August 7, 2012

Legislators too corrupt to impeach Jonathan – Nzeribe

By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – MAVERICK politician, Senator Arthur Nzeribe, yesterday slammed members of the National Assembly that they no longer command respect from Nigerians which will give them the moral courage to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan over poor implementation of the 2012 budget.

Senator Nzeribe who said he doubts if members of the House of Representatives understood what it takes to impeach the President, however described as an effort in futility the proposed impeachment threat, adding that with the high level of corruption in the system, it will not be possible for any serious-minded legislature to successfully carry out an impeachment process, ‘’wind don blow their yash open.’’

Speaking during an interactive session with Journalists yesterday in his Apo residence in Abuja, Senator Nzeribe said, ‘’I doubt if they understand what they are doing. Nobody respects the average lawmaker anymore in Nigeria. With the kind of corruption in the system, I do not think the impeachment threat is real.
‘’I don’t think that the House has the right to summon the President, but there is nothing wrong with the President walking across then road and say ‘I have come to brief you’. You can’t continue to threaten to impeach the President all the time.’’

The Oguta born Politician who also took on Ijaw leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark over his last Wednesday’s comments on the activities of the Boko Haram sect, however challenged him to come up with names of those behind them since he knows them.

According to him, the Elder Statesman, rather than cast aspersions on some Northern leaders, he should not stop half way by raising alarm about their sponsors, but should go beyond that.

He however condemned the measures being taken by President Jonathan and the government in tackling the activities of agents of terror and sundry issues, just as he urged the President to name names of those behind the Boko Haram sect against the backdrop that he had mentioned that they were even in his cabinet, adding that with the almost everyday massive killings and wanton destruction of property by these persons, the time has come for the not just saying he knows them, but he should go after them and arrest the sect members and their sponsors.

‘’I don’t seem to agree with the way the President is handling the matter. The President once said the Boko Haram people have penetrated the government, why has he not made any arrest? We should know who they are beyond the President telling us that they are in his government,’’ he said.

The Senator who represented Orlu Zone in the Senate during the 4th and 5th National Assembly however expressed concern about the political developments and in his home state, Imo, stressing that the state presently under Chief Rochas Okorocha was not only groaning under a rudderless leadership following his activities, even as he warned that Imo State may also sink deeper with the ‘cowardice’ being exhibited by those who should ordinarily speak against the ‘democratic apathy.’

Nzeribe who also expressed fears that the state may degenerate into the Hobbesian jungle, however called on his colleagues in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP from the state to shake off the posture of helplessness and work towards providing purposeful leadership.

According to him, ‘’I have been very careful, since Rochas took power, to say anything for or against his administration. But things are getting worst by the day. It is a very dangerous situation we are having in Imo State and nobody is ready to bell the cat.

‘’Must it take the order of the Attorney General of then Federation for the 27 local government chairmen to be reinstated? Must the response from Imo State to order of the court for the immediate reinstatement of the 27 LGA chairmen be that ‘since the Federal Government refused to reinstate Salami as ordered by the NJC , Imo State is at liberty not to obey court order? Why, for example, take such a position on the Salami saga?

Speaking on the Justice Ayo Salami’s case, Senator Nzeribe who berated President Goodluck Jonathan for failing to heed to National Judicial Council’s recommendation that he should be reinstated as the President of the Court of Appeal after being cleared of any wrongdoing in the prolonged battle with former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Katsina Alu, stressed that such flagrant abuse of the law by the President was being copied by state governors like that of Imo State who now ignore court orders at will.

The Senator who spoke further on Chief Edwin Clark’s statement said, “On Clark’s statement that Babangida and Buhari should openly condemn the sect, I thought Clark has a platform to say what he has in mind. He has been the spokesman of the government for quite sometime now. Why is he throwing the balloon in the air for it to burst? He should tell us what he knows.
‘’Clark did not go the full hog. If he has fingered one or two persons, then we would have known where he was going. ‘’

When asked to comment on the Bamanga Tukur led National Working Committee of the PDP, Senator Nzeribe who acknowledged that the PDP has not provided quality leadership at the federal, state and local government levels, said the party was still grappling with the best way of managing the opposition, even as he reinstated his implicit confidence in the Bamanga Tukur to set the party on the right track.