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Home arrow Africa arrow 2011: Prepare for war •Atiku supporters threaten to ‘cancel’ Nigeria •We’re ready for Atiku, IBB - E
2011: Prepare for war •Atiku supporters threaten to ‘cancel’ Nigeria •We’re ready for Atiku, IBB - E PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tribune   
Dec 17, 2010 at 02:26 AM

THE battle for the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) presidential ticket assumed a dangerous dimension on Thursday over a statement credited to former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in which he alluded to violent take-over of government.

The statement by the former vice-president has generated hot reactions, further widening the gulf between the camps of President Goodluck Jonathan and Alhaji Abubakar.

However, in one of the reactions to Abubakar’s statement, some of his supporters from the North have declared that the office of the president of the country is North’s sole right and have threatened to unleash  mayhem of unimaginable proportions on the country, if Abubakar does not get the presidential ticket of the PDP.

Acting under the aegis of Coalition of Atiku Northern Supporters (CANSU), the Abubakar supporters said the crisis that would envelop the nation should Abubakar not get the ticket would be greater in proportion to the series of Boko Haram massacres that had engulfed the country.

CANSU, in a release signed on Thursday by its President, Mallam Abubakar Ibrahim and the Secretary-General, Dr Yakubu Ahmed, stated that it came to the conclusion because “Nigerians do not want  a peaceful change.”

“We wish to state that we support the position of our mentor, Turaki Abubakar, that what Nigeria needs is not a peaceful change.

“This is no threat. Boko Haram will be a child’s play compared with the action our members can take. We have been patient enough. And enough, they say, is enough.

“The presidency is our right. The fact that we bowed to pressure to allow a southerner, Chief Obasanjo, who has now turned to be a betrayer and a disgrace to us, to become president in 1999 does not mean we do not know what to do to reclaim our right.

“We are happy that Turaki has now seen reason with us that what Nigeria needs is violent change and not a peaceful one,” CANSU said in the release.

“Some individuals, especially former President Olusegun Obasanjo, whom we gave our massive support because of our mentor and patron (Abubakar), do not want to respect the wish of the North for zoning and give Turaki Abubakar the PDP ticket.

“We wish to state unequivocally, without any ambiguity, that we, the Atiku supporters, are prepared for any eventuality should our patron be refused the ticket he has worked for.

“Our position remains: ATIKU PRESIDENCY ZA MU ISO WAJE KO WACE IRIN HALI  (We will get there by whatever means).”

The group, therefore, warned Nigerians to prepare for the consequences of Alhaji Abubakar not clinching the PDP presidential ticket, saying “may Allah, the Almighty not CANSU (cancel) Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, the controversial zoning debate appears to have taken a new twist, as repentant militants of the Niger Delta have warned that the nation’s disintegration is imminent.

The ex-creek combatants, besides the warning, alerted that the nation “would be surprised” if their acceptance of the amnesty offer by the late president, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, was taken for a ride.

The repentant warlords, under the auspices of the Ex-MEND Commanders Forum, were reacting to a statement credited to former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, and former Vice-President Abubakar, in which they  warned that “if Jonathan makes peaceful transition impossible, he should be prepared for the inevitability of a violent change.”

Babangida and Abubakar spoke in Abuja on Wednesday at the National Stakeholders’ Conference organised by the Adamu Ciroma-led Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF).

But the ex-MEND commanders, in a statement signed by High Chief Bibopre Ajube (aka Shoot at Sight), ‘General’ Ezekiel Akpasibewei (ex-leader of the Niger Delta underdogs) and  ‘Commader’ Micah Kpenfi (aka Ota 1), described the position of the northerners as “a call for coup,” hence treasonable.

The statement said “while we hold firm the belief that the freedom of expression, as enunciated in the constitution, allows individuals to express their opinion on given issues, we view, in every aspect of their intents, the statement made by the two leaders who have served the nation in various capacities as very dangerous for the survival of this nation.”

