We Must Fight With All Our Strength


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We Must Fight With All Our Strength




Abubakar  Atiku


Address to members of the National Assembly opposed to the third term, Niger State Governor's Lodge, Abuja on Thursday April 6, 2006



April 7, 2006


Let me first of all, very very sincerely thank the organizers of this forum for extending this special invitation to me. I also want to use this very occasion I have been given to commend the foresight, the courage, the determination, the commitment of the members of the 2007 Forum.

The presence of all of us here is a clear indication of our solid support to you and to what you believe in, because we believe in the same thing with you.

You have absolutely no reason to doubt or to fear because over the last few months, you have seen clearly, in the print media, in the radio, all over that more than 90 percent of Nigerians are opposed to this agenda. And therefore, why should anybody come to tell you that we will give you automatic ticket? Who will give you a better automatic ticket other than the members of your constituency?

Who will give you support on any platform as long as you do what they want and what they expect of you? And for God’s sake, most importantly, God is also with you. The Speaker, Ghali Na’Abba said you should give me your support because he knows what I am going to face. I do not think I am going face anything less than what I have faced in the last three years. On the 25th of August last year, when I granted interview to Thisday Newspapers, I revealed clearly this agenda and my total opposition to it. That was when I was branded a disloyal Vice-President.

The following month, on the 25th of September, at the Yar’Adua centre, I raised an alarm that the PDP was about to be hijacked so that a particular agenda could be achieved. I was proved right. Hasn’t PDP been hijacked? Was there any election? At all levels, there was no election. It was hijacked so that a particular agenda or the party could be used to achieve a particular agenda. It has come to pass.

So, what better testimony, what better evidence do we need that this is a real agenda? People are asking: what next? Look, let us step up this campaign, let us step up this lobby among other members of the National Assembly. Believe me, they keep on counting the numbers as long as they realized that they don’t have the number, they will never bring the bill. So, let us not relent, let’s keep on persuading, let’s keep on campaigning to our brothers and sisters particularly from the South-South, who I understand have only three members in this forum, because as long as the numbers keep on increasing, they will never bring this bill to this National Assembly.

I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to appeal to you to remain steadfast, to remain strong, to give the leadership which history has beckoned you to do. And it is true we also definitely recognize you because as somebody was saying that you are the younger generation, you are starting your political career, you are the people who, in the next 10, 12 or 15 years, will love to become president. Can you imagine, Ghana has stabilized its democratic political succession?

Can you imagine, Senegal has stabilized its own democratic political succession? Can you imagine, Benin Republic has done so, Niger has done, Mali has done, Tanzania has done so, Zambia has done so. Nigeria, which is supposed to be the leading light, the leader in this continent, for God’s sake, being behind. We are still debating on political succession. It is not about North or South, It is about democracy. Like Speaker Na’Abba said it is not so.

But this North, South divide has been used, Moslem, Christian divide has been used, ethnicity has been used, just for the achievement of an agenda. It is about democracy and stability of our democratic succession and the moment that is stabilized, we become a respected nation, a credible nation, a nation that will give leadership to the whole of Africa and also play a very very important role in global affairs. Now, please for God’s sake, it is time we put all these behind us and move forward which is standard to continue to fight until we achieve this very objective. I want to assure you I am always available and I will give you any support that you need, I will be with you, look when I begin to talk, you will know more.


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