ABUJA, Nigeria – In a captivating press conference, Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, took to the stage to address a room packed with journalists and citizens on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
His message: a clarion call for transparency, integrity, and accountability in the nation’s political landscape.
Reflecting on Nigeria’s journey, Abubakar spoke passionately about the painstaking efforts of his generation to ensure democracy, emphasizing the importance of legitimate governance.
“Our elections are established and governed by law and founded on the constitution from which leadership and government in Nigeria alone derive their legitimacy,” he stated.
However, the heart of his address centered on the recent allegations of a forged certificate.
“It should not take months or, indeed, decades, for the institutions concerned to be able to do their work in establishing the credibility of any certificates presented by candidates for public office,” he proclaimed, underscoring the need for swift and decisive action.
He extended gratitude to legal professionals from Nigeria and the U.S. for their roles in unveiling the truth, hinting at intricate issues that had eluded resolution for nearly 25 years.
A notable moment in his address came as he paid tribute to the late human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Fawehinmi’s long-standing efforts, according to Abubakar, have been vindicated, reinforcing the notion that truth eventually triumphs over deceit.
Emphasizing the role of a free press, Abubakar quoted former American President Thomas Jefferson and lauded the efforts of journalists like David Hundeyin. Their work, he said, epitomizes the essence of vigilance in a democracy.
The conference, however, was not merely a reflection. It was also a call to action. Abubakar urged leaders from all spheres – religious, traditional, community, and political – to rally behind the cause of accountability and justice in Nigeria’s governance.
Particularly, he called upon fellow 2023 presidential hopefuls Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) to join him in his campaign for transparency and integrity.
The session concluded with Abubakar’s heartfelt plea to all Nigerians to stand united in the quest for a transparent, just, and moral Nigeria. He left the attendees with a resounding message of hope: “Thank you for listening. May God bless you, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”