DUBIOUS! INC President says FG/Asari-Dokubo
parley was suspect
By ANSELM OKOLO,
Culled from Sun News Online Saturday, November 20,
Professor Kimse Okoko started fighting against injustice as a student. Now
the President of Ijaw National Congress, INC, he still challenges wrongs against
Ijaw nation. His bluntness has earned him a tag of a “radical”. But the
political scientist told Saturday Sun that he is not perturbed. “I am a fighter
So if that is radicalism, so be it. If it is radicalism
that gives me the platform to fight for justice, so be it. I don’t have apology
Okoko argued convincingly that Alhaji Asari-Dolubo / Tom
Ateke-led Ijaw military groups were creations of politicians. And he prophesied
that the groups would rise again ahead of the 2007 elections.
described as “dubious’’ the purported negotiation between the Presidency and the
militia groups, insisting that issues pertinent to the survival of the Ijaw
nation remain unresolved.
He knocked the federal government over some of its
policies and re-echoed Prof. Chinue Achebe’s views that under the Obasanjo
leadership, “Nigeria is sick’’.
2007 and Ijaw militia
The fact that INC could not resolve the Asari-Dokubo/Tom Ateke
crisis while it lasted reinforced the argument that the crisis was largely
political. This problem, we maintain, is political. People were trying to draw
in chieftaincy tussle but those were remote courses. The main thing was
political. These were people used by politicians. They created countervailing
forces to checkmate another one. And worst still those politicians are waxing
strong towards 2007 and they still need this militia groups to boost their
ambition towards 2007.
And let me tell you, they would still need them.
They will resurrect them one way or another for the 2007 warfare. Nigeria is one
of the few places in the world, where AK47, dynamites are used to conduct
Even now, we are working behind the scenes, knowing fully well
the kind of pretensions, settlements, activities going on. We are fully aware
and we have seen the handwriting on the wall. But we shall stop this
He said the INC was not invited to
the Abuja negotiation and they were only briefed by Asari, later. “The
negotiation has not tackled Niger Delta problems. The funding of Niger Delta
Development Commission, NDDC, is still poor and epileptic. In the 2005 budget,
he only provided N17 billion for NDDC. How can that solve the problems of Niger
Okoko said he knew Obasanjo would never negotiate on the key issues
affecting Niger Delta with Asari and co. “Is he going to negotiate a date for a
Sovereign National Conference, where the issues resource control would be
discussed? Is he going to negotiate the upward review of the 13% derivation? Is
he going to negotiate the abrogation of all obnoxious laws governing the oil
industry, including the Land Use Decree Act? We never considered those
negotiations to be anything serious. The only thing that was meaningful was that
it allowed Asari/Ateke to reconcile each other.
Game of deciet
He said Obasanjo discussed with Asari
because of oil. “The international pressure was enormous because oil price rose
and obviously affected American and British economy. He would never have done
that if international pressure were not put on him. It is not in his character.
We know Obasanjo does not care a dime about the Niger Delta. But for him to get
involve to the extent that he broker peace between Asari and Ateke speaks volume
that the situation was beyond his control.
The world is a global village and when the economic interests of the West
are threatened they would react. He was under tremendous pressure and having got
that temporary peace he satisfied the West and he shunned other subsequent
meetings, leaving it for his aides to handle. To Okoko, the Niger Delta yeouths
are the real losers. “We are oppressed, denied our resources; our people are
dying because of environmental degradation, as a result of oil exploration and
exploitation. Successive governments in this country have excluded Niger Delta
from the mainstream of economic activities.
Asari-Dokubo and Ijaw struggle
Okoko said Asari-Dokubu
started out fighting Governor Peter Odili of Rivers, then later took on the
dynamics of Ijaw struggle - resource control, self-determination, SNC. “He has
now metamorphosed into the main struggle, and I see nothing wrong with that. He
has really discovered himself. Struggle is always a zigzag movement, the end
point is there and between the beginning and the end, all sort of things happen,
of course without losing the ultimate objective.
I maintain that the initial problem was the
request made by Mr. President to the Supreme Court to interpret the dichotomy.
It was a big mistake but deliberate too. Now he was boxed to the corner after
the consequences of the interpretation became clear. The issue was innocuous in
the 1999 constitution. The constitution did not talk about dichotomy.
wanted a judiciary interpretation, he got it but it was too hot for him to
handle. He now resorted to the usual thing – political solution. The man sent
another bill to the National Assembly to create two continental shelves within
the territorial waters of one nation. There is no way we can have two
continental shelves. There is the 200metres approved internationally, he creates
another 200metres depth.
