Former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who is a known friend of South Africa’s Jacob Zuma has expressed joy upon the re-emergence of the South African President as party leader and the official candidate for the next presidential election in 2013. This came after a heated contest with his Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe.
“Nigeria has much to learn from South Africa’s 100 year-old African National Congress, the ANC. This was just one of the many thoughts on my mind this afternoon as I watched my friend and brother Jacob Zuma make a masterful victory speech. He won by 2983 votes! A real landslide of a victory that has left his main challenger and former deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe with only 991”, Atiku who was at ANC Congress enthused.
Atiku said, “It has been a privilege to witness this 53rd Congress of the ANC the election of its next set of leaders. The conference is held every 5 years, and in the context of current developments it has been a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to witness history being made by a party whose liberation spirit is still going strong. I congratulate my friend President Jacob Zuma on retaining the leadership of his party – defeating so worthy and credible a contender as Motlanthe”.
Speaking of Zuma, Atiku said “Jacob Zuma fought hard – with wit, style, shrewd manoeuvring, compassion and a transparent patriotism that has ensured he has the respect of his party and the love of his people. The weekend of speeches and resolutions has been a particularly exciting for me. As I listened to articulation of strong ideological positions from the older leftist tradition which resolved to nationalise certain key economic sectors to the newer more centrist caucus epitomised by many of the younger ideologues, I was inspired. The Zuma victory was enabled by his aligning with Cyril Ramaphosa, a master-stroke which defeated the main opposition known as the so-called Forces of Change.”
Atiku also praised Zuma’s victory speech, saying “his victory speech, given as always with an accompanying edifying song made it clear that he will do his best to redeem the bad and address the main concerns of those forces of change – the corruption, the intolerable levels of thuggery – giving all ANC faithful renewed hope. Ramaphosa won the post of deputy president with 3018 votes beating even strong contenders like Tokyo Sexwale. A sweet victory indeed, as another period of hard work begins”.