Posted by thephctelegraph on
The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, has dismissed comments credited to one-time Minister of Transport, Alhaji Umaru Dikko in the wake of the resolve of the South-South people to occupy the presidency.....
The governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, has dismissed comments credited to one-time Minister of Transport, Alhaji Umaru Dikko in the wake of the resolve of the South-South people to occupy the presidency.
Dikko known for his inflammatory and sometimes derogatory speeches had recently stated in an interview that if the South-South really wants to produce the next president, it should go ahead and plan a coup de'tat.
Attah, a presidential hopeful who spoke at the end of a gala nite organized for visiting Southern Senators said that the South-South does not need to embark on a coup detat' to attain the presidency in 2007.
"If we had wanted to be disloyal to the government and the constitution, we would probably have planned a coup long time ago, "Attah said, stressing ". But we are law abiding people"
The Akwa Ibom governor said that the people of the South-South did not see government established through coups as legitimate.
"We don't think that governments established by coups are legitimate... we will persuade the likes of Umaru Dikko to accept the fact that when they came here and asked for our support to put Tafawa Balewa in power we gladly granted it, when they came here and asked us to support them to put Shagari in, we gladly granted it and we think this time that we go to them and say they should also support us, to put in a South-South person, they should also graciously grant it", Attah remarked.
The comments, Attah insisted, are targeted at weakening the resolve of the South-South to produce the next president in 2007 and strengthen Northern claims to the presidency.
Earlier, Governor Attah had commended Southern Senators on their arrival for coming under one umbrella to fight for power retention in the South.
He described their move as one bold step aimed at laying the foundation for the actualization of the dream of a southern president in 2007.
Governor Attah noted that claims that there is an agreement reached to hand over power to the North after President Obasanjo's rule were unfounded.
He said even if there was such agreement, the South now had sufficient reasons why it has to hang a little longer to power.
"I know that from the South we have advanced sufficient argument to suggest that even if there was such an agreement and even if there were reasons for such an agreement, there are better reason now for changing our position", he said.
Obong Attah maintained that the South deserves to be given the chance to rule the country given its huge contribution to the nation's growth.
The State Chief Executive maintained that his administration has changed what was known as a core Civil Service State into an industrialized one. "All the money we are getting from derivation is going into sustainable development that will change the economic future of the state permanently," he added.
The leader of the Southern Senators Forum, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume stated that they were in the State as part of their campaign tour of the Southern Zones to sensitize the people and drump up support for the Presidency to go to the South East or the South South come 2007.
"This country belong to all of us and we feel that as a nation that is 46 years old, no part of this country must have the exclusive duty of producing the president of this country as we have qualified persons all over out country and particularly the area that has continnously produced the wealth upon which this nation has been built", he said.
He therefore urged all the presidential aspirant from the South East and South South zones not to shy away from the race promising that the Forum will negotiate with Northern Senators to support their position.
The Forum Leader informed the Governors that apart from the demand for the creation of an additional State for the South East Zone, the Forum felt strongly that the issue of oil derivation which has been shelved as a result of the abortion of the constitutional amendment must still be looked into by the federal government stressing that the Southern Senators were asking for nothing less than 25 per cent as the minimum.
Senator Araruma however lauded Governor Victor Attah's developmental strides in the State and encouraged him not to rest on his oars even as he has offered himself to serve his fatherland as the President.
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