Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
OBASANJO WRITES TO BUHARI;
April 16, 2003
Dear General Buhari:
I feel constrained to write
you this letter on an issue which I presume to be of common concern to you and
me, first as members of the National Council of State, and as presidential
candidates of our respective parties in the current general elections.
President of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria
BUHARI RESPONDS THROUGH OFFICIAL ANPP STATEMENT
April 16, 2003
The contents of the President's letter to General
Muhammadu Buhari got to the media even before the ANPP Presidential Candidate
received it. We find that very inappropriate and quite out of order. We have
also noticed from the contents of the letter that it is either the president has
misunderstood the Press Conference of April 16, 2003, which was delivered by the
ANPP Presidential candidate on behalf of the Presidential Candidates of the
Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) or has deliberately chosen to
view it out of context. Either way, General Buhari cannot be held responsible
The ANPP Presidential Candidate who is a former
Head of State himself will not seek to incite the public against a constituted
authority as the President's letter imputes. In all his public service life be
has been known to be disciplined and law abiding. For the purpose of this
election, it is the considered opinion of the Buhari-Okadigbo Presidential
Campaign Organisation that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is simply another candidate
in the race. We have noted that in the conduct of the 2003 elections, the
President who to all intents and purposes is in charge of the election process
has behaved less as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and more as
an interested party in the elections. We have therefore addressed ourselves
appropriately to that fact. The respected views of the Catholic Church in
Nigeria and the several observer groups on the just concluded National Assembly
elections are instructive.
We have noted the threats of the President in his
letter. But the position of the ANPP Presidential Candidate remains unchanged.
He will continue to maintain that Nigerians should promote democracy by
exercising their rights to vote during elections. He will also continue to
insist as he did in the press conference of 17th April, 2003 that the people
should protect their votes with all they have. After all, as the PDP National
Chairman, Mr. Audu Ogbeh once said himself, and we fully agree, "a fraudulent
democracy is worse than a military dictatorship". We are at one with the
President, that he as President has the responsibility for maintaining peace,
law and order. But this responsibility does not in any way vitiate the people's
responsibility or even the right to defend the nation's hard-earned democracy
even against an elected President.
ANPP Deputy Director General Media and Publicity
ALUKO COMMENTS TO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES -
GENERALS OBASANJO AND BUHARI – AND TO INEC’S DR. GUOBADIA
Both Incumbent-President-cum-Candidate General Olusegun Obasanjo and Candidate General Muhammadu Buhari should keep their level heads on this matter. Their words and their timings are unnecessarily turning these our civilian elections into a civil war, and their (ex-)military militician profiles are capable of unnecessarily calling in present and past military loyalties.
The issues are pretty clear: One, there should be
no rigging in our future elections, and provenly-rigged
particular elections should be annulled and re-run properly – those are
the primary responsibilities of Dr. Abel Guobadia’s INEC, to which it should be
alive. Two, there should be no threats of bedlam from any side. Three, we have
tomorrow, Saturday April 19, in the Presidential and Gubernatorial Elections, to
begin to turn a new leaf.
Nigeria is bigger than any one of the two
candidates – or even of all the twenty presidential candidates, thirty-six
gubernatorial candidates, one hundred senatorial candidates, three hundred House
of Representatives candidates or three thousand state assemblies candidates.
Participating in elections as candidates should not be a do-or-die affair.
Running minimally-acceptable elections should not be rocket science and
verifying allegations of rigged elections should not be equated to going to the
moon, certainly not for physics professor Guobadia.
Finally, the Nigerian voters are urged to be
vigilant and to more carefully guard their voting rights jealously. Electoral
democracy is all about the wishes of the people being properly determined
through free-and-fair voting, counting and announcing of the actual
majority-votes-getting winners. Those “wishes of the people” cannot, must not
be capriciously determined by mere licked fingers stuck in the wind.
Burtonsville, Maryland, USA
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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.