Former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has urged the elder statesmen copied by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his strongly-worded letter to President Goodluck Jonathan to speak-up so as to reassure Nigerians about the future.
The former vice-president admitted that though he was not competent to speak on his former boss’ letter because he was not privy to the communication, however, maintained that it was necessary for leaders consulted by the former President before he wrote the letter to Mr. Jonathan, to intervene and reduce the tension created by Mr. Obasanjo’s weighty allegations.
The former president had in his letter craved Mr. Jonathan’s consent to copy two former Heads of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, who he said at various times had shared the fears expressed in his letter with him.
He also copied former Vice President Dr. Alex Ekwueme and a former Minister of Defence, Gen. Yakubu Danjuma.
In a statement by his media office in Abuja, Atiku said like every other Nigerian, he was nervous about the allegations made by the ex-President and that those elders mentioned by Mr. Obasanjo had a moral duty to add their voices to the issue.
According to Atiku, the allegations were too disturbing to be treated with apathy by any political stakeholder like him.
He said at a moment of national anxiety or uncertainty, leaders across the country should rise to the occasion and reassure fellow Nigerians about the future.
He explained that at a time the rest of the world was looking at Nigeria as a beacon of hope for stability, the content of the former president’s letter should be urgently addressed by former leaders and elders.
Atiku, who was vice-president during Obasanjo’s administration from 1999-2007, said with the attention of Nigerians focused on the 2015 elections, there was the urgent need to reassure Nigerians.
He said, “Our priorities for Nigeria are forging lasting solutions to our chronic unemployment, providing safety and security for all, and vastly improving our failing education systems. President Jonathan’s government has consistently failed to address these critical concerns.
“That said, it is on record that I have firmly fought for a democracy where the voters choose their future leaders, not political party bosses.
” If the incumbent President insists on continuing to destroy his own party with vindictive internal wars and thinks his record of rising youth unemployment, never-ending violence, corruption and scandals is worthy of another term, then he is welcome to run. We are confident Nigerians will exercise their democratic right to choose new leadership in 2015”, he added.
While acknowledging the fact that Mr. Jonathan was free to run his government as he deemed fit without interference, Atiku stated that sometimes, even sitting Presidents needed outside constructive interventions to move the country forward.