Vanguard (Lagos)

9 December 2012

Nigeria: No Talks With Obj to Fight Jonathan - Atiku

As the feud between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his one-time protégé, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, deepens, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has declared that he is not involved in their voyage of acrimony.

Atiku, who is the Turakin'Adamawa, disclosed that contrary to reports that he is teaming up with Obasanjo to fight Jonathan, nothing of such existed.

Whereas an interview request with the former number two citizen is pending, Sunday Vanguard was informed by the Atiku camp that the former VeePee is not in any type of talks, formal or otherwise, with Obasanjo for the purpose of moving against the incumbent president.

Long time spokesman for the former Vice President, Mallam Garba Shehu, disclosed that "there are no formal talks going on between former President Obasanjo and the Turaki (Atiku Abubakar)."

Shehu told Sunday Vanguard: "We are aware that alignments and realignments are going-on on almost every front. This is to be expected. It is in the nature of politics. For some time now the Turaki has fully immersed himself in reconciliation with party members across the length and breadth of the country".

Responding to the specific issue of the 2015 presidential election and plots to root out Jonathan, he said: "On the recurrent issue of the alleged face-off between former President Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan, the Turaki strongly insists that he knows nothing about it. He, too, he says, has read about it in the newspapers and left it at that.

"To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any political meeting between President Obasanjo and his former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Speculations to the effect that he has teamed up with his former boss to fight President Jonathan are therefore totally unfounded".

When he was reminded that the peace initiative Atiku engaged with Obasanjo may have suggested that both men have patched up their differences and may be once again working together for the 2015 project, especially given the very frosty relationship between Obasanjo and President Jonathan now, Mallam Shehu explained thus:

"Turaki's peace overture to his former boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, although much misunderstood, should be taken in this context. Today, the Turaki feels much as ease with himself having taken the olive branch to about everyone with whom he had one form of falling out or the other.

"The former Vice President believes that vengeance is a negative emotion that ruins the quality of one's happiness. Many people are amazed why he has no difficulty talking to perceived enemies. His conviction, however, is that forgiveness costs him nothing.

"In fact, many former public office holders that had once insulted him came back seeking his forgiveness and he did so without looking back. There was nothing unusual, therefore, if he had extended reverential hands of fellowship to politicians perceived as his adversaries".

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