The bill was passed; now 19 governors from the
North and three South-West governors are challenging it. I tell you after
another judgment they would again look for political solution. Everything
criminal is solve through political solution. This is a sick country. We are
whimsical in policy application; principles do not matter. Nigeria has lost the
path to development. He (Obasanjo) says he is looking for unity and yet he comes
up with policies that would divide the country.
Force will fail
Any true patriot would be concerned at
the rate of destruction of communities in Nigeria during crises. When Zaki- Biam
in Benue was destroyed, nobody was happy. No true Nigerian would be happy to see
communities being destroyed as if the Federal government is at war with
communities. And this is a wrong policy and it would boomerang. They destroyed
Odi but were unable to kill the resilience of the Ijaw nation. The president
would fail in his attempts to use force to subdue the people.
Nation without honour
If this government gives me an
award, I would reject it, instantly. I don’t want to receive any award from this
administration. You have to be proud of what you are receiving. What is CFR or
OON in a rotten system we are operating. I would be ashamed to put OON on my
name from this administration as long as they continue in this path.
glad that we still have noble Nigerians like Chinua Achebe that can still stand
up to power. No serious person should take any award from this administration.
Achebe is an internationally recognized writer, so what is CFR to him? What is
the quality of an award from the third most corrupt country in the world? Can
any one be proud of that award?
The Niger Delta People’s Volunteer
Press Statement of the Arrest of The Supreme Leader of the Niger
Delta People’s Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr
Mid-hours today, September 20, 2005, the Supreme Leader of the Niger Delta
People’s Volunteer Force and the Chairman of the Niger Delta People’s Salvation
Front, Alhaji Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari, was arrested and flown to Abuja in the company of
the Rivers State Commissioner of Police.
Delta People’s Volunteer Force & The Niger Delta People’s Salvation Front
rejects the nature in which this arrest was orchestrated as it is a clear
affront on the NDPVF & the NDPSF. The arrest was a clear breach of Due
Process, constitutional processes and put a HUGE question mark on the integrity
of the human rights credentials of the Nigerian State.
In line with
this development, the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, the Niger Delta
People’s Salvation Front and her alliance groups, herein categorically states
that if we do have an affirmation of the state, wellbeing and condition of our
leader, we will not be able to guarantee the security, safety and wellbeing of
lives and properties in the Niger Delta.
it has been made very clear that our leader cannot be a party of any
orchestrator of corrupt practices, and will never in any circumstances, support
corruption. It is therefore foolhardy to think or assume that our Supreme Leader
will be party to any attempt to cause a breach of the peace because of the
arrest of any person considered to be a partaker in corruption.
Government of the Nigerian State must not that the youth and people of the Niger
Delta have been forsaken for so long and can be very prone to acts of violence
and facility sabotage when an issue such as a THREAT TO ARREST or an ARREST of
the flag bearer of the Niger Delta Struggle.
moment, tempers are at an all-time high and the count down has begun.
If word is
heard about the safety and current wellbeing of the Supreme Leader of the Niger
Delta Volunteer Force (NDPVF) in the next 24 hours, there is the possibility of
the occurrence of the most unprecedented level of a breach of the peace and
grave mayhem in the Niger Delta. Security forces, agents of governments, oil
companies and facilities so owned by these might likely be the object and focus
of this sabotage.
become necessary to state this as overtime the government of the Nigerian state
and her cohorts have continued to undermine the ability and capability of the
Niger Delta struggle.
In consequence therefore, we DECLARE that after the 24 hr
deadline, IF word has not been received from our leader, ALL STATE AGENCIES, OIL
COMPANIES AND THEIR AGENTS SHOULD CEASE FUNCTIONING IN THEIR NIGER DELTA.
FLOWSTATIONS AND RELATED FACILITIES MUST BE SHUTDOWN. ALL OIL COMPANY STAFF ARE
ADVISED TO LEAVE THE NIGER DELTA AT THE EXPIRATION OF THIS
A word has
always been enough for the wise. The Countdown has begun.
