Plot by Atiku to destabilise Nigeria uncovered

Aug 9, 2004 | Cover News

The Federal Government yesterday night alleged that it had uncovered a plot by Vice President Atiku Abubakar to undermine the security of the nation.
Malam Sani Uba, Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs who spoke to journalists in Abuja said the Federal Government is in possession of some classified documents from the military, which Atiku and a mole he had planted in the army planned to use in carrying out the alleged acts.
But Atiku, who spoke through his Media Consultant, Garba Shehu yesterday said "the Vice President has already predicted this line of action by President Olusegun Obasanjo; that when all help failed in the bid to stop him from running in the forthcoming presidential elections, he (Obasanjo) would resort into roping him in a phantom coup."

The documents, according to Sani, are to be used to buttress Atiku's earlier claims in the week that the Federal Government has budgeted a huge amount of money to purchase ammunitions for the purpose of dealing with the violence in the Niger Delta region.

The presidential spokes-person said the Federal Government considered the act very unpatriotic and an attempt to undermine the nation's security particularly that of the armed forces.

Sani said the issue of equipping the armed forces and the security agencies was a routine matter and the responsibility of the Federal Government, adding that the security of lives and properties of all Nigerians and foreigners is of paramount importance to the Federal Government.

"Even Atiku himself is being protected by the security operatives and the sense of security Atiku feels is because they are well equipped."

The presidential aide therefore called on all Nigerians to ignore the Vice President and disregard his attempt to misinform the public all in a bid to achieve his political ambition.

Shehu, however, said the Vice President had "personally made the point of avoiding all forms of interaction with the military personnel both serving and retired, knowing the kind of President that we have."

He said even where the retired military men made a request to see the Vice President, he avoided such meeting, adding that the Vice President "would seek powers through constitutional means."

Atiku had last Tuesday while opening his Presidential Cam-paign office in Abuja said the Federal Gove-rnment had ordered for huge amounts of ammunition to suppress the people of the Niger Delta region.

 "A few weeks ago, this government approved over $2 billion to buy weapons to suppress the people of Niger Delta, not to develop the area. I will channel that money to the development of the area because if the area is developed, the people will not carry arms," he alleged.

Using the occasion to get back at the President who had accused him of corruption, the Vice President said the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had been so amended to provide the ground for Obasanjo to still rule the country through the backdoor after leaving office.

He added: "The journey to this hour has been very tortuous and challenging. But if those who made it so hoped that it would distract, intimidate and demoralise us, they were mistaken. We are here, we are marching forward and no one can stop us.

"The struggle for democracy is usually a difficult one but it is one that patriots must engage in if they hope to be free. To avoid the struggle for freedom for whatever reason is to run away from freedom. No human being and no nation must run away from freedom.

"This is not just a campaign headquarters. It is also the centre of our people's struggle for democracy, rule of law, fairness and equity. It is the headquarters of our people's struggle against double standards, hyp-ocrisy, and the impunity of those who play God. Fortunately, there is only one God.

"The basic rights which we fought for over the years are seriously being eroded by those who think that holding unto power is their birthright. Nigerians are progressively being sidelined and neglected in the scheme of things. Their welfare has been forgotten. I promise to use my position as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to restore true democracy in this country," the VP had said.

Meanwhile, the Action Congress (AC) has joined issues with the presidency and the police for allegedly allowing “a band of PDP-sponsored protesters to infringe on the security around the Vice President’s official residence.”

A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, wondered if the presidency and the police would have allowed protesters against President Obasanjo “to come near the President’s official residence within the same Aso Rock Presidential Villa.”

The party accused security agencies of being partisan in spite of the fact that they were being sustained by taxpayers' money. According to the AC, “while it is within the rights of any group of people to protest for or against certain individuals or groups, such protests must be “democratised” by not barring one group and allowing another, for whatever reasons.”

The AC said: “The same government that cited security reasons in restricting the number of the VP’s supporters allowed into the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja, when he made a triumphant return from his vacation in the US, suddenly turned a blind eye when the pay-as-you-go PDP protesters defied the security cordon around the Villa to storm the VP’s official residence.

“We also note that the issue of security became irrelevant when PDP supporters and thugs stormed the presidential wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos last week to welcome the party’s presidential candidate to the city.

 “We are under no illusion that such sponsored-protests will abate in the run-up to April’s elections, but we can boldly proclaim that the protests can only boost the chances of our candidate, who is an ardent believer in the rule of law and democracy, and the opportunities they offer to our suffering citizens,” the party said.


From Josephine Lohor, Oke Epia in Abuja and Idowu Showunmi in Lagos
This Day
Sunday, February 4, 2007



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