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The road to impeachment

Posted by By Chidi Obineche on 2006/11/14 | Views: 743 |

The road to impeachment


Joshua Dariye’s journey to political wilderness may have begun in 2004 when apparent political disagreement with President Olusegun Obasanjo and some political leaders of Plateau origin, led by the Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, snowballed into the declaration of emergency rule in the state by the president between May 18 and November 18, of that year.

Joshua Dariye’s journey to political wilderness may have begun in 2004 when apparent political disagreement with President Olusegun Obasanjo and some political leaders of Plateau origin, led by the Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, snowballed into the declaration of emergency rule in the state by the president between May 18 and November 18, of that year.

He went into history as the first democratically elected governor since 1964 to be so treated.

The end of the six months state of emergency coincided with his arrest in London and alleged return to Nigeria with fake papers. The following months in office were very heady until February 8, 2006, when the governor indicted President Obasanjo and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as partakers in the alleged misappropriation of funds totalling N1.6 billion, meant for the rehabilitation of ponds created by mining activities in the state.

Dariye had told members of the Plateau Consultative Assembly, who visited him at his office in Jos, that the ecological funds were expended on the 2003 presidential campaign on the directive of the PDP. According to the governor, the South-west and South-east zones of the party got N100 million each, while the Obasanjo/Atiku Campaign Organisation received N100 million. He named other beneficiaries of the money as deputy Senate president, who allegedly got N10 million, while Plateau State PDP received N800 million, and the PDP national headquarters, N66 million.

The PDP denied Dariye’s charge, but Vice President Atiku Abubakar acknowledged the party’s receipt of the money, although he claimed that it had been returned.
At this period, there was heightened belief in Abuja that Dariye was doggedly loyal to Atiku who also had some contentious issues to settle with the president. The stage was therefore, set for a determined push to get him out.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) added to Dariye’s headache when it kept applying the heat, relentlessly reeling out reports of investigations and threats of investigation of Dariye and members of his cabinet as well as loyal members of the House of Assembly.

On February 17, 2006, EFCC slammed charges against Dariye over alleged embezzlement of N700 million in public funds between 2001 and 2003, along with six top officials of Plateau State.

The expose on the disbursement of funds so rattled and angered the presidency that Obasanjo’s former aide on Public Affairs, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, declared the governor, “not only a persona non grata, but he is also virtually an outcast. This is somebody that has been suspended from the party as a consequence of jumping bail from a foreign country. Dariye is not part of us. He means nothing to us other than an outcast.”
Rising from the dust of his estrangement with the President, the 48 years old Dariye sought to make a u-turn, but the timing and the circumstances created more obstacles. A member of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Usman Hassan captured his dilemma in the following words: “Dariye is certainly reconsidering his opposition to Obasanjo’s third term bid, and this is very unfortunate.”

The impeached governor has also been at the centre of a hot feud with his former friends in the state allegedly mending fences with his former foes. He suspended the paramount ruler of Pan, Chief Long Pan Dalock Dalong, ordered the arrest of Pan Development Association members for complicity in the crisis that engulfed Goemai and Pan recently. These manoeuvres, costly as they were, could not make Dariye worm his way back to the PDP mainstream.

By the middle of 2006, the stage was fully set for his ouster. The arrest in Abuja of four members of the State House of Assembly, by operatives of the EFCC after several futile attempts was the icing on the cake.
Dariye was the target of the arrest, as their refusal to bring impeachment proceedings against him was the source of their problems with EFCC.

With their arrest, Dariye’s stronghold began to crumble, and fast too. While being pummelled, he, along his political associates, including members of the legislature, declared for the Advanced Congress of Democrats, ACD. Swiftly, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), entered the fray, promptly seeking leave of the court to declare their seats vacant for the defection.

The ploy worked as six members in the good books of the presidency, out of 28 lawmakers began the impeachment process early last month, which was perceived by most people as a huge joke. Now, the joke has turned reality.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown