OBASANJO/ATIKU RECONCILIATION: GOOD FOR THE NATION.
BY: BABA AHMADU
The recent reconciliation moves initiated by the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo through Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the Osun State Governor and facilitator to mend fences with his ex-vice – president, Atiku Abubakar is welcomed. It is welcomed, if it will bring peace, stability and harmony in the polity. What we have always wanted was a conducive environment for development, positive development, where there will be no dissenting voices. Dissenting voices, rifts, disagreements do not give room for proper planned developments.
After all even the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties through a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Osita Okechukwu, said Atiku Abubakar has the right to return to his former party. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, sought audience for this reconciliation and the Secretary –General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Dr Abdullatif Adegbite, told the News Agency of Nigeria [ NAN ] that the reconciliation would douse the heat in the polity.
Let us hear him. Let us hear Dr Abdullatif Adegbite. “I have read about Atiku’s visit to Obasanjo in Abeokuta and I think it is a welcome development and worthy example. For all other people, who may have political disagreements.’
We should learn to play politics without rancor in this country.
Others like Alhaji Adegbenga Kaka former Governor Segun Osoba’s deputy in his own view said the meeting between Obasanjo and Atiku Abubakar was a signal to the warring parties in Afenifere Renewal to settle their differences.
He stated in Abeokuta at the inauguration of the Ogun State Chapter of Afenifere Renewal Group and his words ’I need to say openly that it was Atiku and Obasanjo that tore Afenifere and Alliance for Democracy apart with one holding the right hand and the other holding the left hand. If I maybe a little more blunt, some our elders embraced Obasanjo, while our brother in Lagos [Tinubu] embraced Abubakar. Now,where are we going to put our faces and eyes? They have now left us in the cold to go and fend for ourselves.
For some activists to say that greed and selfish interest made former President Obasanjo and erstwhile Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to come together once more is balderdash. For the transition monitoring group to raise suspicion over the visit is too cheap to swallow.
The National Chairman of Citizens Popular Party Maxi Okwu said there is nothing wrong with Atiku visiting. Now for elder statesmen to resolve to work with other compatriots to address critical national challenges is not a crime. National interest rather personal political gains brought the two leaders together, a statement released in Abuja Wednesday,21 st January, the Atiku Media Office categorically put It was very clear that the meeting was not about the 2011 presidential election as some people have misinterpreted it. The two leaders decided to bury the hatchet and focus their attention, re-direct their energies and harness the collective experiences for the benefit of the country. It was not about the two men. It is about the future of our beloved country, the media experts noted.
At a critical moment such as this, in the life of our nation, great men and women must put aside political differences and work for the progress of the country. This is the context in which the Abeokuta meeting should be seen by all-well-meaning Nigerians, they called.
The Atiku Media Office cited the example of Nelson Mandela who spent twenty seven years in prison and went on to work as South African President with former foes without bitterness and in a spirit of forgiveness. It also cited US President Barack Obama and those who fought him for the coveted position during the campaign.Some other analyst emphasized Republican Presidential Candidate, John McCain sat down one and one in November 2008, in Chicago for a meeting with the man, who defeated him in the U.S election. They talked about how they could work together to solve America ’s economic and social problems. This could be similar in Nigeria , the giant of Africa . To this end, the analysts offered Obasanjo and Atiku to realize that the country is bigger than both of them.
From the meeting, sources said, it was gathered that the two leaders have decided to forget and forgive.
This should be encouraged, more so Nigerians should have a sign of relief that a long-running political fend had finally been laid to rest. Politicians should learn from such rare show of the spirit of tolerance and forgiveness.
Other politicians and activists advised Nigerians not to see the Atiku – Obasanjo rapprochement as a sell -out by any of the parties. They called on them to encourage political leaders to demonstrate political maturity and sincerity in their dealings with one another.
Nigeria is bigger than all of us and the national leaders must be prepared to make personal sacrifices in the interest of the nation.
By: Baba Ahmadu,
No 17 Kabo Road , off Garu Road Kano , Kano State .