Musa, Yakassai warn government against political turmoil
• PDP senators pass no-confidence vote on APC government
• Party accuses Buhari of vendetta against Ekiti governor
• Fayose denies benefitting from arms deal scam
Two elder statesmen and Arewa leaders, Alhaji Abdulkadri Balarabe Musa and Tanko Yakassai yesterday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately intervene in the crisis leading to the freezing of the bank account of Ekiti Governor, Mr. Ayo Fayose and attempt by government to prosecute the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu on allegation of forgery.
They warned Buhari against the negative implications of throwing the country into a “fascist regime,” and the likelihood of a constitutional crisis as a result of the current problem emanating from the present dilemma confronting Fayose and the leaders of the Senate
Also, the strained relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government worsened yesterday as senators elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) addressed a press conference withdrawing their support for the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.
The senators based their decision on what they called the unwarranted threats to the legislature, particularly the Senate leadership by the executive arm of government as well as the intimidation and persecution of PDP members.
”The PDP caucus wishes to reiterate that we will no longer support the APC government until they cease the belligerent attitude towards PDP members,” the senators said.
In a related development, the leadership of the PDP yesterday asked the Presidency to stop what it described as witch hunt against leaders of opposition.
In a statement , the party said it “has been observing with dismay, the dangerous trend of politically motivated trials and tyrannical administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressive Congress (APC)
The senators’ press conference which was addressed by Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Mr. Emmanuel Bwacha, and attended by all PDP senators, pointed out that the witch-hunt of perceived political opponents by the APC government could lead to anarchy.
They, therefore, resolved among others , as follows: ”That we condemn in totality the orchestrated plot to remove the President of the Senate and his Deputy through an illegal means. The deployment of state instruments of coercion to intimidate an independent arm of government like the legislature is now a major threat to the survival of our democracy; that the war against corruption should not be selective, must be fought with sincerity and not the politics that is being played now with ‘war against corruption’. We, therefore, condemn in strong terms the sentiments displayed in fighting corruption; the freezing of the account of the Ekiti State governor is clearly a political witch-hunt.
“Finally, the PDP Caucus wishes to reiterate that we will no longer support the APC government until it ceases the belligerent attitude towards PDP members.”
The PDP leadership, in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 described the freezing of the personal account of Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State as “unlawful, undemocratic, autocratic, oppressive, draconian and to say the least, the height of desperation by the Buhari administration to cover up for its failure to deliver on his campaign promises to Nigerians.”
Prince Dayo Adeyeye, a member of the PDP National Caretaker Committee who spoke to the media on behalf of the party said events in the country in recent times have shown that President Buhari and the APC have no agenda for nation building but on a revenge mission. “This government is all out to silence any voice of the opposition”, he decried.
“Nigerians will recall that Chief Olisa Metuh, the former National Publicity Secretary of our great Party is today standing trial for receiving campaign funds and that one of the known opposition voices apart from some individuals and governors of our party that have exposed the APC-led administration for running the country aground in the last one year , the former spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, Chief Femi Fani Kayode; and he is now standing trial for receiving campaign funds from the Director of Finance of the Campaign”
“President Buhari and his APC have introduced a dangerous trend in our polity and if this is not checked or curtailed immediately, Nigeria may be heading to an imperial-rule where the leader of the nation is a supreme ruler dictating who survives at the expense of Nigeria Constitution”.
Musa who is the chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and former Governor of Kaduna State said yesterday, while reacting to the Fayose saga,
“We are quite sure from all the evidence we have gathered that there is selectivity in the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal Government,” pointing out that “of course, other governors in the country should be investigated if Fayose could be investigated.
“And their bank accounts should also be scrutinised and frozen if they are found to be corrupt. Certainly, there seems to be selective probe, if Fayose alone is singled out.”
Besides, Alhaji Musa expressed concern over the forgery controversy that emanated in the Senate, saying, “we are terribly concerned about the situation in the Senate because this may lead to a serious political crisis in Nigeria.”
According to him, “it can lead to an attempt by the government to undermine the Senate and by implication the National Assembly. And if this is done, then the implication is that the President will be a dictator. He will work alone according to his agenda.
“Now, this action against the National Assembly by the Presidency implies that there is an attempt to destroy the National Assembly to enable the president to work alone and, at the same time, apply fascist measures in the country.
Meanwhile, Yakassi, who is also the chairman of Northern Elders Council (NEC) in a telephone interview with The Guardian yesterday, said: “I think it is now certain that presidents, governors and other serving public officers can be investigated and their bank accounts frozen. But, the President, Vice President and deputy governors are conferred with immunity by the constitution. The things that are happening these
days make me develop some fears about this country.”
While lamenting Fayose’s ordeal and that of the Senate President and his deputy, Yakassai said, “I want you to read the history of Nazi Party, with particular reference with the formation of Gestapo,” and stressed that “after Hitler came to power, he merged the party with the police and other security agencies put everybody in Germany in fear.
“And if care is not taken, to start with one governor in Nigeria, it will end up with everyone in the whole country. So, I think the media in this country should immediately help to rescue this country from dictatorship. If you don’t do it then you are not performing your duty in a democracy.”
He continued: “I am 90 years now; I’m on my way going. You have a duty to protect democracy in this country. I know what we did when Olusegun Obasanjo denied Lagos State Government of its statutory allocation. He is a military man and I’m not afraid of any military man in government. However, the right thing must be done. We must protect our democracy”.
Meanwhile, Fayose has denied claims by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that his campaign was funded by the Office of the former National Security Adviser (ONSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.
Fayose, however, disclosed that his camp was funded by a bank , fundraising, donations from friends and associates as well as sales of campaign souvenirs.
He said, “I have no financial transaction whatsoever with Dasuki and Obanikoro either by cash, cheque or electronic transfer.”
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, the governor challenged the EFCC to publish statements made by Obanikoro, his son or any other person associated with money from the NSA office where they claimed they gave him money for the election.
“EFCC is only acting a movie scripted, produced and directed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of President Muhammadu
Buhari just to silence me being a major opposition voice in the country,” Adelusi added.