The new Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has reportedly invited the opposition Action Congress (AC) party for a meeting aimed at solving the problems that arose after the recently held elections. Yar'Adua’s invitation is believed to be a conciliatory gesture, which also gives him the opportunity to keep to his promise of forming an all-inclusive cabinet for opposition parties to have representation in his government. Meanwhile, the Action Congress party says it will meet this week to discuss Yar'Adua’s proposal.
From the commercial capital, Lagos, Action Congress spokesman Lai Mohammed tells the Voice Of America President Yar'Adua is taking a personal interest in finding a way to work together.
“It is true we did receive a letter from Mr. President in which he reminded us of his inaugural speech. And his resolve to work with the opposition parties. He asked us to forget all tumultuous tides, and join hands with him to move the country forward. He further said that if the proposal is acceptable to us, he would set up a committee to work the legalities and logistics with the executive members of our party and personally signed that letter addressed to our chairman,” Mohammed pointed out.
Mohammed said the Action Congress party would meet and discuss the president’s reconciliation gesture.
“I know that what the AC would do is to meet and discuss the content of the letter. But as of today, the stand of the Action Congress is that we do not accept the outcome of the last election because it was neither free, fair, nor credible. And we’ve gone to court to ask for verification of the result. So that is the situation of the AC as at this moment. However, if the party meets early this week, they would be able to consider the letter sent by Mr. President,” he said.
Mohammed said the AC is contesting the election on the basis that the election was flawed.
“You see this matter is not about peace. It’s about justice. It’s about equity. It’s about fairness. It’s about whether this government has legitimacy or not, and we are not impressed by job seekers and people who don’t wish this country well, who’ve asked us several times to put this matter behind us. If we put this matter behind us and do nothing, what is going to happen in 2011?” Mohammed asked.
He chided people he described as sycophants who do not wish the country well.
“You see, our position is very clear. We are more patriotic than all the people who are asking us to put this matter behind us. Anybody who loves Nigeria would want a Nigeria where there would be free, fair and credible elections,” he noted.
Mohammed vowed that the Action Congress party will hold a meeting before the end of the week to decide the party’s next move.
“The exact date I cannot be sure, but I’m sure it would be before Thursday,” he said.