News / Africa

    Nigeria Ex-VP Unhappy With Security Situation

    FILE - Nigeria's former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
    FILE - Nigeria's former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
    Peter Clottey

    Nigeria’s former vice president Atiku Abubakar says the current security situation in the country is “appalling.” He also accused the government in Abuja of lacking the political will to address the violence carried out by Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.

    Abubakar said there is need to restore law and order and protect unarmed civilians who he says have often been victims of terror attacks carried out by the Islamist militants.

    He said the growing insecurity has undermined the country’s economy and has negatively impacted Nigeria’s reputation in the international community.

    “The security situation in the country, I must admit is appalling. I have never seen it this bad - not even during the civil war did we have this sense of insecurity all over the country,” said Abubakar.

    He outlined steps that he said could be implemented immediately to resolve the security threats the country faces.

    “What we need to have in place is a political leadership that has the will, the courage and the determination to restore law and order. Restoring law and order is a multifaceted approach; both social, economic as well as security,” said Abubakar. “You must have a political leadership that has vision, the will and the courage to pursue those multifaceted approach.”

    Government officials rejected Abubakar’s criticism as politically motivated, citing the former vice president’s association with the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

    They said Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has demonstrated commitment to addressing the insecurity challenges in spite of the terrorism the country faces, which they said is a global phenomenon that requires international cooperation to combat it.

    Some supporters of the ruling PDP say activities of the Boko Haram appear to be politically motivated aimed at embarrassing the government and make it unpopular ahead of the elections. But Abubakar disagreed.

    “It’s not supported by any empirical evidence. I think we should stop passing the buck at each other,” he said. “As long as this security situation is concerned we should work as a team, the whole country. Whether opposition whether ruling party, we should work as a team to make sure that we restore peace, unity and stability.”                                 

    Analysts say the APC is expected to pose a significant challenge to the dominance of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in next year’s vote.

    Abubakar says the APC has a real chance to defeat the PDP in the presidential vote next year.

    “I have never seen a climate that gives the opposition so much hope than today. Because since the return of democracy, Nigeria has been governed by only one ruling political party, and Nigerians really want to see a change,” said Abubakar. “I toured the country and this sense of change is pervasive. So if the APC can put its house in order, Nigerians will give that party the opportunity.”

    It’s been reported that Abubakar, who is the chairman of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of the opposition group, harbors presidential ambitions to lead the APC in elections next year.  But Abubakar dismissed those reports.

    “All I was trying to do is to make sure that we provided Nigerians an alternative opposition. This is because I am a firm believer in a two-party system. A two-party system will provide Nigerians with alternatives from time to time,” he said. “A single major or powerful political party will result into a one party system and will ultimately land us into the hands of a dictator. And God-forbid I don’t wish to live and see a dictator in Nigeria.”

    Abubakar admits helping to build a formidable party to challenge the PDP in next year’s vote but declined to say whether he will be the presidential candidate for the APC.

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    Comments page of 2
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    by: Anonymous
    August 04, 2014 1:38 AM
    I knew Ati Abubakar you are not in power but you have a role to play in solving these minor problems of bokoharam insergency, those bokoharam are not islamist group as you are saying. How many christian has been arested puting bolm in churce and mosques.their is government bokoharam created by politician leaders,that is why we found difficult to solve the prolems.

    by: Anonymous
    August 02, 2014 2:07 PM
    Atiku's we know why u always run ur mouth is just because of ur presidential ambition n i believe Nigerians will vote u out, because nobody like u. U running from ine party to another just because of ur selfish interest n ur bad ambition will never work in dis country. All ur plan in 2015 will not work, just keep ur mouth shun n stop talking anyhow.

