A pro-democracy group known as the Coalition for Sustainable Democracy on Wednesday called on the Acting President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to call some his supporters to order and not get carried away by the trappings of power as Acting President.
According to a statement signed by Mohammed Yakubu, the Chairman of the group, the coalition noted that Prof. Osinbajo must be surprised that on getting to London where he went to see the President, he met at least three of Buhari’s core loyalists in the cabinet; Attorney General Abubakar Malami, Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika and Director General of the Directorate of State Security (DSS), Lawan Daura. This, the group said should be a clear signal to the Acting President that he is merely holding forte and therefore should not get carried away by those palace jesters who are now doing ‘All Hail Mr. President’ for him.
The group cautioned that the activities of Osinbajo’s supporters are constituting more dangers to the peace and unity of our nation than the various ethnic agitations and, even Boko Haram insurgency.
Read the full statement below;
We are a group of young Nigerians who are keenly following developments in the polity and believe that it is our civic duty to do everything within our powers to protect the current democratic system in the country. As part of our current engagement with members of the civil society and ordinary Nigerians, we feel compelled to make the following observations about governance at the Federal Level.
- Our Coalition notes with delight yesterday’s visit of the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to London to confer with his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari on key and sensitive matters relating to governance of this country. The visit, in our view, is a positive development with good implications.
- One of the symbolisms of the Osinbajo visit to London is that it shows that there is only one government in our country and that is the Buhari administration. The people who are pretending and making it look like there is an Osinbajo government different from the constitutionally elected government of Buhari now have to take a cue and stop the dirty, divisive game.
- These divisive elements creating a wrong impression and behaving as if Buhari no longer matters had better remember that any mortal being can fall ill. In fact, illness is a physical demonstration of the mortality of all human beings.
- By visiting his Principal in London to discuss crucial state matters to ensure that he and the President are on the same page, Osinbajo has sent a right signal that his supporters, particularly the Hawks among them who are now behaving as if Buhari is gone for good and that a new government is in place, have to take serious.
- These supporters and palace jesters have specialized in inciting members of the public against some elements in government both at the Presidency and the National Assembly. Every day, they sponsor malicious and dirty propaganda against some people in The Presidency they now label as members of ‘The Cabal’. They have also not spared members of the legislative arm.
- While behaving as if they have a special constitution different from the one being used to govern the rest of Nigeria with which Prof. Osinbajo had been sworn into office as substantive President, this group of people who, we want to believe are acting on their own volition without the Acting President’s consent, think they are doing Osinbajo a favour by unleashing the media, particularly the online ones, against everybody close to Buhari. They are creating a ‘We’ versus ‘Them’ scenario even in the Presidential Villa.
- The Coalition will like like to warn that the activities of this so-called Osinbajo supporters constitute more dangers to the peace and unity of our nation than the various ethnic agitations and, even Boko Haram insurgency. It should be noted that these groups and individuals are not in any way helping the Acting President. Their actions and posturing will in the end create more problems for the Acting President.
- It is therefore in the best interest of the Acting President to call to order this war-mongers baying for the blood of all those perceived as outsiders to their camp within the Executive and Legislature. These war mongers include key members of staff of the Office of the Vice President, some online media warriors believed to be sympathetic to him, some pretenders who call themselves activists and some pseudo-politicians, mainly from the South-western parts of the country.
- These people are daily doing political damage to the Acting President and we eagerly await how they want to carry on in this manner while giving Osinbajo the platform and right atmosphere to effectively perform the job assigned to him by his Principal. These people are only creating bad blood within the government at large, and in fact the executive arm, in particular.
- As we earlier said, the greatest danger to our democracy and the country in general is not the perceived strain in Executive-National Assembly relations. The reality that political analysts are evading or pretending not to notice is the internecine war in Aso Rock.
- In the absence of President Buhari, the so-called Osinbajo loyalists now carry on as if they want to run out of town those they believe are not in their camp. They pillory the Buhari people who they refer to as ‘The Cabal’ and subject them to torture through the media. In response, as a survival strategy, the close associate of Buhari are now on the defensive and very withdrawn.
- Prof. Osinbajo must be surprised that on getting to London where he went to see the President, he met at least three of Buhari’s core loyalists in the cabinet. They are Attorney General Abubakar Malami, Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika and Director General of the Directorate of State Security (DSS), Lawan Daura.
- This should be a clear signal to the Acting President that he is merely holding forte and therefore should not get carried away by those palace jesters who are now doing ‘All Hail Mr. President’ for him.
- While we call for a stop to this craze, let us make it clear that nobody can stampede President Buhari out of power or out of this world. He is the man the country gave the mandate to direct the affairs of the country till 2019. And Almighty Allah is the owner of every life.
- Those who are behaving as if they now own the country had better be careful and not throw Nigeria into needless chaos.
- The rest of the nation is watching carefully as what appears to be another South-west Agenda is being foisted on the nation. We could see how some people using social media platforms are harassing and coercing the rest of the nation to accept it that it is inevitable that the South-west is back in power.
- We want those people to know that we shall not accept the repeat of the post-June 12situation where the South-west held down the rest of the nation and blackmailed us to concede the Presidency to it. 2017 is definitely not 1994.
- We are however happy to note that the trouble makers in the South west and those who now desperately seek to build a cocoon round the Acting President are not the real politicians in that zone. In fact, they do not enjoy the support of the popular South west establishment. They lack the standing, popularity, networking and tact of the real politicians and this makes them more dangerous as they have the predilection to push the country down the slope through their parochial ways.
- Our coalition will like to assure all Nigerians that with the prayers of the majority of the people, Buhari will serve out his term and will even run for second term.
- In the event that anything happens to Buhari, with the way this Osinbajo crowd is carrying on, the North would react. The people in the North would find it difficult to relate with the fact that the group whose members did not give support to the ailing President when it matters most are taking over through the back door with a view to ride roughshod over every other person.
- Without being arrogant about it, the Osinbajo people should know that the provision of the constitution is clear on how succession should be handled in case of any eventuality. However, to continue to incite people in order to force the rest of us to accept the Acting President to take-over when the real custodian of the mandate is alive and kicking will be unacceptable. It will be resisted.
- This time calls for greater wisdom, tact and humility from Osinbajo and his close allies in their relationship with people across the country. Those who love the Acting President should dissuade those who believe they should run down major political players from other zones in other to forcefully put him in office as substantive President. They should stop sowing the wind, so that they do not reap the whirlwind.
- A word is enough for the wise and the patriotic.
Chairman, Coalition for Sustainable Democracy