By WOLE MOSADOMI
Minna — Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has insisted that President Goodluck Jonathan signed a single term pact with some governors of the Northern part of the country ahead of the 2011 presidential election.
Speaking at the Minna National Discourse on Corruption, jointly organised by Niger State government and the National Planning Commission in Minna, Thursday, the governor said what he said was correct and that he could not change what was the truth.
“If to be truthful is to be literate, I stand by what I said. I am happy with what some people have said about the PDP. I see them as somebody holding something and you are telling him hold it better or it will fall down.
“So we should look at the on-going problems as issues we must confront, issues that we must correct and that agreement made in secret both at the same fora is same as the one made in public,” the governor remarked.
He said he still remained a committed member of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and that any criticism by people, especially members, was to make the party “wax stronger and stronger.”
With the theme of the National Discourse as confronting ‘Trends of Indiscipline, Corruption and Disregard for Rules and Regulations in Nigeria’, Dr. Aliyu described corruption as a cankerworm that had eaten deep into the fabric of most Nigerians which must be stopped if the country had to make progress.
Former Federal Permanent Secretary, Dr. Hakeem Ahmed, in his contribution, described PDP as “a failure since its inception and it is now heading for the rock.”
He called on members to salvage it. If not leave it because there are other boats,” he remarked.
He warned against 2015 general elections and that PDP should either win honourably or don’t tamper with the result for the survival of the country.
“Whatever the administration does, there is one thing they must never try and do. Don’t tamper with the election of the 2015.
“The way they are going, they think they can do away with anything in this country, but there is one thing, they will not run away with and it is, don’t tamper with the election of 2015 because if you do that, God knows what will happen to this country.”
According to him: “The biggest corruption is corruption in the electoral process and I am not too sure that the people who have done what they have in the last few weeks will not also attempt to steal the election in 2015. But I pray to God that they will not steal it.”
Former minister of External Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi who was the lead speaker said corruption had started since 1960 and that between that time and 2012, over 500b dollars had been siphoned out of the country.
He said stiffer penalty like death sentence should be applied to any body found guilty of corruption.