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Third term Speak up, now.. Gani tells Obasanjo

Posted by By YINKA FABOWALE on 2005/12/28 | Views: 697 |

Third term Speak up, now.. Gani tells Obasanjo


Lagos radical lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, has asked President Olusegun Obasanjo to end the speculation about his ambition to extend his tenure by speaking up. He urged the President to make a commitment in a national broadcast, on January 1, 2006, that he would hand over power on May 29, 2007.

Lagos radical lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, has asked President Olusegun Obasanjo to end the speculation about his ambition to extend his tenure by speaking up. He urged the President to make a commitment in a national broadcast, on January 1, 2006, that he would hand over power on May 29, 2007.

Fawehinmi said, in a New Year message to Obasanjo, Tuesday, that this would douse and sober up the already overheated polity over the alleged third term project.

The fiery lawyer’s charge is coming at time the Presidency has kept the nation in suspense by its reluctance to call campaigners of more-years-for-Obasanjo to order. The president also blew an opportunity to lay suspicions to rest when he evaded a direct question on the subject in a chat on national television last week.

To put the matter to rest, Fawehinmi charged Obasanjo to speak up in his New Year message to the nation.

"A national broadcast on the 1st of January 2006 that you will hand over government as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 29th of May 2007 will bring down the negative temperature of the country back from the brink of looming catastrophe or calamity," he told the President pointedly," he said.

The lawyer added: ‘It is incontrovertible that any third term bid by you is psychologically, spiritually, physically, emotionally and in every respect a suicide mission, driven by perverted ambition, even when it is so glaring that it is unattainable in the Nigeria of today," adding: "Please do not hang yourself. It is not too late for you to change your perilous course."

Fawehinmi queried the attraction, which Obasanjo seemed to have for the elongation of his tenure, when as a military dictator he voluntarily handed over the reins of government to a democratically elected government in 1979, wondering why it seemed difficult to repeat the feat in 2007.

He said that Obasanjo would have himself to blame if he failed to hearken to this warning, reminding him of the proverb that "those the gods want to destroy, they first make mad."

Below is the full text of the massage:
In view of the importance of 2006, which will determine 2007, I have decided to send to you this Open New Year Message. I have never sent you any seasonal greetings before. And this is not one since the course of this nation will be determined in all its ramifications by your third term bid, it is necessary to send this message which is stated below:

Do not disturb the polity. Do not lay a dangerous precedent. Do not tempt God. Do not ignore the feelings of the people as they are against your bid.

The agony, the anguish, the pain and the pang of crushing poverty, which your six years in office had
brought on the majority of Nigerians, show no sign of abating.
On Monday, October 1, 1979, you voluntarily handed over power when you were a young, 42-year old military dictator, to a democratically elected President.

On Saturday, October 1, 1999, you became a civilian President and swore to uphold the constitution, which prescribes a two-term presidency and no more. On Thursday, October 1, 2003, at the beginning of your second term in office as President, you swore to the same constitution, which prescribes a two-term presidency. Is there any destructive evil lurking somewhere that is preventing you from easily leaving office on May 29, 2007?

In 1979, you proved that a military dictator could hand over power to a democracy. Why should it be difficult in 2007 for you as a "democratically elected President" to hand over power to another democratically elected President if you genuinely believe in democracy?
Mr. President, since the third-term bid controversy erupted, the Nigerian society has been divided, highly polarized, particularly along dangerous ethnic and tribal cleavages which virtually now colour every governmental thought, policy, programme and nuances.

Mr. President, you ought to know, if you are sincere to yourself, that Nigeria is different in every respect from Gabon, where Omar Bongo has lorded it over to the Gabonese since 1967; from Uganda, where Yoweri Museveni has blinded Ugandans since 1986; from Egypt, where Hosni Mubarak has ingloriously sat tight since 1981. And that is African Union (AU) you lead as the chairman.

The internationally revered Nelson Mandela warned you against it and your propagandists abused him that he was senile. President George Bush of the United States of America, the current President in his second term, warned you against it, but your publicists railed against him saying that the Americans cannot teach you democracy, despite the fact that you begged them for debt relief. And you continually plead with them for investment in our country.

Mr. president, in your capacity as Chairman of the Commonwealth of Nation, you should be aware of the record of Commonwealth against sit tight presidents. What is it that is bugging you to sit tight at 70 in 2007?

In 1995, you were found guilty of planning a phantom coup by the late General Sani Abacha. We pleaded with General Abacha not to execute you and others because we believed you were innocent. You served three years in prison. God rescued you, despite your ailment. You left the prison to become an "elected President" in controversial circumstances. After the first term, you continued as President in the second term.

What is it that is bugging you to remain in office at the old age of 70 in 2007? Do not do it.
Do not extend you time. It is incontrovertible that any third term bid by you is psychologically, spiritually, emotionally and in every respect a suicide mission driven by perverted ambition even when it is so glaring that it is unattainable in Nigeria of today.

Please, do not hang yourself. It is not too late for you to change your perilous course. A national broadcast on 1st January 2006 that you will hand over government as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 29th of May, 2007 will bring down the negative temperature of the country and bring the country back from the brink of looming catastrophe or calamity.

However, Mr. president, if you fail to hearken unto this seasonal message, you have yourself or your soul to blame; or Do you want to make it a case of those the gods want to destroy, they first make mad; and in your own case they first make0 obstinate, truculently obstinate?

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.