By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – Former vice president and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Atiku Abubakar has hit back at critics of his stance on restructuring, saying the United Nation’s planned phase out of petrol and diesel-run cars by 2040 has vindicated him.
This came even as the forum of former deputy governors in the country have kicked against secessionist threats by some groups in the country as well as the recent ‘quit notice’ issued by some coalition of northern youths to Igbos living in the north.
Atiku in a statement by his Media Office in Abuja recalled that exactly a week ago at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he had predicted that the automobile industry will be moving away from diesel and petrol powered cars in favour of electric and alternative energy powered cars.
This, he stated, was one of the reasons why Nigeria must restructure now or risk being bypassed by the global economy.
“Of course the Wazirin Adamawa was criticized and painted as crying wolf by the usual suspects, yet only eight days later his view has been further vindicated by the news from the United Kingdom. This again serves as a warning to Nigeria to heed the warnings of patriots like Atiku Abubakar and others like him, that while we still have a few good years of income from oil we need to urgently diversify our economy which will only be possible if we embrace restructuring”.
On their part, the former deputy governors in a communiqué signed it national chairman, Lucky Imasuen and its national publicity secretary, Chris Akomas, said, “after exhaustive deliberations on the state of our nation, Nigeria, the Forum observed that agitation is on the increase in various sections of Nigeria; voices of dissent are daily growing amongst us, promoting divisive tendencies”
They noted that while Nigerians are currently engaging in spreading and making hate messages and speeches, using various fora especially social media to the detriment of our fragile bond of unity, the State of Affairs of the Nation needs urgent attention of all and sundry”.
Consequently, the Forum acknowledged the inalienable rights of all Nigerian Citizens to freedom of expression, but “condemned moves and all calls for separation of the entity called Nigeria into different multiple countries; and the recent quit notice issued to citizens of Nigeria from the South Eastern zone by a coalition of Northern Nigerian Youths. It is pertinent to emphasize that every Nigerian citizen has the right to live and own properties anywhere in Nigeria”.
It also condemned all divisional tendencies, while maintaining its stand on one united, indivisible Nigeria.
“The Forum also wishes to lend support to the on-going fight against corruption in Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government. In addition, the Forum urges all stakeholders to work for peace in the interest of a united nation. Finally, the Forum prays for the quick recovery of Mr. President to enable him resume his duties”.