Obasanjo splits ACF

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Atiku with Obasanjo

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), a socio-political organisation of the North, has split over former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s declaration and endorsement of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, PDP’s presidential candidate for 2019 election.

ACF reacted to its General Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani’s description of Obasanjo as “suffering from a dearth of vision, conviction and consistency required of a statesman”, Nigerian Tribune reports.

The northern organisation has suddenly realised that it was not in the character of the forum to attack the views of former Nigerian leaders.

“It is not in the character of the forum to attack the views of former Nigerian leaders.

‘It is not in the character of ACF to attack the views or opinion of the former president and elder statesmen of Chief Obasanjo’s status on national issues in such uncomplimentary manner.

“ Chief Obasanjo as an elder statesman is entitled to his opinion on all issues including democracy, as he had previously endorsed presidential candidates.’’

The reaction to Sani’s remarks was made by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, on Sunday, Tribune said.

Biu said that the purported interview granted by Sani was his personal views.

`‘It is not in the character of ACF to attack the views or opinion of the former president and elder statesmen of Chief Obasanjo’s status on national issues in such uncomplimentary manner, Chief Obasanjo as an elder statesman is entitled to his opinion on all issues including democracy, as he had previously endorsed presidential candidates.

‘ACF, therefore, dissociates itself from the contents of that interview granted by Mr Anthony Sani as it was not the position of ACF.

The views expressed by Anthony Sani were his personal views as an individual. For the avoidance of doubt, all ACF official statements on any matter come through and from the National Publicity Secretary only.

According to the Nation, Sani attacked Obasanjo’s endorsement of former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,

He said Obasanjo is suffering from a dearth of vision and conviction required of a statesman.

Sani, an elder statesman, however noted that with the level of Obasanjo’s inconsistency, he may change his mind again and withdraw his support for Atiku before 2019.

Sani said Obasanjo as a statesman is expected to be an embodiment of national ideals and moral values for the nation.

He said that the way Obasanjo has conducted himself by tearing his PDP’s card and saying he would no more play partisan politics and forming a movement which he said is third force only for him to convert it to a political party of ADC, culminating in the endorsement of former Vice President Atiku reeks of inconsistency which comes with a dearth of vision and conviction required of a statesman.

“It is democracy in action which at once confirms the saying that the only thing that is permanent in politics is interest; no permanent friends or enemies.

“If you consider what the former President has written about his former Vice President Abubakar Atiku to the extent of saying God would not forgive him if he endorsed Atiku for president, then you can hardly avoid the conclusion that common decency is yet to take root in our democracy, especially when regard is paid to the place of the former president in the order of things in Nigeria.

“President Obasanjo is a statesman who is expected to be an embodiment of national ideals and moral values for the nation. But the way he has conducted himself by tearing his PDP card and saying he would no more play partisan politics and forming a movement which he said is third force only for him to convert it to a political party of ADC, culminating in the endorsement of former VP Atiku reeks of inconsistency that comes with dearth of vision and conviction required of statesmen.

“That may explain why most Nigerians may be curt and dismissive of the former president out of fear that he is just like a reed who can change his mind before the day of elections in 2019, ” Nation quoted Sani as saying.

Source: Tribune and Nation