Posted by Habib Yakoob on
National Publicity Secretary of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Osita Ikechukwu, speaks on his organisationís plan to truncate the rumoured third term bid of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
National Publicity Secretary of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Osita Ikechukwu, speaks on his organisationís plan to truncate the rumoured third term bid of President Olusegun Obasanjo. He also defends the CNPP against accusation of dormancy, and bares his mind on other sundry issues.
On payment of 12billion dollars to Paris Club
Basically, we have said that we appreciate the efforts that the Federal Government to help reschedule our debt, but we went to court to say that it will be too much on us to begin to pay such amount when the country needed that money to revamp the economy. We said that the payment of the N1bilion since 1999 should be continued. You see, we have spoken with experts and they say that we can use $4billion to $5billion to bring our rail system back to track. The experts say with $3billion dollars, we can have a 2,000 kilometre stretch of coaches that can transform our rail system or transport system.
It is so with many other sectors like power, etc, instead of diverting such amount that is not even meant for only the federal government.
CNPP, not alive as opposition
Thatíís not fair to assume. It is indeed people who want the opposition to use a forceful and undemocratic approach to achieving a democratic ideal that have been going about with this campaign. In fact, here in this country, people are living witnesses to the fact that we have gone on mass action, to force the government into accepting that the 2003 poll was monumentally rigged and that the present government has no legitimacy. We also have gone to court against the public order act, and we have been very vociferous in various campaigns against the government overbearing policies. So how can anyone see us as inactive? We have no apology to using a very democratic approach to making the government realise that it has taken certain steps which are not in the best interest of the people. We are no terrorists and no thugs, and so donít have to go to war and throw bombs. All we can do has to be within the ambit of the law. Thatíís our limit. Besides, we are not as weak as people think that we are. Yes, as a house, some have quit the battle, but others are coming in too to the effect that we are even now stronger than we have ever been.
On the MDD
Now, we are talking with the people from the MDD and we are making them understand that we are prepared to accept them and work with them. We told them that we are in need of a granite coalition to be able to upstage the PDP, which is controlled by a man that has the police, the National Assembly and the INEC. But, we frowned at
them a little and said when we were saying before and after the 2003 election that Obasanjo is dictatorial and had no respect for rules and values, it was the same crop of people in the PDP, now forming the MDD that were challenging us, accusing us of being enemies of democracy. Now, they are singing a new song. But it is a good thing that they are realising and once the PDP implodes, which is fast coming, democracy would be better for it.
On Obasanjoíís rumoured third term
We saw it and even said it much before 2003 that the president was interested in life presidency, and that may not be much impossible for him, because he has the might. He has INEC and the National assembly. Today, we are hearing news that confirm that he is really interested and we know that it is no joke. He may want to toe line of his African friends, but we are saying that we are not going to rest on our oars until he drops that bid. Already, as the National Assembly takes a decision on this, we are beginning to talk to them asking them to, in the interest of peace and progress, not do anything that will impact negatively on the constitution and on the character of the country. We are going to move the people against such move, and we believe in the power of the people.
Anti corruption fight and Alamieyeseigha
To be frank, anyone who has been following the activities of the EFCC particularly canít help but give Obasanjo a pass mark. At least we are beginning to realise some measure of seriousness in this battle. That notwithstanding we have said that the fight should be total instead of being selective. We know a lot of people close to government, who the EFCC itself knows are corrupt, but who no one has moved against. So, if government must really get full credit for this fight, it has to genuinely spread its searchlight.
Concerning the governor of Bayelsa state, it is a pathetic situation, that a governor accused of corruption and money laundering abroad could breach his bail conditions and reportedly disguised in the way he was said to have done. It is a shame to the state and the nation at large. But his coming should be made more hellish for him. He should resign his appointment as governor or the House of Assembly should immediately impeach him. And that should be in order. We are appealing to the people of Bayelsa State not to give him any protection, not to be deceived by his resort to ethnic sentiments. He allegedly stole their monies, so he canít be telling them he went through the travails for their own sake. It is their duty to punish him for the sake of posterity and their own development.
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