Views on the Atiku Salvo
Views on the Atiku Salvo
Prof Awwalu H. Yadudu
Atiku’s drawing of the battle-line, or biting the bullet as it were, at the particular time and in the circumstances – to wit incessant suppression of dissent, intolerance of all opposition to 3rd Term bid, all of which have of recent been carried out with no tact and lacking in political sensitivity by OBJ handlers – was a masterstroke of political act of opportunism. He threatens to tell all he knows about OBJ’s behind-the-scene moves for regime continuation, opposition to which, he will want us to believe, being the only reason for his estrangement with his Boss – not any acts of disloyalty. That is bound to bolster his political credentials – particularly in the North -, quite apart from that being a pre-emptive move to throw his pursuers off his trail and render their smear campaigns, which he should expect sooner than later, as utterly suspect and lacking in credibility or sincerity.
Of course, he risks PDP censure. Does he worry about that? Let us recall that he has half-jokingly revealed of having since been deregistered from that Party by those who have hijacked it to accomplish the devilish regime continuation project. He takes consolation in being in good company on that score, what with all the founding fathers hounded out of its fold. Ironically, he would very much welcome any form of censure as that could, he must have calculated, further purge him of a widely-held belief in his connivance, if not active participation, in all its past inequities and electoral robberies. It seems to me that he has long prepared for this rainy day, a day he has no use for the PDP umbrella over his head. He has rather skillfully built an alternative Political Party, the ACD, which, as yet, does not have the baggage weighing down on the PDP. Should he decide to throw in the hat in the arena of the political contest, he has a base upon which to launch it.
In my view, he has indeed pulled an earth-shaking palace coup against OBJ. If OBJ needed any prodding to reconsider his duplicitous outing to elongate his regime without his Handbag (that was how hitherto pliant Atiku, the loyal VP, once described his relationship to the President) tugged under his armpit, the Turaki of Adamawa has provided him with one more reason. Of course, feeling caged and betrayed by a former allay, that may harden OBJ’s resolve in the blind pursuit of his folly.
As for the readiness of the NASS to take on the feeble, invisible and rattled machine seeking to foist the 3rd Term on the nation, it is no secret that securing a 2/3majority support to actualize it is not as easy as the spin-doctors must have initially thought. Admittedly, the moneybags are doing the rounds. Thank God, however, there are still some men and women of good conscience in the NASS. Moreover, we must not ignore other compelling factors, both within and without the NASS, which the project will come up against. Already, the PDP has an open revolt on its hand from its ranks in the NASS. Col. Ahmadu Ali’s marching order to the garrison appears not to be heeded. His brazen threat to members to toe the line or face the heavy price in the form of excommunication has, it seems, failed to cow many. Neither has the carrot or bait of automatic return to the NASS been swallowed.
With Mantu battling for his life to retain his seat as Deputy Senate President, the anti-third term caucus must have been greatly bolstered by the events of Wednesday, April 5, 2006. The narrow escape he had from being summarily suspended must serve as a warning short. It must have by now dawned on the Governors, who have bullied their representatives to toe party line, that they have been done in by the array of amendments proposed by the Mantu Committee which will, if passed, emasculate them, open them to the ignominy of criminal prosecution while in office and eventual impeachment and generally concentrate more powers to the federal government by divesting them of what meager functions they have currently. We are aware that many of the pro-third term Governors are weighing their options and are reportedly not as enthusiastic in their support of the project now as there had been before the Port Harcourt conclave during which they were short-changed by Mantu & co. The Press, to their eternal credit, has been alive to its responsibility as the vigilant watch-dog which, in diverse ways, has roundly condemned the elongation of tenure ploy. For the records, I am not aware of any respectable newspaper at home or abroad that has thrown its weight behind the ignoble cause with an editorial in support. On the contrary, many have voiced, in no uncertain terms, their opposition to it. Above all, the masses all across the nation have left no one in doubt as to how they will deal with the traitor legislators who masquerade as their representatives. In my considered view, as things stand today and if the issues are decided by each legislator standing up to be counted – not by means of the fraudulent Mantu voice vote – forces within and outside the NASS are more than ready to trounce the illegal, immoral and shamefaced attempt to amend the 1999 Constitution solely for the purpose of extending the tenure of the executive at Federal and State levels.
Dated this 7th Day of April 2006 at Kano.