By eze chukwuemeka

Last Wednesday's conviction by a Federal jury in the United States of Congressman William Jefferson on 11 counts of bribery and corruption whilst acquitting him on the count involving financial impropriety in his relationship with Atiku when the latter held sway as Vice President of Nigeria was received with elation by Pro-Atiku elements in the polity. This is because it in no uncertain terms vindicated the Turaki's position of any involvement in the charges levelled against him by Obasanjo and his cohorts.

We had always held the position that Atiku could never be involved in any dastardly act that would call to question his integrity knowing full well his antecedents and future plans for leadership of this great nation.

Sad though it may be that it took two years of torment, torture, insults, threat and embarrassment at the hands of General Obasanjo, EFCC erstwhile Chairman, Mallam Ribadu and PDP Chieftains -all in the bid to deny him a shot at the Presidency- before this vindication, we make bold to say that the tide has finally turned in the Turaki's favour.

It is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians how the Jefferson's case was used as a ploy to truncate Atiku's bid to run as PDP Presidential Flag-bearer in the last general elections in Nigeria, thereby denying Nigerians what would have been a virile and focused Presidency.

For denying Nigerians the Presidency of Atiku Abubakar and plunging Nigerians into the darkness it has found itself in, we demand an unreserved apology from General Olusegun Obasanjo, PDP and EFCC not only to Atiku but also to Nigerians for their shameful act that plunged the country into its current misery.

Today, according to the Fund for Peace survey results of the USA Think-Tank in conjunction with the Independent Research Organisation, Nigeria is ranked 15th out of 177 of the most failed countries. Nigerian cities are in a big mess, ravaged by human tragedies occasioned by the incompetence of PDP Government. Only recently, His Eminence, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar captured the mood of the nation, when he stated thus, “We can never develop in this present situation. Nothing in Nigeria is working – no light, no water, no good roads, our security situation is poor and the worst of it all, no food. All what we are experiencing in the country is a result of corruption and injustice. Crimes everywhere, kidnapping and all forms of criminal acts are on the increase. How do we grow in this situation?” he queried. This is what the wickedness and vindictive spirit of Obasanjo has caused our country for denying Atiku a shot at the Presidency through PDP.

To our National Leader, Atiku Abubakar we identify with your position that this verdict has brought to light one of the biggest conspiracies in Nigeria's political history. It is now clear that, the plot was hatched at the highest level of government in collusion with certain foreign elements to draw back the greatness and future progress of our great country.

As we commend Tinubu and other progressives for coming together to confront the rigging machine of PDP through the setting-up of CODER, we wish to plead with the leadership of AC to unite with Atiku to salvage the mistake of the past before PDP plunges the nation yet again into dismal failure by 2011.

Finally, we wish to reiterate our resolve to continue to give the people of Rivers State the needed drive and direction to free them from the legacy of the misfortune of Odili's 8 years in office. Thank God, that Gov. Amaechi has set himself to right all these anomalies with the support of our Leader, Prince Tonye Princewill and other great Rivers State people. We encourage Rivers State people not to relent in the struggle to get to the promise land as those that thought they would have turned us into their permanent slaves have only succeeded in turning themselves fugitives.

We truly sympathise with these fugitives as Gov. Amaechi has shortlisted three great Jurists to select one of them to head the Judiciary Panel that will implement the white paper on the ESO's Panel to show Nigerians the misfortune of the people of Rivers State in having had these people at the helm of Affairs once in our State in the past.

Hon. Suage Alexander Badey
State Chairman, Rivers State AC