People’s Volunteer Force & The Niger Delta People’s Salvation
from Daily Independent : Updated: Friday, November 5th,
gives FG conditions for final ceasefire
• Seeks constitutional
amendment on Niger Delta
By Psaro Yornamu Senior
Leader of the Niger Delta People Volunteer Force
(NDPVF) Mujahid Dokubo-Asari says the struggle on which he signed a cease fire
agreement with the Federal Government is unstoppable until Abuja abrogates parts
of the Constitution and 14 other “obnoxious laws” designed to “perpetually
enslave the people” in the region.
He said with
the amendment, ownership of lands and waterways in the Niger Delta would return
to the people.
at a dinner party he organised for newsmen at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Port
Harcourt on Wednesday night, where he insisted that the 10-point demand by the
NDPVF was handed to the government before an agreement was reached to ceasefire,
and hoped that the authorities would implement all the demands.
“obnoxious laws”, according to him, are the Land Use Act cap 202, Revenue
Allocation Act Cap 16, Exclusive Economic Zones Act Cap 116, Oil in Navigable
Waters Act Cap 337, Oil Terminal Dues Act cap 339, Petroleum Control Act cap 351
and Petroleum Production and Distribution (Anti sabotage Act Cap 353).
include the Petroleum Profit Tax Act Cap 354, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation
and Fiscal Commission Act Cap 392, Territorial Waters Act Cap 428, Oil Pipeline
Act Cap 338, Associated Gas Re-injection Act Cap 26 and the National Inland
Water ways Authority Act.
the government to ensure that all the communities destroyed in the Niger Delta
crisis are rebuilt and members of cult groups reintegrated into the mainstream
warned the multinational oil companies operating in the region not to
discriminate in their employment policies while the Nigerian state should
constitutionally guarantee the survival and sustenance of the languages of all
He demanded a
Sovereign National Conference (SNC), saying it is only at such a gathering that
fundamental issues could be discussed, and urged oil firms to end practices that
degrade the Niger Delta environment as well as destroy traditional means of
government should immediately withdraw all military formations in all parts of
the Niger Delta”, he stressed.
development of the region, Dokubo berated four agencies set up for the purpose,
as they were “imposed on the people of the region who yearn for the control of
their resources and destiny”.
them to include the Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB) in 1962, Niger Delta
Basin Development Authority (NDBDA) 1976, Oil Mineral Producing Areas
Development Commission (OMPADEC) 1992 and the Niger Delta Development Commission
agencies have consistently failed to achieve the desired development of Niger
Delta as they were not only starved of funds, they were actually designed to
gov urges British Govt to advise Shell
By Emma Amaize
Monday, November 01, 2004
WARRI — FORMER military governor of Niger
state, Brig-Gen Cletus Emein (rtd) and some other Ijaw leaders have asked the
British government to advise the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to
stop taking undue advantage of the people of the Niger–Delta if the company
wants to operate without trouble in the region.
Speaking at Kiagbodo, the country home of
Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark when a delegation from the British government
led by the head of the Africa Department (Equitorial), Foreign and
Commonwealth Office, Mr. Tim Hitchens visited, last weekend, to explore ways
for peace in the Niger–Delta, Emein said the British government had a major
stake in its operations and should do something.
“If you go to the environment in Warri
and you feel the pulse of the people, they are very edgy, this time, not among
themselves but about Shell. Some contractors have been owed six months, one
year and SPDC is doing business even at the peak of the crisis. So there is
absolutely no reason for them not to pay the contractors”, he said.
The former governor also asserted that
“the more you keep these youths and adults out of job, then, the more edgy they
become and they tend to look for other means of survival”, adding that “there
are so many talented people in the Niger Delta, especially the Warri area but
we are aware that a lot of the quota that they give to the expatriates is
creating jobs for people from over there than creating jobs for the people
here and the youths will always resist these kind of things.
“While we are aware that you cannot tell
them as an organization, do not this, do not do that, I think with the kind of
dialogue we are having here and the same kind of dialogue you have with them,
some of these things would be tackled”, he said.
Another Ijaw leader, Chief Tunde Smooth
told the British delegation that when indigenous contractors from the region are
given jobs, they carry the youths along, but when the jobs are given to
outsiders, trouble set in because they bring people from elsewhere to do the
jobs the jobless youths of the region would have done, pointing out that this
was a major contradiction in the policies of the SPDC that has to be
FG to finance
budget deficit with excess crude fund
By Omoh Gabriel, Emma Ujah & Ben Agande
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
ABUJA— THE Federal Government yesterday
gave a break down of the 2005 budget to the House of Representatives Committee
on Finance. According to the details of the budget estimates released to the
House Committee, the Federal Government will use N158 billion of the excess
revenue from oil to finance the 2005 budget deficit. The 158 billion is
Federal Government’s share of the excess crude oil revenue.