Efforts to reach the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) of MEND, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo), were not successful.

But his media aide, Paul Bebenimibo, who told the Nigerian Tribune that the ex-militant was in a “crucial meeting,” described the position of the two presidential aspirants as “most dangerous.”

In another development, President Jonathan has vowed to deal with any politician or political groups who threaten the sovereignty of Nigeria, saying that the government will not condone the culture of careless utterances capable of causing troubles in the country.

Apparently reacting to the statements credited to General Babangida and former Vice-President Abubakar, on Wednesday, Jonathan declared: “we will not allow anybody to take this country for a ride.”

Speaking during the decoration of newly promoted naval officers at the Nigerian Army Headquarters, in Asokoro, Abuja, on Thursday, Jonathan warned that he would not allow a situation where the improving image of Nigeria in the international community would be dragged through the mud.

“I frown on people, especially politicians, who make statements challenging the sovereignty of this nation. Government will not take this lightly. We will no longer allow that kind of culture. We will not allow anybody to take this country for a ride,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria’s rating in the international community should not be sabotaged at this time, when the nation was consolidating its leadership role in the African continent and the globe, adding that it was the military and the police that bore the brunt in a crisis.

However, Atiku has rejected allegations of escalating tension over his widely reported comment on the consequences of resisting change.

In a statement in Abuja, by his campaign organi-sation, the former vice-president said his comment at a stakeholders’ conference in Abuja, on Wednesday, was borne out of historical reality, when the late United States president, John F. Kennedy, warned against the consequences of making peaceful change impossible.

He said the statement should be taken in its historical context, in terms of bitter experiences injustice had caused around the world.

The presidential aspirant said he and his supporters would not be intimidated or deterred in the commitment to ensure that the PDP abided by its zoning arrangement, in line with its amended constitution.

Atiku said accusing him of causing tension was like putting the saddle on the wrong horse, adding that no Nigerian leader, in recent memory, had caused so much bitterness, division, suspicions and animosity among Nigerians like President Jonathan had done because of his ambition to run in 2011.

He wondered how a president that tore the PDP apart and caused so much bitterness within his own party because of his alleged ill-advised ambition could turn round and accuse anyone else of causing tension.

Meanwhile, the Imo State House of Assembly, on Thursday, passed a resolution rejecting the candidature of Abubakar for the upcoming  presidential primaries of the PDP.

The all PDP-member state legislature also warned Igbo governors and other sons and daughters against accepting the vice presidential slot being dangled before them by the former vice-president.

In the motion sponsored by Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba of Oru West State constituency and Chief Bede Eke of Ngor Okpala state constituency, the House also resolved to reaffirm its support for President Goodluck Jonathan as candidate of the PDP in 2011.

SSS warns on reckless comments
The department of State Security Service (SSS) has warned presidential aspirants against making reckless and inflammatory statements in their quest to win elections.

In a statement in Abuja, on Thursday, the SSS regretted that certain comments by some presidential aspirants had gone beyond politics and freedom of speech, as they bothered on security of the country.

Apparently referring to comments credited to General Babangida and former Vice-President Abubakar at a stakeholders conference, on Wednesday, the SSS lamented that such comments posed grave national security problem.

The statement, signed by the Assistant Director, Public Relations of the Service, Mrs Marilyn Ogar, said “for sometime now, the SSS has noted with grave concern the unguarded, reckless and divisive utterances of some prominent politicians.

“The Service has also noted that these utterances, apart from being very inflammatory and extremely inciting, are of deep and grave national security concern.

“We are, again, reminded that democracy is about dialogue, negotiation and compromise. However, a situation where some of those aspiring to rule this nation have resorted, through their utterances, to make the country ungovernable, or calling for a violent change, is very despicable and unacceptable to this service.  This, to this service, is beyond politics.”


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Last Updated ( Dec 17, 2010 at 02:26 AM )
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