By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
Former governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, has said that the controversy generated by the zoning policy in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would have been settled long ago if the media had been genuinely interested in resolving it.
Speaking with journalists in his Keffi country home, he said journalists have a duty, as the watchdog of the society to educate and inform the readers, noting that “once the watchdog goes to sleep or decides to turn the other way we are in trouble”.
Ex-governor Adamu said the EFCC’s case against him has affected his political outlook but insisted that dragging him to court on corruption allegations was political and meant to dampen his spirit.
He regretted that there were people who were known to be very corrupt but they are walking the streets of Nigeria without anyone asking questions.
His words: “I am in court. If I were not in court you won’t say that my attitude to the unfolding political developments would be the same. The moment someone somewhere is wanting to work on your integrity, to work on your image, wanting to work to dampen your enthusiasm, I am human you can’t behave as if nothing is happening.
“Something is happening. Where there are people whom corruption is not enough to describe them and yet they are walking the streets of Nigeria. Nobody is trying them; nobody is doing anything against them.
“EFCC has the power, within the law establishing it to investigate me while I was a public officer and if it finds reasons to prosecute me, let it prosecute me.”
But don’t forget it is mere allegation, when they say they want to prosecute me. Until a court of competent jurisdiction finds me guilty, I am as innocent as you”.
The Director_General of the Aliyu Mohammed Gusau Campaign organisation, (AGCO), Senator Ben Obi has cautioned politicians against surreptitious acts capable of inflicting collateral damages to the nation’s burgeoning democracy. In a statement at the weekend, Senator Obi remarked that “talks about ‘special caucus to select delegates and a so_called right of first refusal’ fly in the face of universal undemocratic norms and the mere mention of these concepts is already stretching the rather tenuous fabric of the political space”.
According to him, “for any electoral process to be credible, there must be a level playing field for all aspirants and the process must not be seen as skewed , with an inbuilt bias for anyone. Politicians must learn to be sportsman_like ready to take defeat gallantly and gracious in victory’.
He urged politicians to shun arbitrariness and acts capable of further rubbishing the already untainted image of the country.
‘It is palpably wrong to influence the electoral process to one’s advantage. An odious spectacle as we saw in the past where an otherwise electoral contest was reduced into a ‘fight to finish’ and the outcome eventually mirred represents a monstrous travesty of justice and an inauspicious abortion of inalienable democratic principles which we must never allow to surface again’, Obi noted.
‘The majesty of the democratic spirit lies in the preparedness of all contestants to fight decently and fairly, avoiding desperate actions which will not augur well for the interest of Nigerians. We are all living witnesses to the successful conduct of elections in Ghana, Sierra_Leone and lately Rwanda. Should we be unable to model or approximate these countries in our electoral process, then we can as well take a bow from democratic values”, Obi further remarked
He then appealed to the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party to uphold the highest standard of probity and credibility while also admonishing the Independent National Electoral Commission and the National Assembly to be on the prowl against counter_productive clauses in the electoral act.
The Director General similarly disclosed that the vital nuturing and development of vital institutions of states such as the judiciary, the Police and other security agencies which are underpinning bulwarks of all modern states will form the major plank of an Aliyu Mohammed Gusau presidency. The repeated failures to have these vital institutions of states have been responsible for our rather tenuous socio_political and economic fabric.
And unless these institutions are erected and which must not be beholden to anyone, endless promises about creating an Eldorado and political haven will remain a mere pipedream’ Obi added.