Government also plans to raise N70
billion from the capital market to finance the budget. Government said in the
breakdown of the budget that N15 billion would come from the sales of
government properties while N4 billion would be realised from privatisation.
Other sources, the government said, will account for the balance of N67 billion
thus making up the N314 billion financing gap in the 2005 budget.
The federal executive which presented the
details of its revenue estimates to the House of Representatives Committee on
Finance, said gross target of N3.617 trillion was the expected revenue for 2005.
The summary of the gross federation revenues in 2005 shows that: Crude oil
sales would account for N1.696 trillion; PPT and royalties would bring inN1.206
trillion. Customs and Excise is expected to generate N190 billion just as VAT
is expected to yield N167 billion. CIT, on the other hand, will contribute a
total of N206 billion and independent revenue N100 billion. Education Tax and
other levies will fetch N54 billion.
|Culled form Daily
Independent : Updated: Wednesday, October 20th, 2004
Presidency ‘ll decide Nigeria’s fate’
Abia State chairman of the
People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief A. K. Awah, has said the zoning of the
presidency would determine the political future of Nigeria in 2007
Speaking at the Port Harcourt
Airport, he said the country might not be the same again if the party failed to
zone the presidency to either the South-South or the South-East.
Awah said all was not well in the
Niger Delta area, which is the economic life-wire of the country due to its rich
oil and gas resources. “It is unjust for the oil-producing region to be allowed
to groan under abject poverty,” he added. He said any attempt to scheme the
South-East out of the 2007 presidential race would not be welcome by the Igbo,
explaining that though he is not a prophet of doom, any attempt by his party to
deny either the South South or the South East the presidential slot would spell
doom for Nigeria.
He said denying them the chance
would amount to spiritual, social and economic injustice of the highest order,
pointing out that the North had dominated the affairs of the country for
“By the end of President Olusegun
Obasanjo’s tenure in 2007, the South West would have ruled for more than 10
years. The South East had a stint for only six months under the military rule
of General Aguyi Ironsi. In the first Republic, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was a
ceremonial president. The prime minister then was the head of government,” he
He said he does not care which
state produced the next president provided he or she comes from either the South
South or the South East zone. “At least, for once let this country be
responsive and do what is right”, he added.
I'm ready to
sacrifice my job for resource control — Ibori
By Emma Amaize
Thursday, October 07, 2004
OGHARA — GOVERNOR James Ibori of Delta
State said, yesterday, in his country home, Oghara, Ethiope West local
government area, that he was ready to sacrifice his job if the God so pleases to
actualize the resource control struggle of the Niger Delta.
He spoke folowing the statement of the
President-General of the Izon (Ijaw) National Congress (INC), Prof. Kimse Okoko,
who, leading other members on a condolence visit to the governor at his Oghara
home, said the Ijaw people were not unaware of the sinister motives of some
people and the machinations of the system to bring (him) Ibori down because of
his resource control struggle.
His words: "If it pleases God to be sacrificed
for it, so be it as long as our people reap the benefit of the supreme
Dein of Agbor Kingdom, His Royal Majesty,
Keagborekuzi 1 also visited the governor with a powerful delegation to declare
his support and that of his people towards the burial of his mother, the late
Madam Comfort Ibori.
Governor Ibori told the INC leader:
“Please go and assure our people that the mandate that they freely gave to me, I
am conscious of it, I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that mandate was given
to me to articulate a view for them and I pray to God that the mandate will be
executed to the fullest.”
The governor said he was not disturbed by
his many trials because he knows that the people who gave him the mandate would
stand by in the day and in the night. The governor asserted that “the people of
the Niger Delta know their true leaders, they know those who can represent them
and represent them well, they know those who will not be enticed away by money,
they know those who will not be promised positions in the future and they will
abandon the cause."
Chief Ibori equally commended Prof Okoko
for his good leadership qualities, revealing for the first time information he
got about a meeting which Okoko attended and was very strong and courageous in
his articulation of the position of the people of the Niger Delta, adding that
when eventually, Okoko came to see him, he told him that the matter was settled
because he had noted his pedigree.
