The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said on Friday that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his former boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo deserve to be listed among the villains of June 12 and placed in a hall of shame for their act of perfidy against Moshood Abiola and other unsung heroes of the struggle for democratic rule.
The Pro-Buhari group also asked the former Vice President to stop playing to the gallery by claiming to stand shoulder to shoulder with Moshood Abiola, the icon of the June 12 struggle.
In a statement signed by the Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, the group reminded the PDP Presidential candidate in the last presidential election that he was among members of the Social Democratic Party that abandoned Abiola and the June 12 struggle because he lost out in the race to become Abiola’s running mate.
The group says it is a lie and a laughable attempt at re-writing an important part of Nigeria’s political history, as Atiku was one of the first members of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) to abandon Abiola to his fate.
They also reminded him that he failed to fully participate in the campaign activities leading to the elections after Abiola opted for Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe as his running mate.
According to them, “this is not the first time that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his media handlers would attempt to rewrite history to paint the former Vice president in good light, especially before younger Nigerians.
“If anyone stood ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with Abiola at any time preceding the 1993 election or after it was annulled, that person certainly was not Atiku who literally sulked through the campaign season after the late icon of democracy dumped him and named Kingibe as his Vice Presidential candidate.
“Indeed he was not also among the leading lights of the post-annulment struggle which included the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, the late Gani Fawehinmi, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (Rtd), late Pa Alfred Rewane, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (Rtd), Frank Kokori and Colonel Abubakar Umar (Rtd), to mention just a few.
“Atiku not only abandoned the struggle, he and several members of what was then known as his political family were part of the National Constitutional Conference which was convened barely a year after the annulled 1993 election but was largely boycotted by people close to MKO Abiola who were insisting on the June 12 mandate,” BMO said.
The group accused the former Vice President of playing to the gallery by seeking to downplay the significance of President Buhari’s decision to declare June 12 as Democracy day.
“Here is an individual who, like his former principal, Olusegun Obasanjo, was a major beneficiary of the civil rule that Abiola paid the supreme sacrifice for but did not consider it necessary to as much as immortalise Abiola for eight years they were in office.
“A Senate resolution urging that administration which he served in as Vice President to name the Abuja National Stadium after the late politician was wickedly ignored by Atiku and his boss who acted as if they had personal grudges against the political icon.
“So, his sanctimonious thoughts on what June 12 should be, is nothing more than a case of a desperate politician shedding crocodile tears over an issue that he was never interested in.
“Atiku and Obasanjo deserve to be listed among the villains of June 12 in a hall of shame for their act of perfidy against Moshood Abiola and other unsung heroes of the struggle for democratic rule.”
And on the PDP chieftain’s claims that President Buhari ‘plunged the economy into coma’, reminded the former Vice President that the Obasanjo administration where he served as number two citizen laid the foundation for some of the rot that the incumbent President is working hard to fix.
“We need to remind him of how the irresponsible and ineffectual privatisation process he presided over as Vice President for eight years ended up pauperising several workers who not only lost their jobs but were also not paid their benefits.
“It took President Buhari to return smiles to the faces of many, including former staff of the defunct Nigeria Airways and several government owned enterprises that were sold off for pittances to individuals believed to be friends and associates of key members of the Obasanjo administration.
“We are sure he knows that data released by the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) at its Annual General Meeting in 2009 showed that 820 manufacturing companies were forced to shut down in the country between 2000 and 2008.
“The facts are in the public domain about how thousands of people were rendered jobless at a time Atiku was Vice President, yet he wants Nigerians to believe that Buhari was the architect of the country’s economic problems.
“He should also tell Nigerians how many kilometers of railway tracks the government he served for eight years added to the nation’s rail network in eight years and compare the figure to what the Buhari administration has done in only four years. So in several ways, Atiku is in no position to question President Buhari’s sincerity of purpose”.