We Must Fight With
All Our Strength
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
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.