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No stopping Atiku – Osoba

Posted by By TOPE ADEBOBOYE on 2007/03/27 | Views: 452 |

No stopping Atiku – Osoba


Ahead of the Federal High Court’s ruling on the disqualification of Vice President Atiku Abubakar from contesting in next month’s presidential election, Action Congress (AC) chieftain and former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba has expressed confidence that Atiku, who is AC’s presidential candidate, would participate in the election.

•Says Gov Daniel is a non-performer

Ahead of the Federal High Court’s ruling on the disqualification of Vice President Atiku Abubakar from contesting in next month’s presidential election, Action Congress (AC) chieftain and former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba has expressed confidence that Atiku, who is AC’s presidential candidate, would participate in the election.

He said that the AC has no alternative arrangements in place in the event that the courts uphold Atiku’s disqualification.

Osoba, who spoke on Monday during a courtesy visit to The Sun’ corporate headquarters in Lagos, also attributed the collapse of the purported merger talks between the AC and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to lack of cohesion among the ANPP bigwigs. He also accused Ogun State governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel of maligning him to cover his non-performance in office.

Quoting copiously from Sections 308 and 137 of the 1999 constitution, Osoba said that Atiku’s alleged indictment by an administrative panel was an illegality and expressed optimism that the courts would eventually clear the AC candidate. He explained that the AC was not contemplating any alternative plans, in the event that Atiku does not contest in the election, saying the nation’s democracy would be doomed if the vice president’s disqualification was upheld.

"We are no fools. The issue is beyond Atiku. Atiku will contest the election. We are sure of victory at the courts. We are happy that the judiciary has been living up to expectations as the last bastion of the common man. That is why we are pressing on because we are confident that Atiku will contest," he said.
Osoba, who accused the President Olusegun Obasanjo government of bias in its anti-graft war, urged Nigerians to insist that the current transition programme was successfully concluded.

"The president said the election is a do or die. To us, it is do and win. That is why we are fighting. Our democracy will be threatened if President Obasanjo and his group succeed. It will be the end of our democracy," he stated.

The veteran journalist also regretted alleged misinformation regarding his tenure as Ogun State helmsman by the present governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who he accused of not telling the whole truth concerning the state’s finances. According to him, Daniel had been claiming credit for projects wholly or partly done by his predecessors. He accused Daniel of non-performance despite the huge allocation he has got in four years, adding that the current governor has got thrice what he got as governor in four years.

"Throughout my four years in government, our total allocation was N48 billion, while Daniel has collected about N150 billion between May 29 2003 and now," he said.

He said that before he left office, the Ogun State Ministry of Information published a booklet outlining completed projects and the ones still under construction, with funds already paid, alleging that Daniel has renovated some of the projects he (Osoba) completed and claimed credit for them.
Osoba said that Daniel caused his arrest on trump up charges and has been persecuting him as well as dragging his reputation on the mud owing to envy.

On the breakdown of the planned alliance between AC and ANPP, the former Ogun State govenor said that some forces worked against the plan. He revealed that states being controlled by ANPP were destabilized, leading to the defection of some ANPP governors to other parties, adding that the parties discovered that the INEC planned to deny the party that would have evolved from the merger of AC and ANPP registration.

"We had concluded everything about the merger. We had even adopted the ANPP logo, the corn, as the logo of the party that would have evolved from the merger. To change the parties’ names, we were expected to hand over the certificates of AC and ANPP to INEC. We discovered that INEC was waiting to collect the certificates and deny the new party registration."

He also said that a planned meeting between Atiku and Gen Mohammadu Buhari, the ANPP presidential candidate, on the alliance could not hold owing to the problem the vice president had when the Presidency declared his office vacant.

Osoba commended Abia State governor, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu for his courage and fighting spirit, noting that the presidential standard bearer of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) was one of a few governors who could stand up to President Obasanjo’s intimidation.

He described The Sun newspapers as the "super king of the tabloids" and commended it for its effective combination of the tabloid tradition with the character of a serious newspaper. He also praised the management team, led by Mr. Mike Awoyinfa and Dimgba Igwe, describing them as thoroughbred professionals.

Earlier, while welcoming the veteran journalists, Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun, Mr. Mike Awoyinfa, had described him as a fine journalist and accomplished administrator.

Mr. Dimgba Igwe, Deputy Managing Director/Deputy Editor-in-Chief, in his remarks, said Osoba’s ability to effectively turn around the fortunes of newspapers he managed, even with limited funds, had shown that journalists were the most prudent managers.
"He is a man who keeps records. He is still a reporter at 68 and he is a model for us reporters," Igwe said.


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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.