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You can’t disqualify me, Atiku tells Obasanjo

Posted by By FEMI BABAFEMI and TUNDE RAHEEM, Akure on 2007/02/15 | Views: 1462 |

You can’t disqualify me, Atiku tells Obasanjo


Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday dismissed Tuesday’s order by the Federal Government barring him and others from contesting the April general elections, saying neither President Olusegun Obasanjo nor the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) can stand in his way in the presidential polls.

Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday dismissed Tuesday’s order by the Federal Government barring him and others from contesting the April general elections, saying neither President Olusegun Obasanjo nor the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) can stand in his way in the presidential polls.

Speaking against the backdrop of the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at a special session Tuesday in Abuja to disqualify him from the elections over alleged corrupt practices, Atiku, the presidential flagbearer of the Action Congress told a huge crowd of party supporters in Akure, Ondo State during the south west zonal launch of his campaign that the president was just being jittery over his (Atiku’s) growing popularity across the country.

"It is because they are afraid of us that they want to disqualify us. Nobody is going to disqualify us. It is you Nigerians that can disqualify us. When they tried all means and failed, then they want to steal your votes through the back door.

"My brothers and sisters, I call on you to make sure there is change. They have betrayed us. You have no business voting PDP into power again, because they will impose poverty, they will impose hunger, they will impose darkness, and they will impose dictatorship," the Vice president stated during the campaign, attended by all the former governors of the south western states except Chief Adebayo Adefarati of Ondo State.

While accusing President Obasanjo of plundering the nation’s oil money, Atiku urged Nigerians to ask the President to give account of oil earnings in the last eight years as he was the only one directly in charge of petroleum.

Atiku said in the last eight years the Federal Executive Council never deliberated on petroleum matters, adding that any decision that had to do with petroleum was taken solely by Obasanjo without recourse to anybody.

The vice president also disclosed that if voted into power in April, he would create a Ministry of Niger Delta Development that would look into the problems facing those in the Delta area such as Ondo State.
"The ministry would be independent on its own, where people would go and lay complaints (request)of what they want, schools, good roads, potable drinking water without somebody in Abuja dictating to you," Atiku said.

He, however, called on Nigerians to be vigilant and not allow the ruling party to steal their votes through the back door, adding that the popularity of AC and the acceptability by the masses across the country is giving the PDP sleepless night.

He said AC is a party formed by the progressives in the country, saying that everybody in the country knows that the base of the progressives is in South West, adding that the home of democracy is in the South West. "That is why we chose our slogan ‘Democracy forever’ and ‘Bye bye to Poverty,’" he added.

Speaking earlier, Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu pointed out that Atiku was the brain behind the pardon granted President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1998, adding that "now, all because he kicked against the third term agenda, he is now being referred to as a thief."

Top politicians at the occasion include the AC governorship candidate in Osun State Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, Mr.Ademola Adegoroye and Ambassador Bamidele Olumilua, among others.

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