Emulate Abdulsalami’s Statesmanship, Buhari Group Tells Obasanjo


• Berates PDP over attacks on ministerial nominees

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has commended the convener of the two-day roundtable on national security, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, for quietly spearheading the quest for peaceful co-existence in the country without heating up the polity.

The group, therefore, urged a former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, to consider emulating Abdulsalami’s unifying peace initiative and peaceful disposition.

Also, the group described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) allegation that several nominees on President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list have cases of serious allegations of corruption against them as a new low for the PDP.

According to the group, this is the path former heads of state are expected to toe based on their national profile, rather than triggering tension that could further widen the country’s fault lines.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, BMO group said the move by Abdulsalami is worthy of emulation by not just former leaders but also by any Nigerian aspiring to leadership positions in the country.

According to the group, “Not many Nigerians were aware that Abdusalami, through the Abdusalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies (AAIPSDS), was working on a peace summit until some of the invited groups brought it to the public domain.

“And this was at a time another former leader, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was also in the public for an open letter in which he tacitly upbraided an entire ethnic group over some grievances which he suggested could be resolved at a National Conference.

“But rather than take a similar route, Abdulsalami ensured that participants representing various interests as well as those with different perspectives on the emerging security challenges showed up in Minna, Niger State, to proffer solutions for a united and peaceful Nigeria.

“We believe that a former president who built a reputation for mediating in conflict situations in many parts of Africa at the behest of international organisations like the United Nations and African Union should have done what a younger former leader, with a lesser international pedigree, is doing in his own country.

“So we are urging Obasanjo to consider emulating Abdulsalami’s unifying peace initiative and peaceful disposition rather than the divisive efforts he had in recent times been engaged in, which are bound to dent his credentials as a respected and unbiased national figure.”

The group also commended individuals and groups that participated in the two-day national security summit and had harsh words for those who did not show up.

It said: “Our message for eminent Nigerians from all walks of life, who turned up in Minna, is that their contributions to peaceful co-existence would be etched in gold because there is no alternative to dialogue in resolving conflicts.”

In chiding PDP for urging President Buhari to forward the ministerial list to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Buhari group said PDP has once again shown its proclivity for inanities and making unsubstantiated claims and allegations against the administration of President Buhari and its officials.

“Firstly, due to lack of knowledge, the PDP does not know that before a nominee is presented for Senate screening, he or she usually undergoes a rigorous security screening involving security agencies such as the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Department of State Services (DSS), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and EFCC. These agencies use the opportunity of the security screening to subject them to ‘needle’s eye’ scrutiny,” the BMO said.