Defection won’t Stop Prosecution of Corrupt Politicians –FG
The Federal Government has declared that the gale of defection in the nation’s polity ahead of the 2019 general elections will not stop investigation and prosecution of corrupt politicians. It also accused the opposition of using fake news to de-market the Muhammadu Buhari administration. Of late, there have been movements of influential politicians from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Some of the politicians were believed to be defecting to APC in order to escape investigation and eventual prosecution by antigraft agencies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, while defecting to PDP recently, accused the ruling party of being “a sanctuary for the corrupt.”
But, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday stated that APC would not provide immunity for corrupt politicians who had looted the nation’s economy from being prosecuted.
His words: “Nigerians should be rest assured that the fact that some persons are moving from one party to another does not mean that they will escape prosecution. “Nobody will escape investigation and prosecution on the ground that he or she has moved to APC.”
“We have shown that with a former governor and a member of our party that was convicted.”
We will never terminate anybody’s prosecution on the ground of decamping. “However, it is not for the executive to do the work of the judiciary.”
The minister, who spoke, noted that many of the defections being witnessed were not premised on the allegation of escaping justice. According to him, some defected for “political calculation and personal reasons.”
The minister had reiterated that the ruling party was not perturbed by the gale of defection, especially by members of the National Assembly. “We did not just start noticing this, the foundation for it was laid the day Dr. Bukola Saraki became the Senate president.”
“In every part of the world, when a party has the majority in parliament, the party decides who is going to be the leader of the parliament.”
“This is a case where the party was still waiting for the president to resolve the issue when Saraki, from the back door, emerged as Senate president.”
“From then, we have known, because his emergence was illegal and against the wish of the party,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohammed has accused the opposition of resorting to the use of fake news as a campaign tool against the Buhari administration ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The minister said because the Buhari’s administration is performing well, the opposition believed that the best way to de-market the administration is by latching on fake news to create religious and ethnic disharmony and throw the country into turmoil.
“With the Buhari administration delivering on its promises to fight corruption, build the nation’s economy and tackle insecurity, the opposition has realised it will not make any impact if it takes on the administration on that turf.”
“So, it has decided to take the easy route, which is to use fake news and hate speech to de-market the administration, pitch Christians against Muslims and one ethnic group against another,” he said.
Mohammed said the opposition has thrown caution to the wind in its futile attempt to divide Nigeria along ethnic and religious lines by using fake news to blame all the killings in parts of the country on herdsmen, ignoring the bands of deadly militia groups that are being sponsored by unscrupulous people to kill innocent people and put the nation on edge.
The minister said the fear the opposition harbours that when he is re-elected in 2019, President Buhari will consolidate on the fight against corruption, has thrown the opposition camp into confusion.
“Many politicians know that the only way to distract this government is to spread fake news and they are being very selfish and they have amassed so much wealth that they can continue to sponsor fake news at a very dangerous level for as long as they want.”
“Many of them have this morbid fear of the president being re-elected because they know that in his second term, the war against corruption will start yielding fruits. There are so many cases in court today and they are just praying and doing everything to distract this government so that their cases will be scuttled,” he stated.