"I would never allow another despot sit and rule over the people of Nigeria.”
One of the members of the breakaway New Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) and a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said his
opposition to dictatorship of any kind stems from what he suffered under President Olusegun Obasanjo and the late General Sani Abacha.
In article which Atiku wrote in commemoration of the World Democracy
Day, he said that his determination to fight dictatorship was formed in
1995 “when our dictator, General Sani Abacha, sentenced my mentor
Shehu Musa Yar’Adua to death and former boss Olusegun Obasanjo to life in prison in sham trials.
“And Abacha went so far as to send a hit squad to open fire on my family and me at our home in Kaduna. That was the very night I vowed that when we defeated this military junta, I would never allow another despot sit and rule over the people of Nigeria.”
He recounted that despite that “the aggrieved power-mongers threw
every contrived accusation they could at me,” he opposed Obasanjo’s
third- term agenda and contested the 2007 presidential election against
late Umaru Yar’Adua even when he heard rumours that the yet-to-
conducted election had its result complied because “win or lose, I would have given a gift of legitimacy to our democracy, even if I was not going to enjoy the results.
“So the next morning, I went out, voted, went home and waited for my
loss as expected. I knew that while I was going to lose a battle, I had won the war – a war to preserve the sanctity of our democratic process.” Atiku has been in the thick of political activities and controversies in
Nigeria since 1999, when civilian rule returned to the country 16 years of
military rule. He supports the New PDP that challenged the leadership of Bamanga Tukur as PDP national chairman and has frowned at how President Goodluck Jonathan is running the country.