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PDP thugs mob Atiku in Lagos

Posted by By UCHE USIM - Sunnewsonline.com on 2006/04/06 | Views: 876 |

PDP thugs mob Atiku in Lagos


The current rift between President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar took a wild turn yesterday when hundreds of youths and area boys stormed the presidential lounge of the Murtala Muhammed Airport expressing their disgust over what they termed "deliberate plans by Atiku to disintegrate Nigeria."

•No shaking –VP
•OBJ phones deputy

The current rift between President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar took a wild turn yesterday when hundreds of youths and area boys stormed the presidential lounge of the Murtala Muhammed Airport expressing their disgust over what they termed "deliberate plans by Atiku to disintegrate Nigeria."

The men and women claimed to be members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos State chapter.
Before storming the airport, the group first laid siege on Atiku’s private residence located in Ikoyi Crescent off Osborne Road, Ikoyi.

They arrived the airport unannounced at about 8:00 am in over 10 commercial luxury buses, six smaller Mitsubishi buses among other vehicles.

On ground to forestall the breakdown of law and order was the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Adebayo, scores of Mobile policemen and men of the State Security Service (SSS).
The placard-carrying crowd laid siege to the presidential lounge awaiting the arrival of the Vice President, who reportedly declared his 2007 presidential ambition Friday.

When Atiku arrived the airport at about 11AM to board a waiting Gulfstream II Presidential aircraft marked 5N FGP, he chose not to face the mob and exited through the Air Force gate to the steaming plane.

As soon as they sighted him, the crowd in unison chorused "O ti de o!, O ti de o!!" (He has arrived! he has arrived!). Thereafter began chanting anti-Atiku songs.
Some of the placards read: "You are not a good leader Atiku," "Atiku, you want to disintegrate Nigeria," among others.

The Vice President, who wore a white Agbada and a blue cap to match, told aviation correspondents that he was not bothered by the "harassment," expressing the belief that it is a fallout of his declaration to contest for the presidential elections.

On whether the clampdown on his supporters will dampen his political spirit, Atiku replied "not actually."
Atiku said all the political drama unfolding at this time was "part and parcel of politics", adding, "this is democracy."

He maintained that he would comment further on the development at the appropriate time.
When the Publicity Secretary of Lagos State PDP, Mr. Muyiwa Colins was asked whether there was police permit for the protest, he simply said there was no need for that since what was happening was a peaceful protest in a democratic setting.

But speaking last night, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mrs. Remi Oyo, said the President had already waded into the incident.
Her words: "When reports reached Mr. President that the Vice President was attacked in Lagos, he felt concerned and immediately called the Vice President to ascertain his well being and the true position of things. The Vice President told Mr. President that he was not attacked and that at no time was his life in danger during the incident."

It would be recalled that the Vice President Thursday morning in Abuja drew the battle line with President Obasanjo over attempts to elongate the tenure of the present administration.
Atiku, who was addressing anti-third term members of the National Assembly at a gathering that had former Head of State, General Mohammadu Buhari and Governor Orji Uzor Kalu of Abia State in attendance, vowed to work against the realisation of tenure extension for the President.

While describing the third term plot as an "evil agenda," Atiku urged for concerted effort to stop it.
"From now on, I don’t care what happens but we must step up the campaign to stop this evil agenda," he had stated.

He followed it up Friday with the disclosure that he will be in the 2007 presidential race.
He also hit hard at his estranged boss, President Obasanjo, whom he accused of running a one-man show and pursuing reforms without human face, promising to reform some of the reform programmes.
Atiku, who spoke through his media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, also pledged to run an inclusive government of technocrats, reduce poverty in the country from the present 70% to 15%, and create 4 to 10 million jobs in four years.

"I have made up my mind in 2007 for the presidency. I believe I am the most experienced of all those who have indicated interest in the top job," Shehu quotes Atiku as saying, adding that " The VP will need technocrats to run his administration from both within and outside Nigeria, but generally he does not intend to run Nigeria like a CEO. Because he does not believe that good leadership is about a single individual, but the ability of a leader to assemble some of the best hands to help him realise his objectives."

On the on-ongoing reform process of the Obasanjo administration, the Vice-President said many of the programmes would be refocused so it could have a human face.
According to Shehu: "Vice-President Atiku believes in the on-going reforms, but will modify many of them after consulting widely with stakeholders, so that they can be better implemented in the interest of the country and its people."

The Vice- President also spoke on the alarming poverty rate in the country, admitting that over 70% Nigerians are living below poverty line, which he said could be reduced to 15% if he becomes president in 2007.

"He will create 4 to 10 million jobs in fours years," said Shehu.
On the intractable schism in the Niger-Delta region, Atiku promised a new deal for the people of the region.

"Something needs to be done and very quickly too, and he [Atiku] believes he can make a difference."
The Vice- President also pledged to intensify the war against corruption, but the war he noted should not be fought only in Abuja. " It should go beyond FCT to cover states and LGs."

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.