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We’ll accede to UK’s request –Obasanjo

Posted by Dotun Oladipo and Musikilu Mojeed on 2005/12/10 | Views: 327 |

We’ll accede to UK’s request –Obasanjo


President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that Nigeria would accede to any request by the United Kingdom on what to do with the former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Dipreye Alamieyeseigha, who jumped bail granted him by a London court following allegations of money laundering.

President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that Nigeria would accede to any request by the United Kingdom on what to do with the former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Dipreye Alamieyeseigha, who jumped bail granted him by a London court following allegations of money laundering.

Obasanjo, who spoke on Saturday at the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Eagle Square, Abuja, said that Alamieyeseigha’s action has brought shame to the people of his state, but thanked the members of the state House of Assembly and the elders of the state for the steps they took to correct the wrong committed by the former governor.

He said, “Our fight against corruption in all its manifestations remains unrelenting. Let me state categorically that no one or group can distract, discourage or divert us from our war on corruption. We have no reasons to take too seriously the pseudo-complaints of those selfish few who do not wish Nigeria well and whose track records are so cloudy and shady. It is amazing that such persons are now the ones pontificating about corruption. Let us remain focused on the war against corruption because the benefits will be good for the entire nation.

“In this regard, I want to commend the members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly who have lived up to their constitutional responsibilities, the dignity of their office and the sacredness of their duties. I am very proud of them and the PDP as a party is proud of them.

“I want to commend the elders and the youth of Bayelsa State who acknowledged the impeached governor as their son but at the same time condemned the shame and disgrace he had brought on all Bayelsans by his gross misconduct. It is my sincere hope that other states that have fallen into or may fall into the same situation will take a wise cue from Bayelsa. I want to also thank the leadership and rank and file of the PDP that stood firm to support the government to take all necessary actions to show that we are a party of honour and decency, good governance, integrity, constitutionality, discipline and law and order.”

The President expressed gratitude to the media for the courage and steadfastness they exhibited “in upholding the honour and dignity of Nigeria and the obligation and responsibility of the media to stand for what is noble, dignifying, patriotic, just, and soothing to the psyche and soul of a people and country. By the action of all these people, professions and institutions, again, Nigeria has regained her place of honour which would have appeared tarnished by the action of the former governor of Bayelsa State. As a member of INTERPOL and in reaction or in answer to the mutual assistance agreement between Nigeria and Britain, Nigeria will take the appropriate action as required by the British authorities on this matter.”

Obasanjo, at the convention where all the national officers of the party – the Board of Trustees and the National Executive Committee – were returned to office by voice votes, said that as the leader of the party, he was going to make a pronouncement on the issue when the time comes.

He, therefore, advised Nigerians from the South-South zone, who have been pressurising for the presidency in 2007 through the South-South Peoples Assembly, to be cautious, adding, “ I have read with some understanding the document issued by the South-South Assembly. What I will say to the PDP members of that Assembly is that while nobody will turn deaf ears to their well-made case and well-marshalled points, they should allow the spirit of dialogue, debate, tolerance, negotiation, and give-and-take to prevail. When the time comes, they should accord me, as the Leader of the Party, the opportunity to interpret our policy and principles of power shift to suit the occasion which will definitely consider the seeming agitation from the north of the country.”

Obasanjo, who reeled out the achievement of his administration in various sectors, ordered the leadership of the party to embark on a vigorous mobilisation and registration of members.

He said that his directive was based on complaints he received after the party’s recent re-registration.

National Chairman of the party, Senator Ahmadu Ali, however, said that re-registration and revalidation were continuous, adding that as a big party, there was bound to be problems with such exercises.

He added, “But such must not be allowed to pull the party apart. I therefore call on all those who may not have succeeded in their personal or group desires to control the party machinery at different levels, to quickly pull themselves back and rally round the new leaders who have been voted into office.”

Ali called on members of the party to stand behind the PDP-led Federal Government in its anti-corruption crusade as this was the only way to restore the country’s lost glory.

The convention, which started shortly after the arrival of Obasanjo at 12.14pm with opening prayers, witnessed the reconstitution of the Board of Trustees of the party and the re-election of members of the NEC, both by voice votes.

Supporters of presidential aspirants for the 2007 election, came with numerous posters to the venue of the convention.

Among those whose posters were seen at the venue of the convention and on the streets of Abuja were Brigadier General Buba Marwa (rtd.); Abia State Governor, Chief Orji Kalu; Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi; and the former Minister of Works, Major General Mamman Kontagora (rtd.).

The posters of Vice-President Atiku Abubakar were, however, not displayed.

As early as 7am, security men had cordoned off adjoining streets to the convention venue, the Eagle Square.

Those not accredited were prevented from coming close to the venue of the convention, while metal screening machines were placed at the entrance of the venue.

Attendance at the convention was impressive.

Among those present were state governors and their deputies; ambassadors and Obasanjo’s senior aides, including his Special Adviser on Manufacturing and the Private Sector, Alhaji Ahmed Abdulkadir, who was a former National Chairman of the Alliance for Democracy.

The various state governors took turns in dancing round the venue of the convention with their states’ delegations.

But the group that attracted perhaps attention the most while dancing round the venue was the one led by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

At the end of the programme, Obasanjo drove round the stands of the various states to greet the delegates.

SUNDAY PUNCH, December 11, 2005

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.