Trending Story

2019: PANDEF, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Afenifere, others grill Atiku on plans for Nigeria 


Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday was grilled by the Southern and Middle Belt Forum comprising leadership of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Niger Delta Forum, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere, and Middle Belt Forum.

This is even as the forum as assured that it will invite other presidential aspirants including President Muhammadu Buhari of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The meeting took place at the Abuja home of Ijaw Leader and elderstatesman, Chief Edwin Clarke.

Those in attendance are leaders of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, John Nnia Nwosu, Albert Horserall, Air Commodore Dan Sulieman, Yinka Odumakin, Senator Stella Omu, Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, Idongesit Nkanga, Bitrus Pogu, Godknows Igali, Simon Okeke, former German Police Service Commission, Francis Okure, Banji Akintunji, Oladipo Olaitan, Mrs. Nne Nwafor, among others.

Nwodo told newsmen before the meeting went into closed door, that Atiku was the first presidential aspirant to appear before the Southern and Middle Belt Forum composed of sociocultural organizations in each geographical areas of Nigeria.

He explained, “We have been meeting for quite sometime. We’ve me besieged with matters of national importance affecting the health of our country. One of the programmes we decided to embark on is to talk with those who have expressed desire to lead our country to contest for the Presidency of our country.

“We wanted to rub minds with them, we wanted to know their views about the things that are of importance to us so that by the time we finish the interaction, we will be able to assure ourselves which of them we think will reflect our aspirations and rejig our country and bring it to where our country men and women will like it to be.

“By sheer force of providence, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Wazirin Adamawa has become the first person to be with us.”

Nwodo at the end of the meeting said, Atiku  faced several questions on economy, security and national unity.

He said, “ We hold his utterances in high esteem and should fortunes smile on him and he becomes the president of this country, we will hold him to account.

“However, we have not come to a conclusion yet, we are going to listen to other aspirants. He has tremendous convictions of where he wants to go and we wish him well.”

Chief Clark on his part said the forum will meet with other political aspirants including President Buhari.

When asked the forum was going to invite Buhari and other aspirants, he said, “We are very political but we are not partisan. We will listen to all including President Buhari.”

Atiku told the leaders that he was particularly concerned about structure, unity, economy and the security of the country.

He said without interacting and exchanging views and agreeing on how best to resolve these problems with sociocultural, political and business community leaders, the country will not be able to absorb all these problems bedeviling the country.

Atiku who is one of the People’s Democratic Party presidential aspirants said, “I am particularly delighted that I am the first aspirant that you are meeting. This will provide me the first opportunity to be able to interact with you representing four zones of our country. Like it has been said earlier, Nigeria is beset with many problems. In fact, problems that are so grave that they are likely if we don’t move fast enough to contain them, it will bring about another national crisis of which we have witnessed before. God forbid!

It is therefore our responsibility both as sociocultural leaders and political leaders to engage ourselves in meaningful discuss so that together we can resolve the problems confronting this country.

“Particularly, I will like to mention a few key areas where we need to pay attention to: one, is the structure of our country, is it working?  Is it what we want? At least, it has been there for a number of decades, may be since the military incursion into our polity in 1966. Is our economy working well? What of other sectors of our public life? Security, are we secure? Is law and order protecting the majority of our people in this country? Of course, we have social sector to contend with.

“We have some problems as far as our educational sector is concerned. Our health care delivery, our infrastructural deficit,  name them.

“And I think without interacting and exchanging views and agreeing on how best to resolve these problems whether sociocultural leaders, political leaders or leaders of business community, we will be able to absorb all these problems.

“So, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to interact with you and identify areas we can confront together and what kind of resolution are we likely to embark on so that we can resolve some of these problems.

I am particularly worried or I will like us to place emphasis on structure of the country, unity of the country, economy of the country and the security of the country.

“These four ares are very vital and the social sectors cannot survive unless these basic structural foundations are resolved.”

Leave a comment

Related Articles

Billionaire philanthropist Tony Elumelu mulls buying NPFL team

As part of his corporate social responsibility, billionaire banker and philanthropist Tony...

Terry G speaks on Davido, Wizkid, and Burna Boy rivalries, faces backlash from fans

Nigerian music sensation Terry G, also known as the Apako master, has...

Dani Alves pays €1m bail, set to leave Spanish jail

Former Brazil and Barcelona star Dani Alves, convicted of rape in Spain,...

World TB Day: 70 percent of TB cases in Africa now being diagnosed and treated – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has disclosed that about 70 percent of...

13th AAG: Tobi Amusan wins gold in women’s 100m hurdles

The Nigerian sprint star, Tobi Amusan, won gold in the women’s 100m...

FG approves N12.7bln for mass metering of army barracks nationwide

The Federal Government says it has released N12.7 billion to provide electricity...

Women’s Day: Tinubu felicitates women, vows to prioritise their welfare, rights

President Bola Tinubu has promised to prioritize the welfare of women, protect...

All African Games: Nigeria’s Flying Eagles start their campaign on a losing note

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria started their campaign in the men’s football...

EFCC sets up task force to combat dollarization of economy, mutilation of naira

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced the setting up...

How Bafarawa diverted N4.6bln from ex-NSA for prayers, election, acquire luxury vehicles

A startling revelation has been made about how a former governor of...

CBN redeploys 1,500 staff to Lagos

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has redeployed 1,500 staff...

AFCON: Pres. Tinubu says unimpressed with Super Eagles’ performance

President Bola Tinubu has expressed his displeasure over the performance of the...

I’ve not met a man kind enough to marry —Ini Edo

In a candid revelation, renowned actress, Ini Edo, has hinted about the...

Ogun CP visits shot Nollywood actor, Ijaduade, vows to punish trigger-happy cop

Nollywood actor and Director, Azeez Ijaduade, who was shot “accidentally” by a...

Breaking: Actor, Azeez Ijaduade, allegedly shot by policeman in Ogun

In a shocking incident that has sent shock waves to Yoruba section...

Fast and furious actor, Vin Diesel, accused of sexual assault

Vin Diesel, known for his role in the Fast & Furious Series,...

Anyone asking for money this festive season lacks conscience, fear God – Comedian AY

Amid Nigeria’s challenging economic downturn, renowned comedian, Ayo Makun, popularly known as...

Octogenarian actor, Dejumo Lewis, dies

Nollywood community was on Friday night thrown into grief as the news...

I’m lucky to have you as my wife, Lateef praises Mo Bimpe on 2nd wedding anniversary

Celebrating their second year wedding anniversary, Nollywood actor, Lateef Adedimeji, has expressed...

Frank Edoho faces backlash for controversial remarks on infidelity

Renowned media personality, Frank Edoho, is under fire after making contentious comments...