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Abuja moves to impeach Dariye

Posted by By Tony Eluemunor, Abuja Bureau Chief on 2004/08/23 | Views: 377 |

Abuja moves to impeach Dariye


The alleged plan to impeach suspended Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, appeared, at the weekend, to have reached an advanced stage.

The alleged plan to impeach suspended Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye, appeared, at the weekend, to have reached an advanced stage.

The plot involves reconvening the also suspended House of Assembly on the understanding that its first duty would be to impeach the pro-Dariye Speaker, and then the governor.

Two sources, one in Abuja and another in Jos, independently confirmed this at the weekend.

A source said some foot soldiers close to Dariye have stormed Abuja since last week in an attempt to frustrate the impeachment efforts.

He said several meetings have been held recently; one at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa and another at the Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu’s Abuja residence to perfect the plan and get the Jos legislators to play ball.

To this end, the leading members of the suspended assembly were told that if they agreed to impeach Dariye, their suspension would be lifted.

“Put differently, they were informed that the only way they would regain their jobs is that the state of emergency is lifted, and the only way it would be lifted is if there is an assurance that Dariye would not be returning to Jos Government House. The state legislators appear to have agreed to this,” a source said.

The Abuja source also confirmed that Dariye’s men have been in town all through last week working on National Assembly members and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leaders to convince President Olusegun Obasanjo not to get Dariye impeached.

The source in Jos said the plan to impeach Dariye had been on even before the declaration of the state of emergency.

He said several attempts had been made by Abuja to get Dariye impeached, but that when all the plots failed, the state of emergency had to be declared.

He said the new attempt to the state legislators to back Abuja against Dariye was actually a turn around when Abuja realised that its first option would raise another great controversy.

The firs plan, according to him, was to get the National Assembly, which has been making laws for Plateau State to impeach the governor.

But when Abuja “realised that this option would stretch the constitution to its limits and give rise to a thousand legal suits, it decided to blackmail the state legislators into doing the dirty job at last,” the source explained.

From the start, it had appeared that Obasanjo never wanted to allow Dariye to return to his desk.

Thus, in all activities of Gen. Chris Alli, the sole administrator, he never spoke or behaved as though he was aware he was on a six-month assignment, said the source in Jos.

According to him: “As a General, who was also a one-time Army Chief, Alli knows too well the prestige associated with keeping targets. What would be his worth if he cannot restore order within six months in only one rural local government in the state in which, even before he received his orders the Commander-in-Chief had informed the nation, actual violence had ceased? If his successor as Army Chief, General Victor Malu, could superintend over the cessation of the protracted Civil War in Liberia within one year and get them organise an election, or Nigeria’s General Khobe restoring President Teejan Kabbah to power in Sierra Leone within a shorter period, how would it reflect on Alli’s military integrity that a low-keyed internecine conflict in a local government of democratic country would require more than six month to contain?”

Also, there is another dimension in this issue; that of who will succeed Dariye.

According to Obasanjo’s plan, the successor would not be the deputy governor, who was suspended with Dariye, but Air Commodore David Jang (rtd).

He contested for the governorship at the last general elections under the Alliance for Democracy (AD).

He is generally believed to have won the elections but for the alleged rigging of the polls by the PDP.

As part of this script to dump Dariye, Jang has been invited to return to the PDP, which he stormed out of when the party denied him the governorship ticket in Dariye’s favour though he was said to have won the primaries.

Jang returned to the PDP last week; this was a true signal to analysts that Dariye was on his way out.

Jang could only come in through an election.

So if he has the party’s backing, it means that the PDP has changed its stand concerning Plateau. Chief Audu Ogbe, PDP National Chairman had said repeatedly that no fresh elections would be held in the state.

It now appears that he has been forced to swallow his words, once again.

How is it so easy to remove Dariye? A source said Dariye has never had any serious backing apart from Obasanjo’s. Thus, according to him, all the party leaders in Plateau State were against him but Obasanjo kept propping him up. Owing to this, persons like Jang and Damishi Sango, former Sports minister, had to go.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.