Prof. Okoko had earlier in his address,
stated that Governor Ibori epitomized the struggle for resource control and the
Ijaw people were gladdened by his quality of resilience, adding that the
governor was still going about his duty and executing the mantle of leadership,
unshaken, despite the travails.
|Culled from Daily
Independent : Thursday, October 7th, 2004
Nigeria loses N3.5 trillion to fraud yearly, says
By Dan Alo
Efforts by the Federal Government
to redeem the nation from being referred to as one of the most corrupt countries
in the world may be far from being achieved as the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission (EFCC) put the country’s total loss to fraud at N3.5trillion.
The amount represents what is lost
to fraud internally by individuals and corporate bodies including banks which
are the worst hit by the ugly phenomenon.
The EFCC issued the figure of the
magnitude of the fraud on Wednesday at a gathering of members of the Anti-fraud
Foundation, organisers of the first anti-fraud national conference to be held at
the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.
The Director of the Anti-fraud
Foundation, Mr. Eddy Edison, said, “this figure is indeed very worrisome and it
should not be surprising why foreign investors are still skeptical about
investing in the country”.
He added that, “Cyber crime that
is more complicated seems to be on the rise with huge sums lost to it. That is
why a conference like this is planned to help businessmen and businesswomen to
detect and prevent fraud. I am in charge of research and crime detection at the
foundation. With my experience, we can help prevent and detect fraud.”
Edison said not only the image of
the country is affected by fraud but also the value of the naira. “For instance,
if you are to spend N3billion on a project, the tendency is that you will spend
more due to fraudulent activities,” he said.
Stakeholders expected at the
conference billed to start today are the Central Bank governor, Prof. Charles
Soludo, EFCC Director, Rilwan Ribadu and bank executives, Edison
zoning of presidency to North a fraud — S-South leaders
By Osaro Okhomina
Vanguard Thursday, December
BENIN CITY — PROMINENT leaders of the
South-South geo-political zone yesterday declared that agitation for the
presidency in 2007 was not a negotiation instrument but a demand being made by
the people of the region across party lines, describing the purported agreement
reached by the caucus members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on
the zoning of the presidency to the North as a fraud and unacceptable to the
position of the zone.
The meeting presided over by former
Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark resulted in the adoption of a
constitution for the operations of the South-South Peoples Assembly and the
reaffirmation of their stand that the agitation is not an appeal but a demand by
the region for its rightful position in 2007.
Leaders present at the two-day meeting
held in Benin City, Edo State were the former Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral
Mike Akhigbe (rtd), First Executive Governor of Edo State, Chief John
Odigie-Oyegun, Chief Hope Harriman, General David Ejoor, Admiral Festus Porbeni,
Chief A.K Horsefal, Chief Ewa Ita-Henshaw, Senator Dagogo Princewill, High Chief
Abel Ubeku and Senator Franca Afegbua.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the
meeting, the Publicity Secretary of South-South Peoples Assembly, Senator
Anietie Okon and the Chairman of the Steering Committee, Chief Raymond Dokpesi
declared that the decision of the South-South leaders to insist on presidency in
2007 was based on the need to right the wrongs of the years of political neglect
of the region.
According to Senator Aniette Okon, "the
driving force in these campaigns and the provocation has been our disappointment
at the years of deliberate and properly thought-out policies to disjoin the
wealth of these nation so as to address the condition of the Nigerian people.
And it is not the issue of sentiments that we control the wealth. It is that we
have these propelling conviction that we have the human assets, tested over time
and that can provide a breath of fresh air and initiatives in tackling Nigeria’s
"I do not agree with you that it has been
all a mess because somebody has come from South-west. What we are going through
is the transition period in the management of the economy. It is unfortunate
that the reforms have put pressure on Nigeria. We believe there is the need to
substitute the present arrangement with people that are comfortable with their
macro-economy. Even if the South-South wants to ride on sentiments, ours will be
that we believe we have remained the anchor for the stability of this country in
its most trying periods. We all believe that these are the issues of legacy. We
are saying that the problem in this country is that when the federation was
being created and handed back, they subsumed the treaties signed. So, let nobody
be mistaken on where we stand as we march into history."
