were fully involved in the agreement to move Taylor out of his country into Nigeria must be involved in any other contrary decision. "That is the way it is and that is the way it will be," he added.

Commenting on the future of African Development Bank (ADB) following Nigeria's inability to get his candidate elected chairman, Obasanjo said there was nothing wrong with the decision of shareholders to stop Nigeria.
He said, however, that efforts would continue to make the bank a truly African Bank that would work in tendum with its development partners for the progress of the continent.

The president said that he received ''huge amount of petitions from all over the world on the implementation of Sharia in the country.''
He noted that the code had always been part of the country's judiciary and that at the federal level, there was a Sharia Court of Appeal with competent judges.

''We are practising federalism and states have powers to introduce the Sharia system, which had all along been with us,'' he noted.
He pointed out that he was optimistic that nobody would be stoned to death on account of the code.

''You don't get pregnant by holy spirit and your collaborator must be found," he said.

He said that the full implementation of the code which included the amputation of convicted thieves demanded for the full provision of social amenities to the victims.

Earlier at a dinner hosted in his honour on Tuesday by the French Foreign Minister, Mr. Michel Barnier, Obasanjo said a recent population census survey had shown that Nigeria's population was close to 150 million.

"We are closer to 150 million than 130 million," he said.
He said the survey, recently conducted by the NPC, was preparatory to the national population census coming up later in the year.

He said that the country deserved a debt relief to enable it succeed in its economic reforms agenda and also make significant progress in the attainment of the millennium development goals by 2015.

The president said that he believed France, as a long term partner of Africa, especially west and central Africa, had an important role to play in the development of the continent and urged the country to assist.

He said that the reforms being undertaken were making some impact and assured that with the support and cooperation of the international community, success would be achieved in the overall programme.

Obasanjo said that Nigeria needed debt relief to help it do more for its teeming population, pointing out that not much could be achieved under the weight of mounting debt and increasing population.

He also said that Nigeria was in support of a realistic price regime for petroleum products, pointing out that high international price was not in the best interest of both producers and consumers.

He called for closer cooperation between Nigeria and France in all spheres, adding that he believed the two countries would achieve stronger partnership by working together in continental issues.

''Nigeria and the Cameroun have remained engaged and are making rapid progress at resolving their problems,'' Obasanjo said, while referring to the ruling of the International Court of Justice in October 2002 which ceded the Bakassi peninsula to the Cameroun.

He extended invitation for more French businessmen to come to Nigeria and invest,assuring that those investments were safe and secured.
Earlier, Mr Barnier said he appreciated ''the great strides made by the Obasanjo administration especially in the second term, in the areas of economic reforms, anti-corruption and the stabilisation of the Naira.''
He also commended the president for his effort to bring peace to troubled African countries including Togo, Cote d'Ivoire, Sudan and recently, Guinea Bissau.

The minister said that before the end of the year, he would undertake a tour of Africa as part of the French government's effort to sensitise the youth for peace, democracy and development.

The dinner was attended by Governors Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano), Adamu Mu'azu (Bauchi) and Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu).

Also in attendance were Information Minister, Chukwuemeka Chikelu, his Power and Steel counterpart, Liyel Imoke and some members of the nation's national football team, Super Eagles led by Osazee Odinwinge.

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown