Human rights activist and lawyer, has Femi Falana, urged Nigerians not to leave the politics of the country in the hands of professional politicians who do not have ideals.
He stated this last Monday in Lagos while speaking during the public presentation of the third edition of ‘Compendium of High Profile Corruption Cases in Nigeria’, a publication of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre, as part of activities marking the World Anti-Corruption Day.
He suggested that beyond the production of the book, Nigerians must begin to ask political questions.
“Do not leave the politics of your country to professional police ticians without ideals; if you leave the politics of your country to corrupt people, you are going to be governed by laws made by corrupt people and that is why they want to silence you from talking, so that you don’t ask question,” he said.
Falana stated that in an extremely poor country, a governor who stole in billions was no longer a case of ordinary corruption but madness, stating that if such money was put together, poverty could be banished from Nigeria.
“We are no longer saying if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us, it is not going to kill us, there is something more fundamental that is going to kill us and that is poverty, we must begin to interrogate the basis of the crises we are going through,” he added. Project Manag- er, HEDA, in his welcome address, Sina Odugbemi, said “the compendium highlights some things we all should know, the delay in the judicial process.
“Some of the cases have stayed 12 years, and the irony of it is that, if you steal public money and you keep it for 10 years, even if you refund it, that money must have yielded interests.
“So, the idea of the compendium is to remind us, our citizens, that we need to engage the judicial system that makes it easy for the man that steals coconut to go to jail immediately and the one that steals million to stay that long.
Thus, the compendium is a reminder of our duty as citizens to put pressure at the appropriate place and ensure that justice is done and done on time,” he said.
Rivers PDP Extols Wike’s Leadership Qualities
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, has described Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike as the Joshua of our time who, against all odds, stood up to liberate the people of the state from the forces of darkness and oppression.
Ambassador Akawor stated this on Monday when he received the leadership of Grassroots Development Initiative, GDI, who paid him a solidarity visit at the PDP Secretariat, Port Harcourt.
Ambassador Akawor emphasised that the governor has exhibited enough sagacity and courage by bringing the state out of the pit which his predecessor plunged it, stressing that GDI should be grateful that the governor they worked so hard to install was performing wonderfully well to the admiration of all in the state.
“Most of you who are leaders of GDI joined him when nobody gave him the chance that he was going to succeed”, Akawor said, noting that the party was happy with any GDI member who occupied any position in the administration because he worked hard for it. Ambassador Akawor, who disclosed that local government election would take place next year, said the party would campaign during the election as if it is a national election.
He also warned members of GDI not to associate with any member of the party found to be nursing gubernatorial ambition, saying that at the right time, the party would decide on the direction to go.
“very soon the game will start, various candidates will come up, my appeal to you is that do not get yourself distracted, Rivers state is a peculiar family” he noted, and urged the group to continue to pray for the Governor to actualise his laudable plans for the state.
The state PDP Chairman also told the GDI members not to allow moles infiltrate their fold and cause division among them, urging them to remain vigilant, united and focused.
Ambassador Akawor, who disclosed that all the actions of the Governor were geared towards protecting the interest of the people of the state irrespective of party affiliation, recalled how he (Governor Wike) saved Barr Joy Nunieh, who is not a member of the PDP from being kidnapped by security forces.
Ex-Agitator Wants Obaseki To Run People-Oriented Govt
A peace ambassador and leader of Amnesty Phase II in Delta State, Mr Kingsley Muturuhas described Governor Godwin Obaseki‘s victory as the final blow to godfatherism in Nigerian Politics.
He, however, called on the governor to carry everyone along and ensure that his administration ran a purposeful and people-oriented government.
Muturu said this in a congratulatory message to Gov. Obaseki following his victory at the just concluded Edo governorship election.
He noted that Obaseki‘s victory in the election was an indication that no godfather could succeed whenever the people were determined to take their fate in their hands.
According to him, the era of godfatherism in politics was finally coming to an end as people can effectively protect their votes in spite of all odds.
“I congratulate the governor of Edo who is now the governor-elect on his hard fought and well deserved victory.
“The people of Edo have spoken with one voice and that should be respected.
Group Knocks Obasanjo Over Comments On State Of Nigeria
A group of elders in the country, The Patriotic Elders Council, PEC, has faulted ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent statement that Nigeria has failed and is badly divided.
PEC said Obasanjo should bury his head in shame because he laid the foundation of the problems currently facing the country and therefore, has no moral right to make such comments.
Obasanjo had during a recent consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum, said something must be done to avert the looming disaster.
He said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel at Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in. Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and the poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.”
Reacting, however, to Obasanjo’s assertion, the Patriotic Elders Council (PEC) said his comment was least expected of a two-time leader and an elder statesman.
The group in a statement signed by Alhaji Muhammadu Ari Gwaska, its Chairman and Chief Simon Shango, Secretary, said Obasanjo was wrong in his statement.
Part of the statement reads: “Though, sometimes Obasanjo’s utterances are right; but unfortunately, most times, he is condescendingly wrong. His latest public statement at the consultative dialogue is a perfect example of the many instances he is wrong and sounds unconvincing even to himself.
“Ex-President Obasanjo, more than any other Nigerian leader, knows the institutionalized, intricate and complex problems of Nigeria, as the country’s democratic leader from 1999-2007. And he midwived all the two successive administrations which came after him.
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