*Ex-president accused of undemocratic actions
The Presidency yesterday attacked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration, especially under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, for “toppling” elected state governments, using the police and the secret service.
In an article to commemorate the third anniversary of the Buhari Presidency last night, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhamadu Buhari on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu recalled how former Governors Joshua Dariye (Plateau), Rashidi Ladoja (Oyo) and Peter Obi (Anambra) were removed for reasons not noble.
The statement added that under that dispensation, “it took an insider collaboration to thwart the unseating of Governor (Chris) Ngige (of Anambra State) by a powerful thug sponsored by the PDP administration.”
Shehu added: “The parliament at the centre seized the law-making powers of the Rivers State House of Assembly as a way to save Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the then chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, from impeachment by the PDP presidency.”
Recalling the way the governors were removed without going through the due process, the statement said: “A five-man legislature met at 6:00 am and ‘impeached’ Governor Dariye in Plateau; 18 members out of 32 removed Governor Ladoja of Oyo from office; in Anambra, APGA’s Governor Obi was equally impeached at 5:00 a.m. by members who did not meet the two-thirds required by the constitution. His offence was that he refused to inflate the state’s budget. The lawmakers had reportedly met with representatives of the President in Asaba, Delta State and then accompanied to Awka by heavy security provided by the police Mobile Unit.
“The PDP President at that time had reportedly told Obi to forget re-election in 2007 if he did not join the PDP because he (the President) would not support a non-PDP member.
In Ekiti, Governor Fayose in his first term faced allegations of financial corruption and murder. Following the failure to heed the instruction of the Presidency to impeach only Fayose and spare the deputy, Madam Olujimi, now a senator, the PDP President declared that there was a breakdown of law and order in the state and declared a state of emergency.
“He appointed Brig-Gen. Adetunji Olurin (rtd) as the sole administrator of the state on October 19, 2006. In an earlier incident in Anambra, it took an insider collaboration to thwart the unseating of Governor Ngige by a powerful thug sponsored by the PDP administration.”
The Presidency said: “Thank God for Buhari, none of these absurdities has happened under his watch but the PDP is indicating their boredom with his meticulous observance of the constitution by calling for a return to the old order.
“If not for “dry eyes,” as said in our common parlance, what is it that would push this party to write a letter to the United Nations, laying false claims to constitutionality and alleging that democracy is presently under threat?
“But then, we all understand that by its tone, this is an angry opposition unhappy about the loss of privileges they desperately want to hang on to, privileges now abolished by the prudent, austere Buhari Administration. “The former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, shocked the world by the revelation in her new book, titled, Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines, that they paid N17 billion bribe to the National Assembly to get them pass the 2015 budget.
“President Buhari’s first budget in 2016 was the first year of passing the budget without the bribery of legislators. He came to power to clean up the mess and has so far managed a cleaner government than all of the past administrations.”
The article said “the beneficiaries of the old order have since been complaining that they are being starved. Four more years of Buhari?”
“If by chance or accident you have a USD 16 billion question hanging on your neck, money large enough to construct the Lagos-Port Harcourt standard gauge railway and the massive Mambila power plant put together without borrowing a kobo, then you see a capacity in the change administration to end the shenanigans and get to the root of what happened with the money in that exercise, what do you do? Most people will say start running, scream it: that this change we voted for has gone too far. Foxy generals don’t wait to be caught.”
“It is the same thing with the narrative of suffering and hunger in the land, the blame which is unfairly being heaped on this administration. Understood in its proper meaning, it is just a way of saying that the country’s ghastly and complicated corruption industry, which provides inestimable amounts of disposable incomes to public servants and elected officials is being shut down. What government has done in the trade and investment sector, and in other processes of government are illustrative of this. Government has been streamlining systems as a result of which there is transparency and fewer rules.”