By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – THE fight for 2019 Presidential Election reared its head Wednesday at Senate Committee screening of nominees when Senators on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress ( APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) sharply disagreed over comment by the spokesperson of Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo that the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar was corrupt.
Trouble started when Kayemo appeared before the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions for screening as a nominee into the governing board of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation ( NDIC).
Tempers were however high when the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim ( PDP Kwara South), reminded Keyamo of his recent comment that Atiku Abubakar is corrupt.
Senator Ibrahim while trying to drill Keyamo on the comment said : ” I want to refer to your words when you said the presidential candidate of the PDP is corrupt. I think you may have to wait until you’re done with the job before you can sit on the board. This is something that I saw myself. You just have to educate us properly on how you can balance the two.”
But APC members of the committee like Danjuma Goje ( Gombe Central), Umar Kurfi ( Katsina Central), Fatimah Raji Rasaki ( Ekiti Central) etc, disagreed with Senator Ibrahim by warning him not to mix politics with the screening exercise.
Specifically Senator Goje in his reaction said : ” I want to observe and caution the chairman that in as much as we belong to different political parties, we shouldn’t bring too much politics on this matter. In fact, we have more APC members here, so if we want to vote, we can vote against you. Our government is doing a lot and we’re doing everything possible to see that things are done well”
In her reaction, Senator Raji Rasaki said : “I thing what we’re doing should have nothing to do with politics. I believe Mr Keyamo if cleared will be a very good assets for the NDIC while Kurfi submitted that Keyamo is an asset that must be allowed to serve on the NDIC board.”
Responding to the alleged comment , Keyamo said : “When the Senate of the United States came out to say that somebody brought slush fund into the US and as such the person is corrupt, we can call the person corrupt. That’s what we relied on. But we can’t call such person a convict”.