On the purported gentlemen agreement of
the PDP, he said " let me tell you without fear of contradiction that there was
no such agreement. In the first instance, what they said was that it was in a
minute of the meeting. If anybody produces any minute of such meeting, it would
be a forgery because I served as a National Publicity Secretary from formation
and at no meeting of the caucuses was any such agreement reached. If they say a
gentlemen agreement exist, the first act of gentleness should have come from
Gemade and Rimi. Don’t let us talk about agreement that does not
Tension mounts in our party
– Ali •PDP suspends Dariye, passes vote of confidence on
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic
Party, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, on Friday admitted that tension was mounting in the party
as a result of the sharp differences among some of its prominent members.
In a veiled reference to the rift between President Olusegun Obasanjo
and Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the party chairman while declaring PDP’s 27th
National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting open in Abuja, said that the
altercations might lead to its disintegration if not resolved amicably.
Also on Friday, Plateau State Governor, Chief Joshua Dariye, was
suspended indefinitely over his indictment by the British government in a money
laundering case last year.
Coincidentally, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole
Soyinka, said on Friday in Lagos that the party consisted of incompatible
personalities, who were motivated by objectives which were not in the interest
of the people.
Although the PDP leadership glossed over the feud between
the president and vice president, it approved a non-elective national
convention, effectively stamping Obasanjo’s grip on PDP.
At the opening
session of Friday’s meeting, Ali said, “We are not insensitive to the tension
mounting within the party. The press has, no doubt, worsened the situation
through undue banner headlines and outright sensationalism.
“In a party
as large as ours, and in democracy, it is not out of place for altercations of
some sorts to exist here and there. The way and manner these altercations are
resolved is my concern as it either brings about growth and strength or worse
still disunity and enmity. It is my considered belief that it is in our joint
interest to see that these family differences are resolved amicably in such a
way that would build rather than destroy structures.
“The party is the
father of all and provides the platform upon which we contest and win elections
to form the 27 state governments and the Federal Government.”
attendance at the meeting, were President Olusegun Obasanjo, Vice President
Atiku Abubakar; Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih; the
immediate past National Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbeh; the National Secretary,
Chief Ojo Maduekwe; National Deputy Chairman, South, Chief Bode George; and his
counterpart in the North, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema; as well as other members of the
party’s Interim National Working Committee (INWC).
Others were the
National Vice Chairman (North West), Dr. Bello Mohammed; former National
Chairman, Chief Solomon Lar; former National Secretary, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor;
Abubakar Dan Musa, Lawal Kaita, Musa Gwadabe, Evan Enwerem, Mohammed Waziri,
A.T. Ahmed and Abubakar Rimi.
Also in attendance were the governors of
Benue, Rivers, Nasarawa, Ogun, Plateau, Adamawa, Enugu, Kaduna, Niger, Ondo,
Kwara, Bauchi, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Oyo and Kogi states.
In his three-page
speech, the party chairman stated that PDP’s fame was fading fast, noting that
its capacity building efforts to restore the glory had not been easy.
stated that it was common knowledge that there were a number of differences
between the party members in some states, adding that resolving these
altercations had been the major pre-occupation of members of the INWC, to
forestall the division of the party.
Ali added, “In particular cases
where the image of the party would be negatively affected, we had intervened to
redress and resuscitate the party’s hard-earned image. At all events, it has
been our resolve to give the party a purposeful direction.
need arose, we had invoked Article 16 of our party’s constitution dealing with
discipline to restore sanity to the party. We will continue to emphasise the
need for discipline within and loyalty to the party for our collective success.”
The national chairman said PDP had performed creditably, adding that in
the past six years during which it ruled the country at various levels, the
party had lifted the country from a pariah status to the pinnacle of world
Ali noted, “We are blessed with visionary and creative
leaders. I implore you all to pull together all - for one and one for all – to
get us to the distant shore of progress and prosperity. I entreat you all to
give peace a chance, in order to add value to the democratic environment we are
“The PDP cannot afford to toy with the lives of 150 million
Nigerians. We must strengthen our resolve to provide Nigerians with the
dividends of democracy and our leaders should remain focused. Let no detractors
deflect us from our course. Loyalty to the party must remain paramount.”
The meeting, which was earlier billed to start at 3 pm, did not take off
until 4.10 pm, shortly after Obasanjo’s arrival.
The vice president had
arrived the venue at about 3.58 pm, about five minutes ahead of the president,
who spotted a green-white adire attire. Atiku and Ali, who had waited in front
of the multi-purpose hall venue of the meeting for the president, received him
Shortly after Ali’s address, newsmen were asked to leave the
venue for the closed session.
