Jonathan signed single term pact, Aliyu insists

Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, said on Thursday that he stood by his recent statement that President Goodluck Jonathan signed a single-term agreement with some governors from the northern part of the country before the 2011 presidential election.

Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu and President Goodluck Jonathan

Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu and President Goodluck Jonathan

Aliyu had, on a radio programme in Kaduna a month ago, made the assertion, which generated ripples across the country.

At the Minna National Discourse on Corruption, jointly organised by the Niger State Government and the National Planning Commission, Aliyu said since he made the statement reactions had been numerous, with people asking him to make further clarifications.

The discourse had the theme, ‘Confronting Trends of Indiscipline, Corruption and Disregard for Rules and Regulations in Nigeria’.

The governor, who said he had refrained from making comments, however, declared, “If to be truthful is to be illiterate, I stand by it. On the political scene, I am happy with what some people say. I don’t see it as a condemnation of PDP; I see it as trying to correct a situation.

“We should look at the problem as one we must confront correctly. Agreement made in secret must be adhered to.”

Aliyu said he remained a loyal and committed member of the Peoples Democratic Party and that all the criticisms of the party by discussants at the programme was to make the party to toe the line of sanity and correct its steps to become stronger for future polls.

He described corruption as a cankerworm that had eaten deep into the body fabric of the country, stressing that financial corruption in high places was being perpetrated jointly by public servants and political appointees.

In his remarks, a former Permanent Secretary, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, warned against the manipulation of the 2015 general elections in the interest of the survival of the nation.

Ahmed, who noted that previous elections in the country had not been as transparent as expected, said it was for this reason that the country had been groping in the dark politically.

He described PDP as “a party heading for the rocks: if you can salvage it, salvage it; if not, leave it for other boats.”

The guest speaker at the event, former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, said over $500bn had been siphoned away from Nigeria between 1960 and 2012.

Punch

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