By HENRY UMORU
ABUJA—THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday called for the resignation of the speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji over alleged N500 million scam.
The PDP noted that it was disheartening and unfortunate that in spite of the progressive posture of the party, no chieftain of the ACN has been prosecuted in its controlled states despite what the PDP described as ‘’the barrage of cases of misconduct in these states.”
Reacting to call by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN that the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur must step down now, the PDP said, “The ACN has also turned the other way in the case of a N500 million fraud allegation against the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly. There has been no call for the Speaker to resign. Till date, there is no record of any ACN official or chieftain standing trial in any ACN controlled State despite the barrage of cases of misconduct in these states”.
In a statement signed yesterday by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the Party however threw its weight behind its National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, stressing that the party was not prepared to sacrifice his son, Mahmud Tukur over his prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on the subsidy payment scandal.
Metuh who also accused the ACN of interfering in judicial processes for its members, stressed that PDP was the only party in Nigeria that does not do that, adding, “the same cannot be said of the ACN. For instance, when the educational qualifications of Senator Bola Tinubu, the ACN’s National Leader were questioned, the entire Party machinery, operating under its earlier metamorphosis as Alliance for Democracy(AD) rose up and vilified anyone that called for a mere investigation. Every effort was deployed to frustrate the investigation.
According to PDP, it was not surprised as a party at the propensity of the ACN to make political capital out of every passing event in Nigeria, adding that it finds this posturing hypocritical, laughable and a desperate measure to smear the image of an individual who stands very tall in his contributions to the development of our country.
It will be recalled that son of the PDP National Chairman, Mahmud Tukur; Mamman Nasir, son of the former National Chairman, Dr Ahmadu Ali and Abdullai Alao, son of Chief Arisekola Alao are presently standing trial before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja for alleged offences in the oil subsidy payment scam.
Metuh who noted that there was the need for the PDP to put the record straight, said, “However, in order to set the records straight especially in the minds of those who may be swayed by the ACN’s warped logic, we wish to state categorically that the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Dr Bamanga Tukur, is not on trial, neither has he been linked to any of the allegations on the current petroleum subsidy trials.
‘’We have stated severally that the son of the Chairman currently facing trial is an adult and is fully responsible for all his actions in the eyes of the law. We shall therefore not allow the name and dignity of our revered Chairman to be dragged into an issue he knows nothing about.
“Secondly, it is interesting that the ACN, which has been on record as casting doubts over the Federal Government’s commitment to prosecuting those involved in fuel subsidy matters is suddenly enmeshed in a juvenile frenzy, dishing out judgments even before trials are concluded. What is expected from a responsible opposition like it is done all over the world is to give credit where it is due, and criticize where necessary.
“The decision by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to bring to trial those who have allegations standing against them is a clear signal that the government has nothing to hide and there are no sacred cows. We thought that the ACN will for once rise above petty partisan considerations and acknowledge this fact. Unfortunately, they have once more missed another opportunity to earn the status of a decent organization.
The PDP spokesperson who warned that the party will not succumb to blackmail from a very vocal but politically impotent opposition, said, “the call by ACN for Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to resign is therefore not only an assault on his fundamental rights but also a wild misadventure by a clueless group that is ignorant on the workings of due process. We wish to remind them that the PDP is not operated on the basis of the opinions of the ACN.
‘’As the Party holding the mandate and trust of the people of Nigeria, we shall continue to show example on all matters of morality and good governance. We shall however not allow the integrity of our leaders to be wantonly violated, neither shall we succumb to blackmail from a very vocal but politically impotent opposition.”