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Why I can never resign –Atiku

Posted by From ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on 2006/04/16 | Views: 620 |

Why I can never resign –Atiku


But Vice President Atiku Abubakar insisted weekend that he would not resign, saying those calling for his resignation were doing so for a fee.

•Describes PDP disciplinary panel as unfair and illegal

But Vice President Atiku Abubakar insisted weekend that he would not resign, saying those calling for his resignation were doing so for a fee.

Atiku, who spoke through his Media Consultant, Garuba Shehu, said he has done nothing that could warrant the calls for his resignation.

Shehu insisted that while there may be no amity between Atiku and the President, there is amity between Atiku and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He also dismissed the declaration of presidential ambition by former Lagos State military administrator, Brigadier General Buba Marwa, claiming he (Marwa) was merely acting a script. Excerpts.

There have been calls in some quarters on the Vice President to resign. Should he resign?
The Vice President cannot resign because he has done no wrong. What is the basis for the call, one may ask?

That since there is no amity between him and his boss?
There is amity between the Vice President and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And this is what is important. Now, the Constitution of Nigeria, 1999, clearly stipulates that by May 29, 2007, the President, Vice President, including all the governors who have served two terms, should pack their bags and go.

The Vice President is simply re-stating this position that so long as this (1999) Constitution is the reigning Constitution, their mandate expires May 29, 2007.

And herein lies the logic of the advocacy against tenure elongation. People can seek to amend the Constitution. But what the Vice President is saying is that let the process envisaged by the Constitution for its amendment be followed. The Vice President is pained, he is worried that the process itself is being violated. People have talked about so many violations of the Constitution. It has taken a lot for the Vice President who is naturally reserved, to voice his opinion in the manner that he is so doing.

So are those calling for his resignation not in order?
They are just doing a job for a fee. And they are entitled to earn their pay.

What of the Marwa challenge? He has just declared?
Whoever saw Marwa on television the day he declared knew that while physically he was in that room reading the text, his mind was somewhere else. He wasn’t doing his own mind or conscience. But it is not for us to say whether Marwa has no right, it is the Constitution of Nigeria that grants him that right. If he is qualified to run, well and good, we wish him good luck.

We will meet him in the field. We are not the ones who will say Marwa can’t run. But it is also pretty obvious what he is doing. Look at what he did when he declared, when he wanted to join. In any case, this is not his first declaration. Marwa had declared for the presidency some time ago.

Isn’t there something curious that Marwa, who a week ago was saying that there were no rules for the race, and so wouldn’t therefore declare, would summon the media in less than 24 hours to make a declaration? You know, they say the witch cried, and the child died. Who does not know that it is the witch that killed the child? Marwa is an agent. He is planted as a spoiler, but the Vice President will not be deterred. But the Vice President will do him the honour of recognizing his right as guaranteed by the constitution to run.

So he is not bothered by the Marwa challenge?
He’s not it. He (Marwa) doesn’t represent anything of a challenge.

There seem to be an alliance between Buhari, Babangida and Atiku. Critics say it is a marriage of convenience?
No! The basis of alliances in politics in all places is governed by common interest. If people are bound by common interest, there is nothing strange in them coming together. It would seem to one that there is a common thread that ties all of these people together. So, they are commonly in disagreement with the life presidency or tenure elongation. Even on the basis of this, alliances can be formed, alliances can wax stronger and they can become sustainable. So there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

In the end, they will sort the issue of presidency out?
That is for Nigerians to decide. As a matter of fact, for Vice President and others, the presidency is not the issue now. He may have said he is interested in running. But the point is, it is not a do or die thing.
In any case, the formal declaration still has to come. But as it is now, there are big, big battles to be fought so that democracy can survive. This is the big issue the Vice President faces now.

What do you say about the disciplinary committee set up by PDP to try Atiku, Kalu, Haruna and others?
It is an unnecessary display of arrogance of power. You can’t punish someone for an action that was not an offence at a time he committed it.

The Constitution of Nigeria, 1999, does not envisage life presidency or tenure elongation, neither does the party

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.