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Buba Marwa bids for presidency, Atiku camp says it's third term agenda

Posted by From John-Abba Ogbodo (Abuja) on 2006/04/12 | Views: 1271 |

Buba Marwa bids for presidency, Atiku camp says it's third term agenda


FORMER Military Administrator of Lagos State, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa, yesterday declared his intention to contest for president in the 2007 election.

FORMER Military Administrator of Lagos State, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa, yesterday declared his intention to contest for president in the 2007 election.

But the camp of Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday described the declaration as part of a plot to extend the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The former military governor had at the weekend said that his political future could not be disclosed until the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to which he belongs, released guidelines for its conduct.

But yesterday at a press conference in Abuja, he announced his bid for the office on the platform of the ruling party.

He also, however, decried the ban on his Albarka Airlines by the Federal Government but gave hopes that the company would soon be back in business.

Marwa, who also once served as a military governor in Borno State, said that after consulting widely and wisely, he came to the conclusion that the best time to make the declaration was now. He said he called the press conference to state in unequivocal terms his position on the development in the polity and declare to the whole world his resolve to contest the election.

The press conference, according to him, was to "dispel the groundswell of insinuations from a variety of recent news reports in the mass media regarding my standing and orientation in the unfolding political process".

It was also "to state unequivocally, directly, categorically and unambiguously that I will vie for the nomination of my great party, the PDP, to contest for the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria."

The camp of Abubakar, who declared his 2007 presidential ambition last week, characterised Marwa's announcement as "intended to spoil things for the Vice President."

Abubakar's media consultant, Malam Garba Shehu, in a telephone interview, told The Guardian: "This is not more than a third term response to Atiku Abubakar."

Shehu continued: "It was only last week that Marwa announced that he was not a candidate and had no plans for being one until the party lifted the ban and issued guidelines."

He queried: "From then till now, has the party lifted the ban on politicking? Has it issued any guideline? Has Marwa acquired any new qualification," adding: "The Presidency of this country is too important to be left to flip-floppers."

But Marwa disclosed that he had traversed the Nigerian landscape consulting with opinion leaders. After analysing their views and comments, he said that it had become inevitable to redress the nation's economic and political problems.

His words: "In the past two years or so, as many of you must be aware, I have extensively and purposively toured this country to appraise the socio-economic needs, problems and aspirations of our people," he added.

Simultaneously, I consulted with local and national opinion leaders and intellectuals on my findings and observations. Consequently, I was convinced that I should serve if and when the time is ripe and appropriate".

He subsequently declared that the time is now. "That time has come and I have chosen this present day and the present circumstances to publicly offer myself for service for the greater good of the fatherland, the prosperity of our people and the realisation of the noble sentiments and abiding vision and ideals of our founding fathers and our present day heroes," he declared.

Reeling out his credentials, the former military governor said: "I believe that I am eminently qualified to lead this great country. To start with, I have the fear of God in me, and this directs my conscience. I am disciplined by background, training and self-development, antecedents that guide my conduct." He continued: "I have the necessary mental capacity and intellectual disposition, depth and robustness as well as the energy to grasp and tackle the complex and multi-dimensional determinants of a rapidly transforming modern economy." He added: "I have the experience and track record of performance in public service that has tremendously and positively impacted on the lives of millions of our men and women as abundantly demonstrated while I served as governor of Borno, made up of the present Borno and Yobe states, and governor of Lagos State which we all recognize as a mini-Nigeria."

Marwa further said that at the age of 52, he could serve as a bridge between the old and the young generations of Nigeria as well as the bridge across the various religions and tribes in the country. He said that his government would ensure consolidation of the ongoing reforms, which, according to him, are crucial for the restructuring of the country for the better.

The presidential aspirant emphasized his interest in the office, saying: "I am waiting eagerly for the guidelines and my heart is already in the race. He denied being used by anybody to block the chances of Vice President Atiku Abubakar who has also indicated his interest in the 2007 race, saying: "I know that before Atiku, there were others that had indicated interest and you know that running for the presidency is a serious business and I am a serious guy".

Marwa also spoke on the alleged third term plot of President Olusegun Obasanjo, which the president recently said was not on the card "for now". He urged Nigerians to talk to their lawmakers so that reason could prevail at the end of the day.

The former military administrator also said that his Albarka airlines would soon be back.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the PDP held meetings with the state chairmen of the party and some members of the Board of Trutees (BOT) at the party national secretariat yesterday and The Guardian learnt that it was aimed at straightening out issues ahead of today's National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting. The meeting with the state chairmen came after the national chairman of the party, Senator Ahmadu Ali, had met with Marwa who was at the national secretariat after his declaration. Also, a member of the BOT, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, was sighted at the secretariat. Their meeting came immediately after that of the National Working Committee (NWC) ended.

The Guardian learnt that the NWC prepared the agenda for the NEC meeting and the issue of the vice president and some governors suspected of anti-party activities featured prominently.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.