Let me start by congratulating Dr Onu on his appointment as Minister in the current APC-led Federal Government of Nigeria. I think every Nigerian who pays attention to public affairs rightly believes that it is a well-deserved appointment.  Those of us who have worked with Dr Onu in one capacity or the other have come to see in him a healthy combination of competence, sharp intellect and humility. And, above all, he is a gentleman in every good sense of the word.

It is amazing, and speaks volumes of his intellect, focus and dedication, that he found time, amidst all that was going on – merger negotiations, campaigns, elections, ministerial confirmation, and so on – to put together this book; a book that tries to chronicle and put on record the very difficult journey of a number of disparate but progressive and determined opposition political parties to come together in the interest of the country and our people to present a viable alternative to Nigerians in the last national elections. As we have been told here, it is a story of patriotism, of hope, of determination, of sacrifice, of humility and of courage. To be sure, we are not the pioneers in realizing the imperative of smaller opposition parties to come together to challenge a dominant governing party that had lost its soul and abandoned patriotic principles. However, Nigeria’s size and place in Africa makes this a story with enormous lessons and implications for other African countries.

Dr Onu, I congratulate you for writing this book for us and for posterity.  I and millions of Nigerians have no doubt whatsoever that your capacity to multi-task, which you have again demonstrated in writing this book, will help you in your current and difficult assignment as Minister of Science and Technology.

May God continue to guide you and give you the strength, courage and wisdom to serve our country with distinction in your new role as Minister of the Federal Republic.

Thank you all.
*** Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON, a former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, delivered this address at the Public presentation of Dr Ogbonnaya Onu’s book “From Opposition to Governing Party (Nigeria’s APC Merger Story)” at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.