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Nnamani backs Obasanjo on 3rd term

By Paul Odili
Posted to the Web: Tuesday, February 07, 2006

LAGOS— GOVERNOR Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State has offered his qualified support for President Olusegun Obasanjo’s third term campaign. He said in a chat that if due process was followed in amending the Constitution and the President accepted to run, he would support him.

Governor Nnamani said his party, the PDP, through its chairman, Col Ahmadu Ali, had hinted that Obasanjo was a credible candidate to be adopted because the President had achieved a lot in the last six years.  He further said his position was not a negation of the agitation of Southern Forum for power to remain in the South.
While listing President Obasanjo’s successes, dating back to the civil war period, when he received the surrender instrument on behalf of the Federal Government, Governor Nnamani denied any suggestion that the governors meeting last week was teleguied by the presidency.

Explaining further why he is backing Obasanjo for a possible third term, Nnamani said: “I believe that our respect and admiration for the President are based on analysis, analysis of history, antecedents and analysis of a divine calling, if you may describe it as such.  We have had cause, so many times, to mention in public fora that God, at various times, had placed him in position of history, right from the point of the time of the hostilities of 1967 to 1970 and the terminus of the Murtala administration. 

“We have had cause to make reference, even in writing, to what I believe was his humane attitude to the cessation of hostilities that otherwise, if mishandled in the midst of  a celebration by victors, other massacres could have occurred.  I believe he brought his experience, his wisdom and gentle disposition to bear to ensure that the war ended the way it did. 
“Even, we have had cause to discuss his first administration, the expansion of the economic base, infrastructural base, universities, colleges of education, the seaports, shipping lines, airports, Nigeria Airways, the Enugu/Port Harcourt, Enugu/Onitsha expressways etc.

“We have had cause to refer to his foreign policy exploits and the famous statement, Africa has come of age, the restoration of the dignity of the African nation in the area of foreign policy that led to easier and earlier liberation of the South-West African countries: Namibia, Zimbabwe and his government played a role even in the economic restriction of South Africa which eventually led to freedom in that land, as well as such restoration of dignity to Africa in Nigerian foreign policy, nationalisation of Shell, and banks.

“So, if the constitution is amended and a situation arises where the PDP offers President Obasanjo nomination, he accepts and runs, I believe he is a good product,” he said. 
On whether his position does not harm the aspiration of Southern Forum, he said: “No. What is the Southern Forum initiative? To pursue a constitutional amendment, constitutional provisions that would guarantee true physical and fiscal federalism, where you have devolution of powers so that the federating units would demonstrate true federalism in terms of their relationship within the centre and the marginal units.

“The Southern Forum initiative is to guarantee the inalienable rights of people to control their  resources and say because of the vagaries of the Nigerian situation, 25 per cent graduated to 50 per cent. It talks about ethnicity and religion in the census data, creation of the sixth state in the South-East for geo-political balancing, retention of the President in the Southern part of the country. You have to look at that in realisation of the feelings of the dominant party which is the PDP and its membership. So, it can never be done in isolation,” Governor Nnamani said.

 

 
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