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CNPP faults Yar’Adua’s absence at UN meeting

By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) yesterday criticised President Umaru Yar’Adua’s trip to Saudi Arabia in place of the just concluded General Assembly of the United Nations, where it said Nigeria’s interest would have been better served in international dynamic system.

The CNPP which expressed disappointment over the trip, accused President Yar’Adua of placing personal interest above collective national interest given the manner at which he conducts our foreign policy”.

National Publicity of the umbrella of registered opposition political parties in the country, Mr. Osita Okechukwu who made the remarks in a statement, lamented that absence of Yar’Adua at the UN General Assembly has deprived Nigeria the opportunity to express its contribution on peace keeping operations around the world.

According to him, “the General Assembly is an organ of United Nations Organisation where each member has one vote and where resolutions are passed, where members that serve in other organs are chosen and where the sessions are used by presidents to assert the global views of their nation. How can we be enrolled among the first 20 countries in the world if we do not assert ourself?

“Therefore the CNPP meeting notes that there is no better place to promote and protect Nigeria’s national interest and a just world politico-eco order than the UN General Assembly; hence in compliance with the foreign policy objectives of the nation as enshrined in Section 9 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

CNPP according to him, “without prejudice to our cordial relationship with Saudi Arabia, maintains that on the balance of scale that Nigeria’s national interest which has nose dived in recent times could have been repositioned, if President Yar’Adua has mounted the UN podium on September 24th , reminding the world of the historic roles we had played in peace keeping around the world, the sacrifices in both human and material resources Nigeria has made in restoring order and nation building in Africa and other regions and our quest to enlist as one of the permanent members of the Security Council”.

He said “the UN General Assembly is an assemblage of 1st Eleven – where world leaders interact, share common vision and build alliances – no Foreign Minister can fill this void, no matter how eloquent. In short the primary national interest of Nigeria today is how to revive our decayed infrastructure, reduce the gross unemployment, which generates insecurity in the land. For this a proactive president, his priority would have been to use the General Assembly as a market of ideas”.

“CNPP also notes that President Yar’Adua’s absence means clearly that not only Nigeria that lost her voice but Africa, as Nigeria’s voice could have provided the soothing balm to Ghadafi‘s bizarre address and Mugabe’s coarse voice”.

CNPP is worried that even in domestic policy; President Yar’Adua seems to be more obsessed with his passions, idiosyncrasies and personal preferences than that of our country.

For example, while the Director General of State Security Service {SSS}, Mr A. Gadzama is raising alarm and warning the country of impeding inferno, chaos and crisis ahead of 2011 elections, the president is more concerned about how intra- crisis ahead of 2011 elections will deny PDP of victory”.

“In actual fact, President Yar’Adua on September 24 while in Saudi sent message to his party members through his Vice,’ ….he also asked me to request that the leaders at the national and state levels, the governors, the national leaders in all states should work together because from the previous elections we contested, we have seen that the greatest problem we have is within the party. Most of the challenges we have is selecting candidates that led to a lot of people not being happy, internal protests and anti-party activities”.

“CNPP needs to remind President Yar’Adua to desist from self service and to carefully read the DG SSS Report and once again read the Uwais Electoral Reform Committee Report; he will find out the two reports contain salient solutions to avoid electoral chaos and national insecurity.”

All President Yar’Adua needs to make the elections legitimate is to harness the PDP’s over 800 members of State House of Assemblies out 990, over 250 members of the House of Representatives out of 360 and over 80 Senators out of 109 to amend the relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution, in line with the Uwais Report.

“This will guarantee Nigeria genuine Electoral Reform and truly independent Electoral Commission, only if he can act statesmanlike. For the over 50 gubernatorial PDP aspirants in Anambra State in a country with over 50 political parties, has more than anything exposed the failure of his pledge for Electoral Reform.”


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