The Action Congress (AC) has asked the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Vincent Ogbulafor, to step down from his high office, against the backdrop of his impending trial over alleged fraud charges.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said while the Chairman remains innocent of the charges against him until proven guilty, he should set a moral precedence by quitting his post so he can defend himself against the charges, as it is done in other climes.
“Nigerian politicians must begin to show they are not any different from their counterparts elsewhere when it comes to the issue of integrity, decency and high moral standard.
“We recollect that in January 2010, Peter Robinson stepped aside as the First Minister of Northern Ireland, following a scandal involving his wife, Iris. He only resumed his role after it was found that he had not breached the ministerial code of conduct. This is the trend in other climes and we cannot be different,” AC said.
The party said the reported decision by Mr. Ogbulafor to remain in office while his prosecution lasts, using as a precedence the fact that several former Governors of the PDP continue to serve in the Senate despite the corruption charges hanging on their necks, is a moral burden on the PDP chair and the party he leads.
“How can Nigeria successfully fight against corruption when indicted ruling party officials, including the Chairman, fail to live by a high moral standard? Since most of those carrying the heavy moral burden in this regard are from the PDP, is it any wonder that this disappearing behemoth has become the biggest clog in the wheel of Nigeriaâ€™s anti-corruption fight?
“We demand that Ogbulafor, as the chairman of the PDP, should lead the way by stepping down in view of the fraud charges against him. We also demand that all the indicted former Governors who are serving in the Senate should resign or be recalled by their constituencies.
“We say this not because we have adjudged them guilty of the charges against them, but because as leaders, they must lead the way by exhibiting a high moral standard.”