Former Lagos State governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday said the federal government is planning to try former governor of Adamawa State Murtala Nyako, after forcefully removing him, on a treasonable felony that might see Nyako being imprisoned for life.
The Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he said, were behind the impeachment of Nyako. In a statement made available to journalists in Lagos, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said President Goodluck Jonathan’s ambition of gluing himself to power could destroy the nation’s democracy.
Tinubu said the government harassed the governor through the media, noting: “This kangaroo impeachment is government’s way of punishing Nyako. The plan is to use the content of the letter he wrote to the northern governors as a basis to try him for treasonable felony and eventually sentence him to life imprisonment.
“Nyako’s frank, if rough-edged, letter concerning the security situation apparently infuriated the monarch of Aso Villa who has become so arrogant as to believe no opposition against him is justified; thus he has the liberty to impose his brand of injustice to crush those who oppose him. Before our eyes and under Jonathan’s watch, Nigeria is gradually descending to fascism. We must all act now before it consumes us all,” he said.
He pointed out that Nyako’s impeachment is an aberration of Nigeria’s constitution and a setback to the nation’s democracy: “Under the constitution, a governor can only be impeached for ‘gross misconduct’. For the PDP, Nyako’s crime was not the false allegations contained in the articles of impeachment.
“Perhaps, Governor Nyako’s greatest sin is his temerity to speak truth to power albeit in a courageous way. On two different occasions, he gave an unvarnished insight into the Boko Haram menace and the insecurity engulfing northern Nigeria.
“At the Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, this year, when he visited with other northern governors, he placed the blame for the Boko Haran insurgency on the Jonathan presidency.
“He then followed this up with a detailed letter to the forum of the Northern governors in which he accused the Jonathan-led government of genocide against the north. This rattled and unsettled the government.
“In impeaching Governor Nyako, the PDP used the constitution to abuse the constitution and the democracy it is supposed to enshrine. Governor Nyako’s impeachment must be seen completely as a political move to punish him and deter others from leaving the PDP.”
He argued that, if there were really cases of misconduct, the House of Assembly wouldn’t have waited till he left the PDP.
“Upon leaving the PDP, his actions suddenly became the meat for impeachment. There is only one thing new which was not then present. The governor’s political party affiliation changed. In the PDP’s mind, his party change transmitted him from the list of those to be praised to the list of those to be persecuted.
“He and the PDP contrived the removal of Governor Nyako from office. This is a temporary and costly victory for it reveals more and more the undemocratic heart of the man who rules over the nation.
“He now justifies his illegal and immoral acts by claiming that any show of dissent or opposition to him is the product of partisanship and thus not to be seriously considered.
“This is what all dictators tell themselves and he has become one. As such, he believes he can turn his back on the will and welfare of the people in order to attain his personal ambitions. Yet, while he may ignore the people, even he cannot make them disappear nor can he keep them for seeing him for what he is.
“If he truly believes the false acclaim of his coterie and party dregs are genuine, let him stop these contrived attacks against opposition politicians. If he believes so much in himself, let the people decide things at the polls.”
He added that impeaching duly elected opposition politicians will not increase the president’s and the ruling party’s popularity.
Attempts to get reactions from Dr. Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity were not possible as both a text message and email sent to him went unanswered. Calls and texts sent to both Olisa Metu, National Publicity secretary of the PDP and Dr Doyin Okupe, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs were also not responded to.
Nyako’s commissioners to pitch tent with PDP soon
Some commissioners who served under former Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State for seven years are now courting the acting governor, Ahmad Umaru Fintiri, by planning to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The move of the commissioners followed a courtesy call they paid on the new acting governor less than 48 hours after Nyako was impeached, ostensibly to congratulate him but with a desire to shift their loyalty to him.
The leader of the delegation of the former commissioners who was also the chairman of the Commissioner’s Forum, Alhaji Aminu Iyawa, has been the most ardent supporter and loyalist of Governor Nyako’s regime in the last seven years.
Investigations by LEADERSHIP showed that some of the commissioners even lent support to the lawmakers, especially those who were affected by the cabinet reshuffle done by Nyako a few weeks before the impeachment proceedings commenced.
The speculation that the ex-commissioners are heading to the PDP was corroborated by a ranking PDP member in the state who pleaded anonymity: “Yes, we have been stating that most of the commissioners are not with Nyako but the governor refused to listen because the so-called commissioners were able to maintain their deceit on the governor, but the visit they paid to the acting governor has vindicated us.”
He added, “Very soon, we will receive them in a grand ceremony.”
However, during their visit to the acting governor, the former commissioners said that their former boss was destined to be impeached by God. The leader of the former commissioners, while delivering his speech, said they did everything humanly possible to reconcile the embattled governor with the lawmakers but their effort could not yield the desired result.
I have returned mandate to PDP – acting governor
Meanwhile, acting governor of Adamawa State Alhaji Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has visited the national leadership of the PDP and declared that he has returned the mandate from recently removed governor of the state Admiral Murtala Nyako (rtd).
He also pledged his loyalty to the national leadership of the PDP.
Fintiri, who spoke with journalists after a closed-door meeting with the deputy national chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, at Legacy House, Abuja, further declared that his assumption of office as acting governor signals the restoration of PDP to the people of Adamawa State.
He said, “As a loyal and obedient party member, I came on a courtesy call to my party and the National Working Committee, NWC, as my first assignment after the battle to remove Governor Nyako who had stolen the mandate of the PDP under which he was elected for eight years.”
He continued, “I came here to bring back the mandate and I have handed over to them the mandate. I promise that I will work together with the party, its leadership, the people of Adamawa to ensure that our party is restored to the people.”
The PDP national leadership however promised to give the acting governor all the support he needs, noting that the removal of Nyako would cleanse the rot the people of the state had experienced.
The national publicity secretary of PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, expressed confidence that Fintiri would restore dignity to the party and tackle “the rot and the damage caused the party by former governor Nyako”.