- Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has stated that Alhaji remains a Nigerian and can contest for any political position, including the presidency
- The Second Republic presidential adviser said the APC’s claim that Atiku is a Cameroonian, was a display of ignorance of the highest order
- The northern statesman further outlined the history of Southern and Northern Cameroon; pointing out that citizens of both territories were previously under the mandate of Britain which also administered Nigeria
- Yakassai pointed out that they were no different from Nigerians and even held political positions; adding that Northern Cameroon became part of Nigeria after independence
Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Second Republic presidential adviser to late former president Shehu Shagari, has stated that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, remains a Nigerian citizen and is qualified to contest for any elective position in the country, including for the office of president.
The former member of Board of Trustees of the defunct All Peoples Party (APP), made the comment in a statement personally signed and made available to newsmen in Kano, The Nation reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Yakassai was responding to a recent application by the All Progressive Congress (APC) at the Presidential Election Tribunal, alleging that the former vice president is a Cameronian and as such, unfit to contest for the presidency in the 2019 elections.
He chided the ruling party for holding such opinion.
He said: “It is therefore strange for leaders of the ruling party in Nigeria, the APC, to claim that former vice president Atiku Abubakar is not qualified to seek to be the president of Nigeria.
“This is a display of ignorance of the highest order of Atiku’s status as enshrined in our constitution. In fact, APC is the least among to make such unpatriotic statement.
“There are people sponsored by the party who contested and won elections to elective offices and are today occupying such positions. Atiku is equally or even better qualified to hold any public office in Nigeria than some of such people.”
Yakassai recalled that “before 1st of October, 1960, both Southern and Northern Cameroons were trusteeship territories under Nigeria in accordance with Article 76(b) of the United Nations Trusteeship Agreement of 1946.
“This situation dated back to the period of the First World War. Prior to that war, some part of the old Adamawa Emirate were occupied by the Germans. Southern and Northern Cameroons were part of the territories colonized by the Germans along with Togoland, Tanganyika, Southwest Africa we now call Namibia.
“That was after the partition of Africa in 1884/85. After the conquest of Germany in 1919, territories under German occupation were taken over by the newly formed League of Nations and were assigned to different colonial powers as mandated territories. Tanganyika, South-west Africa and Southern and Northern Cameroons were mandated to Britain.
“Citizens of the mandated territories were accorded the same rights and privileges as citizens of the colonies. Britain decided to administer its mandated Cameroons as part of Nigeria. Their citizens of the colonial mandate had the same rights and privilleges as citizens of colonial Nigeria.”
He pointed out that, “in 1946, with the demise of the League of Nations and the emergence of the United Nations, the mandated territories were taken over by the new world body and reassigned to the same colonial powers as trusteeship territories. Still Britain continued with administrative structures of the territories as same.
“Before Nigerian independence, many citizens of the trusteeship territories held important public offices both at federal and regional levels in Nigeria. Other than the fact they were elected members of parliament and regional Houses of Assembly, making laws for Nigeria, holding Nigerian international passports, they also served among other things as Nigeria’s federal and regional ministers and other civil service and public offices in the country.
“After independence, they both decided their future in plebiscites. Those in the Eastern Region chose to merge with the Republic of Cameroon, while those in the North decided to remain with Nigeria. The area of Northern Cameroon after the plebiscite were declared as the 13th province of northern Nigeria.
“The province chose a name for itself. The name adopted was Sardauna Province. Jada together with other areas formally known as Northern Cameroon Province now became known as Sardauna Province.”
He said: “Atiku is an indigene of Adamawa whose father was an indigene of Sokoto and his mother a bona fide indigene of Adamawa and many indigines born before and after him have been accorded full recognition as Nigerians.
“The 1960 constitution conferred recognition to the entire people born in the trusteeship territories as Africans born in Nigeria before independence if any of their parents is a citizen of British colonial territory in Africa or is a citizen of West African descent.
“Indigenes of both southern and northern trusteeship territories in Nigeria contributed their quota immensely to the development of Nigeria in various capacities before and after independence.
“Some of such people were Endeley, Foncha and Muna in the southern territory, and Mallam Abba Habib, Malam Abdullahi Damburam Jada, Ambassador Buba Malabu , Ambassador Mahmud Bello, Alhaji Hayatu Kojoli, Mr Phillip Maken, etc.
“Indigines of the former trusteeship territories which chose to be part of Nigeria are equal in all respect to every Nigerian in terms of patriotism, citizen rights and privileges.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Coalition of Minority Tribes in Nigeria called on Atiku Abubakar to or seek naturalization.
The demand was made by the coalition, following the recent claim by the APC that Atiku is a Cameroonian national and not a Nigerian.
The group alleged that what Atiku did by concealing his identity was tantamount to crimes against humanity and must tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians.
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