When Anti-Corruption War Becomes Bigoted – By Mahmud Yahaya

August 13, 2020
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A protestor sports a an anti-corruption T-shirt on January 9, 2012 in Lagos during a demonstration against the more than doubling of petrol prices after government abolished fuel subsidies. Thousands of people heeded the unions’ call to stage protest rallies across Africa’s most populous country. Police shot dead a protester in Nigeria‘s commercial capital Lagos on January 9 during a national strike over fuel prices. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

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It is no longer a new thing that whenever there exist main opposition, the ruling  party never ceased from subjecting it to victimisation. It is evident that Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has being a victim of this unfair incident.  He has since 2016 been pestered with several allegations of corruption which upto today, none of them got him convicted.

Gov. Mohammed emerged winner of the 2019  gubernatorial election  which the APC despite all forms of intrigues failed woefully and shamefully. Thus, they were not happy with the outcome of the poll. This consequently makes them more antagonistic and turn blind eye on all the developmental projects being executed.

It could be recalled that on 7th  August 2020, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemned the endorsement of alleged corrupt candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying he is standing trial for alleged looting of N700 million. This statement was made in good faith. However,  in a reaction to the statement, on August 8, 2020 the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, called on the PDP to sack its governors and senators before it would be taken seriously.

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Furthermore, Malam Shehu added that “Let PDP first withdraw the governorship nominations it gave to Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa States respectively, before it opens its mouth and talk on the efforts of this administration in fighting corruption. Or else, it should shut its mouth forever and leave us to do what it dares not attempt”.

Now,  more than ever, Bauchi State and its Adamawa State counterpart are experiencing progressive transition. The call by S. A to the President on PDP to sack the Bauchi state Governor, and that of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri is utterly laughable, absurd and uncalled for. The Emergence of Governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir couldn’t have come at a better time than this; when the state was left in deplorable condition by the immediate past administration of the APC  if compared with neighboring states.

It is worthy of note, that the party which professes itself as the crusader against corruption should not have afforded  itself the barest iota of questionability. This action of the APC vividly shows that its anti-graft war is bigoted.

If that is the case, then the PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan is right to say “with its defence and endorsement of a person it is prosecuting for corruption, the Buhari Presidency has confirmed that it is not fighting corruption, contrary to its promises, but had become a safe haven for corrupt persons.The PDP said it is berating the Buhari Presidency for referring to unrelated cases and struggling to justify its widely condemned endorsement of an individual it is prosecuting for corruption.

“By its response, the Buhari Presidency has turned itself into a defender of corruption and advocate for persons charged for corrupt acts in our country. “Yet, this is Presidency that claimed to have zero tolerance for corruption; pretended that it cannot eat with corrupt people with the longest of spoons, only to be found struggling to justify why it is swimming in an ocean of corruption.

“Moreover, beyond the case in court, this is an individual, that APC former national chairman had openly described as a thief, treasury looter, acid bather and who, according to Oshiomhole, is only fit for “night meetings” and not for the position of the governor of Edo state.

This should ring a bell to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu back in  2016, same APC soiled his image by calling him names during governorship campaign in Edointate. Similarly, in a ten minutes video uploaded on Youtube by ChannelsTV the immediate past National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole described him a corrupt person.

In the video, Adams Oshiomhole explained that Ize-Iyamu could not cast his vote during 14th April, 2007 governorship election because he was hiding from EFCC. He also narrated that, even though Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu served as his campaign’s director-general, he hadn’t been appointed into any governmental position after winning the election because Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is not trustworthy .

Accordingly,  Adams Oshiomhole proudly and enthusiastically maintained that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who held different positions during Lucky Igbinedion’s tenure caused more damage than good to Edo state to such an extent that Lucky Igbinedion’s mother that she slapped him for misleading her son.

One ought to laugh to stupor at this hypocritically ironical alacrity. It is unfortunate that,  the APC Nigerian thought is a party of prophets and saints turns out to be a formation of hardened creeds,  who are willing to welcome anyone who will defect from opposition regardless of questionability of his character.

Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said “such stance by the Buhari Presidency is an assault on the sensibilities of the people of Edo state, who have openly registered their rejection of Ize-Iyamu”.

“Furthermore, our party notes the absence of President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and other top officials of the APC administration at Ize-Iyamu’s campaign flag-off, apparently to dissociate themselves and the government from his baggage of corruption allegation,”.

Truly indeed,  the two PDP governors are standing trial in court alongside senators. Nonetheless,  it  shouldn’t be an impediment to the successes being recorded in their respective states. None of these political parties is without fault. In fact this was what brought about the  APC slogan “change” in 2015, which dramaticlly led to the loss of the then ruling party – PDP. APC too, who has made myriad of promises to Nigerians is barely fulfilling them.  Nevertheless, if all the political parties would emulate the ideologies of the Pre-independence political parties, whom nation building is their primary objective, the hope of the people will be rekindled and lost glory restored. And with the performances of Bauchi State governor so far, we believe that the Nigeria of our dream will be actualized.

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