Some hours before the meeting started, a
detachment of anti-riot policemen and soldiers led by Commisioner of Police for
FCT Command, Mr. Lawrence Alobi, had cordoned off the party’s headquarters and
its surroundings, apparently to forestall a breakdown of law and order.
Interestingly, the meeting ended without any sanctions against the vice
But, the party’s National Secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, said
that Dariye would remain suspended until the conclusion of his case.
Maduekwe said, “There is need to observe the rule of law and presumption
of innocence until proved guilty. We completely appreciate the constitutional
right of the accused, whoever that accused is, and more so when that accused is
the governor of a state.
“He is currently in court exercising his right
to fair hearing. All that we respect and we felt he is entitled to defend
himself. We respect the court very much and we believe it should be allowed to
do what it has been set up to do. This is not a party that would want to tamper
with anything, that is, interfere with what is happening in court. But, the
party felt it would be an abdication of responsibility to pretend that it does
not know what is happening and as it is with the norm of the rest of civilized
society and humanity that we are very much part of when an important public
figure is unfortunately involved in matter like this, there is need to step
aside as it where.
“Governor Dariye is an important member of our party.
While the party believes in his right to presume innocence on himself until
proved guilty, it behoves the party to apply a slap in the wrist while the
proceeding are in court. He has therefore been suspended. The suspension would
be lifted as soon as he is cleared by the court.”
Our sources said the
chairman of the Cross River State chapter, Chief Sunny Abang, moved the motion
for the suspension but shortly after, Mr. A.Y. Gombe from Taraba State was said
to have countered the move. Mr. Ahmed Okara from Kogi State was said to have
seconded Gombe’s motion.
But, Ali quickly overruled Okara, insisting
that his (Okara’s) voice was not loud enough and as such, there was no
Former Kano State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, was
said to have protested loudly, but Ali, according to our source, reminded the
former presidential candidate that he had no voting right but a “mere observer
A detailed guideline for the 2005 National Convention was also
discussed and approved. The ward congresses would hold on October 3, local
government congress, October 15; state congress, October 29; zonal congress,
November 12; and the non-elective national convention, December 10.
which directed the INWC to appoint members of the convention/guideline
committee, also passed a vote of confidence on Obasanjo, Ali, and the entire
When asked why the same vote of confidence was not passed on
Atiku, Maduewke said, “The Presidency is one. If you pass a vote of confidence
on the president, that vote is not on an individual but on an institution. So,
if we pass a vote of confidence on the president, we are passing it on all those
working with him. They have done well.”
A highly-placed Presidency
source, however, said that Atiku would still be dealt with at the right time.
The source, who said that the feud between Obasanjo and Atiku was not
discussed for “strategic reasons,” declared, “At the appropriate time, he will
be shown the way out. We are aware that he has so many followers in the party
and dealing with him now could have an adverse effect on the party. At the
appropriate time, you will hear from us. But one thing is sure, he will not
succeed President Obasanjo.”
But, an Atiku loyalist, who sought
anonymity, told our correspondent on telephone that they were not allowed to air
their views during the NEC meeting.
The loyalist said, “Again, we know
that the issue has not died down, even if it was not discussed here today;
because we know what the president did to the late Chuba Okadigbo, Audu Ogbeh,
Enwerem and even Wabara when he gave the people an indication that all was well
only for him to catch them unawares. We won’t be so foolish.”
Soyinka said the party was on the path of self-destruct due to inherent
contending tendencies within its ranks.
Speaking at a symposium
organised by the Citizens Forum at the Lagos Airport Hotel, where eminent
Nigerians gathered to appraise the state of the nation, Soyinka declared that
the ruling party lacked the will to adequately address the nation’s problems.
The Nobel laureate, who initially refused to be drawn into the feud
between Obasanjo and Atiku, however, said, “I don’t care what happens between
those two people for the simple reason that PDP is (running) an illegitimate
government. What is happening within PDP is something that we predicted ages
ago; it is a gathering of incompatibles, motivated only by one thing, which is
not in the interest of the people.”
He added, “So, if the people at the
top are bashing each other, I am not interested. Like I said, I dismiss the
party as not having any claim to legitimacy. The two elections (that brought it
to power) were fraudulent. As you can see, PDP is imploding. It is not only
because Obasanjo and Atiku are at each other’s throats; no, what is happening is
a manifestation of political self-destruct. There are far too many contending
forces. Like I said, this is not in the people’s interest.”
PUNCH, September 10, 2005
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