    by: Musa Aliyu Adam from: Kaduna
    August 02, 2014 1:30 PM
    Some pple are just betting around,coz d don't 1ant d trut to be mention. Up Atiku Gud idea

    by: Michael Nwosisi from: Lagos
    August 01, 2014 12:04 PM
    Atiku represents the alarmingly increasing number of the political class in Nigeria responsible for our present situation. I can go on and on about this man but to put it simply : If Atiku where American or British he would be in jail for his numerous criminal abuse of power.
    In Response

    by: Yusuf from: Abuja
    August 01, 2014 1:41 PM
    Please mention one of Atiku's crime.You are too generalistic

    by: Abaloku from: Lagos
    August 01, 2014 9:11 AM
    Oh! not again...! Atiku Abubakar, you spent 8 years as VP what did you or your administration do achieved to alleviate the high level of poverty in the North. I heard your University in Adamawa State is one of the most expensive in Nigeria. Yeye dey smell

    by: Chitule Onyekelu from: Lagos
    August 01, 2014 9:00 AM
    Atiku has suddenly woken from his slumber. He has suddenly stopped playing ostrich. He is a part of Nigeria´s problem. They (northern political leaders) refused to send northerers to school and almajiris became a willing tools in the hand of Islamic terrorists. Passing buck on the present government won't make him win in the next election.

    by: Umolu Ukpokwu from: Maryland Usa
    August 01, 2014 8:48 AM
    I am really shocked to hear this man, Abubakar Atiku say so many unbelievable things in twinkle of an eye.First he was a Vice President who could not work with the president so from where does he now get the idea of working together?He met Boko Haram when he was a #2,why do we still have Boko Haram now?Mr.Atiku also doesn't want to see a dictator in his life time, hmmm! May he needs a 101 in political science.What will he call Mr Ibrahim Babangida who single destroyed the Nigerian economy by taking the IMF loan when Nigerians said NO?Mr Babangida single handed made Nigeria a member of the Organization of Islamic Countries. Are these not dictatorial?

    Did Mr.Atiku ever hear 'whom does the cap fit?' of Abacha with his one party dream?Last but not the least, he talked about our image as a country! Mr Atiku should go on national Tv and tell the Nigeria people what transpired between him and the former Louisiana congressman, Mr William Jefferson! Mr Jefferson is currently serving time in a federal prison here in the US for money laundry for which you were a major player!

    Do you remember money in the refrigerator?Do you remember the limousine ride from Washington Dc with Mr Jefferson to your Potomac Mansion? DO You think you are invisible?Where is your patriotism?You are one of those so called northerns along with Babagina and Abacha who cannot differentiate between your wallets and public treasury. Go to Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, and Mr Umar, both former governors of Kaduna state to take some lessons on how to serve and still be clean! The Nigeria presidency is not on sale!!!!

    by: Augustine from: Delta
    August 01, 2014 7:47 AM
    The country Nigeria belongs to all of us, and nobody should push blame on anybody, all we need to do is to join hands with the government to fight this menance. If one says; his party will be able to stop this menance, that party should be known also for setting up the Islamist terrorist sect. If you as an individual or group have a way of putting an end to this BH sect, bring out your suggestions. But if you wait until you're voted into power before you stop the menance, then the accusation against you is true.
    In Response

    by: Clinton from: Accra
    August 01, 2014 8:25 AM
    Atiku is a dictator and so many of them from the Northern part of the country, they have ruined the country and still want to make the country a no place for the poor suffering ones. He is an idiot and a greedy fool, no Northerner will smell the seat again instead let the country brake. The condition of the country has sent many to exile which i'm one of them toay.

    by: igoh from: lagos
    August 01, 2014 7:19 AM
    It is true,nigeria has never had it soo bad,the govt has failed us due to incompetent leadership.whether we choose to give them another term is left to us but I am sure it will only get worse if we allow ourselves to be hoodwinked the 2nd time

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 01, 2014 5:20 AM
    This is a face-saving mission. Atiku Abubakar has not in anyway identified or commiserated with Nigerians over the present predicament which he is suspected to be privy to as one of those who promised an ungovernable country to Jonathan after their failure to grab the presidency in 2011. As the polls approach, and his co-evil rider Buhari appears to have made a U-turn following boko haram's assassination attempt on him (whether true of conjured up no one can definitely tell), Abaubakar Atiku wants to voice out something so that Nigerians may not see him as the only supporter of boko haram. Look at his comment, lacking depth, hollow and full of naked desire to run down the ruling government in order to create a way for himself or his sponsored candidate.
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