Feb 20 2010
Saturday, 20 February 2010 00:00 Geoffrey Ekenna
Musa: Obasanjo behind SNG
Nobel laureate: Musa is sick
After a 90-day absence from his seat , President Umaru Yar’Adua may have unwittingly ignited a war among human rights and pro-democracy groups, who have been calling for his ouster. Two leading lights in the community, who led the call for Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to be
empowered, are currently engaged in a war of words over the sponsorship of one of such platforms, the Save Nigeria Group, SNG. They are Second Republic Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka
The SNG, made up of eminent personalities such as the Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare; Dr. Joe Odumakin, Gen. Alani Akinrinnade, Chief Solomon Asemota, SAN, among others, led protests across the country and beyond to compel the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly to confirm Jonathan as the Acting President.
But in a telephone interview with Nigerian Compass on Saturday on Thursday morning, Musa had alleged that the SNG was backed and sponsored by a group within the Peoples democratic Party (PDP) loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The group, according to the former Governor, represents those who have lost out in the Yar’Adua Presidency.
Musa, who said that he initially had the feeling that the group was being backed by pro-Obasanjo elements, said he confirmed it after he attended one of the meetings of the SNG, hence his failure to attend their rallies which were held in Abuja, Lagos, Warri London and USA.
The former Governor, who is the Deputy Chairman of the Dr. Tunji Braithwiate-led Nigerians United for Democracy, said: “You know this SNG, I am sorry to say I have the impression that it is something that arose out of the fight within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Arbitrarily, it is the Obasanjo people, who are out of favour with the Yar’Adua presidency that are behind those groups.”
Asked if he meant that the likes of Soyinka, Bakare and other could be working for Obasanjo’s interest, Musa said, “I have attended meetings and this is my impression and I am not just saying it. They informed me but I refused to attend their rallies. I told them I would attend their rallies but I refused to attend their rallies. There was one occasion where I attended and it confirmed my views about them. Obviously, I made my position quite clear. I know them. We are not opposed to them even though we know that they are PDP people just quarrelling among themselves but they are saying what we are saying.”
He added, “There is a problem of how a fight within the PDP brought them about. That is a fight between pro-Obasanjo and pro-Umaru. We have also noticed some foreign influence, particularly on some of our exiles. I am being very frank with you because we are in danger. Nigerians should know the truth. Nigerians should be critical and analyse all of us that are claiming to be patriotic. Otherwise, we will be in greater trouble.”
But contacted on the telephone about Musa’s allegation, Soyinka, who spoke from Paris, France, said he did not believe that Musa could make such a grievous allegation against him or anybody in the SNG.
He said that if it was true, it meant that Musa has lost grip of the reality.
Soyinka said, “What I say for now is that I do not believe that Balarabe Musa is capable of spinning such fantasy. First of all, I support the cause of the Save Nigeria Group. I am not a member; that is the first thing. I support it and I back them fully in what they are trying to do. I support them because I know most of the people in that group. That is people like Asemota, Joe Odumakin, Gen. Alani Akinrinade and others. Because of that, I do not believe that Balarabe Musa is capable of spinning such a fantasy. I was told he’s been ill. It could be his illness that is causing him to lose grip of reality.”
The literary icon further said that it would amount to political naivety for anybody to think that the battle being waged by the SNG was in the interest of Jonathan, Obasanjo or against Yar’Adua.
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