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DESERTED •Wabara out in the cold...As Senators dump him

Posted by By JACOB EDI, Abuja, Kenny Ashaka, Kaduna on 2005/03/31 | Views: 350 |

DESERTED •Wabara out in the cold...As Senators dump him


In a radical departure from their earlier stance to sink or swim with their embattled President, Chief Adolphus Wabara, a large number of Senators are now poised to save their political careers, opting to throw Wabara to the sharks.

In a radical departure from their earlier stance to sink or swim with their embattled President, Chief Adolphus Wabara, a large number of Senators are now poised to save their political careers, opting to throw Wabara to the sharks.

The senators plotted throughout Wednesday night, trying to find a soft-landing for the embattled Senate helmsman, and the question on the lips of most of them at the Apo legislative quarters and the National Assembly complex was not whether Wabara will go, but how to secure a face-saving exit for the indicted man.

Sources also told Daily Sun that at several meetings on Tuesday night at the residence of a two-term senator from Benue State, the senators in attendance expressed concern over the damage already done to the credibility of the senate, especially by President Obasanjo’s nation-wide broadcast.

This development is coming on the heels of disclosures that the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] Wednesday failed to persuade Wabara to resign his position after two separate meetings in Abuja. The senate president was said to have opted for a judicial resolution of the crisis, rather than a political one, which will see him quitting his plum job.

After about three- hour meeting between PDP’s National Working Committee and the party’s Senate caucus at its Wadata Plaza headquarters, the senators were said to have demanded that the presidency remove its hands from goings-on at the upper legislative chambers having done sufficient damage to its credibility.

Senate leader, Dalhatu Tafida, said: "We are only thinking of the way forward so that we can prevent the occurrence of either disagreement between us and the president of the federal republic or between us and the party and apparently we understand ourselves
better now."

However, neither the leadership of the PDP nor the senate officially accepted to confirm to newsmen details of Wednesday’s meeting which held behind closed doors.

"Something happened and we are trying to look at it squarely. We have resolved to choose our leader ourselves at the senate if there is any election", Tafida said.

But deputy senate president, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, was evasive when confronted on the outcome of the meeting. He instead chose to be sarcastic. "It was a family affair. Ali is like a father who came to see how his children are faring. But the meeting was successful."

Earlier, the PDP National Working Committee had met with all the legislators who were indicted in the N55million bribery scandal.

Wabara arrived the PDP secretariat at 1.09pm and left at 1.50pm, beaming with smiles, as if oblivious of the crisis at hand. He was in company of Senators Emmanuel Okpede, David Mark, Azuta Mbata, Adighije and Azuta Mbata.

Honorable Osita Izunaso and Shehu Matazu were also at the PDP secretariat. But none of them agreed to talk on what they discussed with the leadership of the party.

Indeed, Matazu was dramatic about his own escape. As soon as he left the third floor of the party secretariat, he quickly rushed into a waiting Toyota RAV 4 mini-jeep, which seemed to be strategically packed to aid quick escape, ordered the driver to zoom-off, leaving reporters with mouth wide open.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 northern states and Abuja, Archbishop Peter Jatau, has asked Chief Wabara to resign.

Archbishop Jatau, who is also the Catholic Bishop of Kaduna Diocese said the sit-tight kind of attitude being exhibited by the embattled Senate President has the tendency to exacerbate corrupt practices in the country.

"Nigeria is a terrible place. If this thing (N55million bribery scandal) had happened in England or in America, once somebody in high public office is found wanting, even if there are no facts brought, the very fact that his name is mentioned, he would resign.

"But here, people who have been found to be corrupt still want to remain in their seats. This kind of attitude will further encourage corruption. There are laws in this country. Irrespective of whoever he/she is, once the person is found guilty, that person should face the wrath of the law. There should be no sacred cows."

Corruption in high places
Jatau said that he was not surprised at the revelations because he had always known that there is corruption in high places.

"And we have been saying that in order to minimize corruption in Nigeria, we must start from the top. If there is corruption in the presidency, National Assembly, among governors, state houses of assembly, how can you stop it? But if the top is not corrupt then we can fight corruption successfully. But as long as the top is corrupt, there is no way you can fight corruption successfully in this country.

"If you as the father and head of the family tell your children not to take anything alcoholic but if they know their father is an alcoholic, I think they will say ‘our Baba must be enjoying this thing, let us try and see what he is gaining from it’. But one day it will blow up. And I think it is better late than never.

"Nuhu Ribadu should go deeper. If there is further investigation, many people will be caught. If this is done the better because there is no other way we can fight corruption except we start it from the top. If, for instance, Obasanjo is corrupt, what courage will he have to tell his ministers and also the National Assembly members not to be corrupt? He (Obasanjo) will have no moral right to tell his subordinates not to be corrupt".

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

Actually translates to bravehearted.