Atiku Denies Hijack Of NASS Election | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Atiku Denies Hijack Of NASS Election

Posted: Jun 22, 2015 at 12:03 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Temidayo Akinsuyi Lagos

Former Vice President, on Sunday, broke his silence on the lingering crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), following the June 9, National Assembly leadership elections that produced Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively.

AtikuIn a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, on Sunday, Atiku denied hijacking the National Assembly leadership elections that produced Saraki and Dogara, against the wish of the APC that Ibrahim Lawan (Yobe) and Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos) should take the nation’s top positions.

The disclaimer may not be unconnected with news linking the former Vice President to the plot that resulted in the party’s humiliation.

He assured that he would not support impunity, just as it is dangerous for any individual or group in the ranks of the APC to constitute itself into an opposition, even before the take-off of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

Reacting to the recent developments in the polity, which he noted were an interplay of forces and interests that are dynamic, Atiku said that such must not be promoted to the point of being a threat to the country’s democracy and the new administration.

While acknowledging that it was legitimate and desirable for individuals or groups to pursue their interests, he warned that it must be done with sustaining democracy and promoting equity, fair play and justice in mind.

According to him, “anything to the contrary may jeopardise our hard-earned democracy and constitute a clog in the wheel of the new administration, because of the historic nature of the mandate of Buhari and the arduous challenges ahead to deliver on making Nigeria work for all Nigerians.

“It is important, especially for members of his own party, to rally behind him in the quest to enthrone good governance that will spur security and stability, economic and social development, job creation, infrastructure renewal and above all a better life for Nigerians,” the statement added.

He further urged members of the APC to emulate the unity of all the presidential contestants after the party’s Lagos primaries and support the President to form his government and get to work.

The ex-Vice President restated his unalloyed commitment to Buhari, recalling that “not only did Atiku Abubakar congratulate Buhari after his emergence as the presidential candidate of the APC at the party’s national convention in Lagos, he also handed over his best assets to the Buhari Presidential Campaign.”

Commenting on Atiku’s statement, former Minister of information and chieftain of the APC, Tony Momoh denied the existence of any crisis in the party over the National Assembly leadership.

In a chat with Daily Independent on Sunday, Momoh said the NASS, as an independent body, has the freedom to elect its officers which it has done with the election of Bukola Saraki as Senate President and Yakubu Dogara as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“I am not aware of any crisis in the APC over the National Assembly leadership. The Senate president, Saraki is APC, the Speaker, Dogara is also a member of APC. And the National Assembly has the power to elect its own leaders for its own internal administration.

“So, I don’t see any problem there. There is division of labour. National Assembly make laws, the executive implement laws”.

“It is only when one is trying to dominate one another that problem will arise. But I can assure you that the president will have no issues with the National Assembly” he said.

Meanwhile, the Action Group (AG) caucus of the APC, has decried actions of those ganging up to fight the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, saying such people will live to regret their actions.

The group in statement by its spokesman, Segun Dipe, observed that some elements who believed that they could maintain their popularity only by denigrating Tinubu continue to tell lies against him.

“These conspirators are filled with venom and they consist of too many craven and irresponsible politicians who are nothing more than the lap dogs for those oil barons, financial offenders and other mafias guilty of keeping us down after having brought us to the state of forlorn hope,” the statement read in part.

The group, however, assured that the game plan of the conspirators and backstabbers will not stand the test of time, describing them as parasites with superficial roots that will soon fall like pack of cards.

“We are all advocates of change, we worked very hard to attain it, and they also joined us to chant and chorus ‘APC…Change.’ Yet deep down in their heart, they did not want a change in the status quo.

“Rather they are only after a change that will improve their fortune and betray their benefactors. They aspire to collaborate with our oppressors and leave us alone in our state of poverty. Nothing will change as long as these ones betray our collective aspirations and bite the fingers that feed them.

“Tinubu has been there for a while; he is a long-distance runner and will surely survive their intrigues. To undermine his role in the struggle for change is to want to put our progress in reverse gear.

“Nigerians who agitated for the change and made great sacrifice to get it will for sure be the losers for it.”

Daily Independent had yesterday quoted Senators Danjuma Goje and Ahmed Sani Rufa’I, as warning party leaders not to get directly involved in the NASS leadership matter.

Goje specifically warned Tinubu against imposition, saying it “is against the spirit of ‘First among Equals.’

According to him, “you can impose and we reject! I want to strongly advise the National Chairman to go about it very softly. I’m aware that majority of the members of the National Working Committee (NWC) are not in support of this decision.

“The President of the country, who was elected on the platform of the APC, believes that leaders must emerge through a constitutional process and the rule of law.

“Imposition and impunity was what drove us away from the PDP,” he stressed.