Niger State Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu has said that he stands by the truth he spoke concerning the one-term agreement some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors had with President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011.
Aliyu, who has evaded any public comment on the issue since he granted the interview about a month ago to a radio station in Kaduna, said this yesterday at a national discourse on corruption in Minna.
The governor said that since he made the statement reactions had been numerous with people asking him to make further clarification on his statement.
He said he has deliberately refused to make comment on the issue no matter the amount of controversy it has generated, but declared that “if to be truthful is to be literate, I stand by it”.
Apparently tactical so as not to offend his party, he said that he remained a loyal and committed member of the PDP and that the criticism against the party was meant to make it come out better.
He said the party should be open to criticism to make it toe the line of sanity and correct its steps to become stronger for future polls.
Aliyu described corruption as a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the body fabric of the country, saying that financial corruption in high places was being perpetrated jointly by public servants and political appointees.
Earlier, the guest speaker and former minister of external affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, stated that over $500 billion had been siphoned from Nigeria between 1960 and 2012
He said those who governed the country were not concerned about the Nigeria project but sharing of the country’s resources, adding that the Niger Delta militancy, Boko Haram insurgences, kidnapping in the south-east and high poverty amongst the people are indicating factors that the nation was closer to breaking up.
He said all the indicators show that the prediction “that the country will break soon may become a reality. It may be by accident and not intentional”.
Akinyemi stated that to stop the situation from becoming reality, the north must stop the fear of being dominated by other parts of the country just as the south must stop the big-brother role on whose resources and generosity the survival of other regions have so far depended.
He stated that all parts of the country must be given sense of belonging, citing example of Lagos State where an Igbo man was always appointed into the state cabinet.
He stated that the country should make it a matter of policy to reserve certain government positions to the so-called non-indigenes in all the states of the federation for a more inclusive approach to governance.
On corruption he solicited for a stiffer penalty like death sentence for corrupt public officials.
Nigeria’s common wealth has been Kidnapped – Amaechi
Meanwhile, the chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the privileged individuals in positions of authority have kidnapped the common resources of the nation.
Also, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has given reasons why corruption in Nigeria has taken a dangerous dimension, just as former permanent secretary, Hakem Nana-Ahmed, has said that the PDP has destroyed what was left of Nigeria.
Governor Amaechi, who was the only governor present at a national discourse on corruption organised by the Niger State government in conjunction with the National Planning Commission, stated that the common resources of the nation have been kidnapped by a few privileged Nigerians.
He said, “The resources belong to all of us, but when a few men like you and me on the other side of the table kidnap the resources at the NNPC, why will you be angry with the man who kidnapped you on the road?”
Amaechi, who spoke sarcastically about the rate of corruption in Nigeria, stated further: “So when you kidnap, the poor man will wait for you with their guns on the road; if you bring the money they will not shoot you; what they are doing in Economics is called redistribution of resources.
“If we the elite work freely without the individual policing where police is for everybody and not a governor with 300 to 400 policemen, we allow even participation in the sharing of resources, that is, democratisation of corruption; don’t ask me what that is.”
Sanusi, who chaired the occasion, had in his speech said: “Examples of interventions procured by corruption: if you bribe a public officer to pay for subsidy of fuel you did not bring or pay for contract you did not perform or steal the crude oil and sell it without bringing the money, you compound the negative impact of corruption.”
He said such variables of corruption that were not productive have made the country’s corruption more dangerous and it could only be tackled through development of accountability framework for the state.
Also, a discussant, former permanent secretary Hakeem Baba Ahmed said that the PDP government in Nigeria from 1999 to date has destroyed what was left of Nigeria. He specifically said that the worst of the corruption that would attract negative reaction from the people would be any attempt by the PDP to tamper with the2015 general elections through their usual corrupt practices as the people would be ready to resist such attempt.
According to him, some of the governors who chose to say the truth were being chased and threatened, but he advised the governors not to be afraid so far they know they are acting in the people’s interest. They could leave the PDP if they thought they won’t be able to salvage the situation, he stated.
Shame on PDP!No wonder the country is not moving
Why not somebody ask Dr. Babangida Aliyu; If Jonathan signed for One term how many terms would the Northern candidate sign for – One term or two terms? That is why I said Nigeria is in a QUANDARY afflicting even the PhD holders – wondering how the People’s servants feels justified that Dr. Jonathan should do One term and his Northern President shoud do two-terms! Why not reduce all to One term of Five/Six years and let there be peace in Nigeria about 2nd or 3rd Terms, folks? Nigeria -TAKU! A Oma seoo. Allah ka tamakemu, mu sowka de’lafia ageli Nijeria!