…They ‘re political nomads, says PDP
[This article was first published Oct 29, 2009, at 04:55am]
By Emmanuel Aziken & Henry Umoru
As the opposition’s plot against President Umaru Yar’Adua’s perceived second term aspiration thickens in Abuja, a former Head of State, General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) described his administration as a failure.
Not a few of the country’s leading politicians and former political office holders were at the meeting.
It was jointly convened by Gen. Buhari; ex-Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa.
Some of the aggrieved members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), who were expected to attend failed to turn up, though aides and associates of some leading PDP members came.
In an address at the closed door session, Atiku urged Nigerians to resist PDP’s determination to push the country into a one-party system.
Those at the meeting included a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae; ex-Minister of Information, Chief Dapo Sarumi, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi.
Others were ex-Minister of State (Foreign Affairs) Chief Dubem Onyia; ex-Minister of Education, Alhaji Dauda Birma; ex-governors Ashiek Jarma and Saidu Barda,
Also, there were the immediate past Senate Minority Leader, Senator Lawali Shuaibu, and ex-Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Senator Daniel Saror.
READ ALSO: Buhari’s government, a failure – PDP
Buhari, who chaired the meeting, in an address before the meeting went into a closed session, said:
“Today we are talking of a government that has failed in the most basic of functions of governments maintaining law and order and providing a secure environment.
“This government and its predecessor have failed to take charge of the security situation which has remained parlous such that no one is safe wherever he is at home, on the road or even in bed.
“The law and order situation has been routinely breaking down among various communities throughout the nation.
Buhari cited roads and education as some of the failure of government to meet its basic responsibilities which, he said, ran back to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo government.
At the meeting, Atiku said: “This effort is not about any of us leaders whatever our political or leadership aspirations or antecedents.
“And, whether we like it or not, this effort is larger than each of us. It is about Nigeria and Nigerians, the millions of our country’s citizens who have been serially disappointed and betrayed by incompetent, visionless and absent-minded leadership.
“It is about the millions of Nigerian children and youth who cannot get good education in our public schools or secure well-paying jobs.
READ ALSO: Saraki labels Buhari government a failure
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), has described the national summit of opposition leaders to checkmate its leadership as an assembly of bad losers and political nomads.
The party, in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Professor Rufai Alkali, in Abuja, yesterday, stressed that such persons who were not bound by any common idea cannot be trusted with the mandate to rule the country.
PDP noted that if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), registers the body as a political party, it will not be threatened by the group as it was prepared to confront them in the political battlefield.
According to PDP, the group or any other was free to contest with it as a party in the struggle for the leadership of the country against the backdrop of the plural Nigerian political space.
It added, “We will not hesitate to point out their ill-motive and negative tendencies against any positive programme aimed at transforming the nation.”