Niger State Governor and Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum, Dr. Babangida Mu’azu Aliyu, yesterday in Lagos, advised leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to disappoint Nigerians.
Aliyu is a governor under the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He spoke during the presentation of Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s book: “Witness to History: Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Struggle for Democracy, Liberty and Justice.” Mohammed is the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN.
In his remarks, Governor Aliyu said that he was one of the first set of people who prayed for the success of the merger among the ACN, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which gave birth to APC. He noted that if the merger succeeds, the PDP will stop taking the country for granted.
To the APC leaders, he said: “Don’t fail Nigerians. Don’t allow personal ambition to becloud the general good of the people.” He further stated that “ In USA, there are many registered political parties in the country but whenever election comes, it is only the Republicans and the Democrats that we know.
“When people come together and realise that we share certain things in common that we need to create opportunities for people to really look at the option and say this is where we will have a better person.”
“If you want to succeed and you don’t have enemies, create them so that they will become the barometer of your success. For me, naturally, I don’t see opposition as problem,” Aliyu said.
Also, continuing the war of words with the Federal Government yesterday at the book’s presentation, National Leader of the ACN and former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, advised the ruling PDP to ‘pack and go’ over what he described as disappointing Nigerians in the 14 years it has held power.
Tinubu said the PDP had been in power for so long without much to show for it, so it is in the best interest of the country for them to quit the stage.
“They have been there for too long without much. It is time for them to go. The majority of our people still remain poor”, he said. The ACN leader said the proposed merger party “is a Nigerian project, pointing out that because its promoters are conscious of the fact that nothing good comes easy, they are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices and prepare for the battle ahead so that the venture will succeed.
“We do not hate anybody nor oppose nobody. However, we oppose injustice, poverty, insecurity, bad governance and anyone in power that allows corruption, injustice and insecurity to thrive”. Tinubu, who was the lead presenter of the book, said “it was pitiable to see presidential aides trying to tell a different story about the Jonathan administration despite feelers from all quarters about the rot in their government.
“They can no longer hear the falconer, so they embellish facts. Where there is none, they attack the messengers rather than heed the message. “They have been there for too long. For the little good they have done, we acknowledge them.
But let me set that aside. We have witnessed their empty history. Only two days ago, the US Department of State in its annual Country Report identifies pervasive impunity and corruption as the hallmark of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
“Impunity remains a reference at all levels of government. That is what the State Department said. So, you hear loud attack against the State Department. The opposition has consistently passed the same message about this government,” he said.
He affirmed that APC presents a better alternative, saying, “the ruling Peoples Democratic Party has been warned about rots in the judiciary.
But they did not heed, they need to go. It has been warned against insecurity and insurgency in the Niger Delta, yet, it never listened, it is time for them to go. The storm is here. It is a positive storm. APC is the storm to effect needed change in Nigeria”. Tinubu said the ACN which has now matured into the APC is tired of playing the opposition, boasting that it would change its status come 2015.
Also, the presidential candidate of the CPC in the 2011 general elections, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, who was the Special Guest of Honour, assured that nothing would stop the success of the APC.
He stated that if the merger succeeds, it would be impossible for any sensible person to manipulate the 2015 general elections. According to him, “If we agree to come together, mobilise our constituencies, I don’t think any sensible person will accept to rig because they know that rigging cannot bring good governance. Nigerians are very serious about it.
Buhari who wrote the Foreward to the book, said the ACN convention held last week in Lagos had kick-started the things to come for the APC, revealing that the CPC will hold its last convention on May 11 in Abuja while the ANPP will hold its own same day in Zamfara State.
He said: “With this merger, we should mobilise our constituency, and I don’t think that any political party along the line will attempt to rig because there wouldn’t be any need for that. “Nigerians are very serious about it and we are determined to continue with our plan. This merger is going to be rare.
We are very solidly ready to ensure that the vote of Nigerians counts in the next elections”. Lauding the author’s courage, he said he earned his respect by the office he held and his doggedness to point out the shortcomings of the government at the centre without fear.
While commending Mohammed of the book for a brilliant package, Buhari recommended the book to libraries of higher institution and secondary schools, adding that “if we don’t read such documents we will keep on repeating our mistakes and the dangers are provocation” Also, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), in his welcome address, took a swipe at the stance of the PDP which declared there is ‘no vacancy’ in Aso Rock in 2015.
The governor wondered what the basis for elections would be, if they (PDP) were already declaring their victory two years before time. He said, “The very notion that there would be a contest, suggests that there would be vacancy in 2015. It is a very important revelation to the mindset of that team and therefore, it is important to those who may listen to us, do not take things for granted”.
A renowned poet and essayist, Odia Ofeimun, who reviewed the book, said it is a collection of 1,200 press statements issued by the author over a period of four years.
While recommending the book, Ofeimun said there is the need for spokesmen of political parties to be in the “cockpit in the organization of the party.”
On his part, the author, Mohammed, who said he owed his political trajectory to Tinubu, in whose administration he served as Chief of Staff. Besides, he expressed profound gratitude to the press, stating that whatsoever he has recorded as spokesman of the ACN is because of the support of the media.
The book presentation held at the Civic Centre, Lagos, attracted eminent Nigerians including former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, first civilian Governor of Lagos, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, ACN members of the Senate and House of Representatives, House of Assembly and the State Executive Council.
JD:It appears the much expected implosion in the PDP is coming up much earlier than expected.This is more like a public declaration of decamping on the part of the Niger state governor ,and other governors are expected to follow suit.Things have fallen apart and definitely the PDP centre cannot hold,unless…….