by Ibrahim Faruk
What started as a quiet week quickly exploded with the news of the granting of presidential pardons to former Chief of Staff Supreme Military Council, and brother of the late President, Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua; former Chief of General Staff, Oladipo Diya and former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha among others, as well as the viral video interview of the Lagos State Commandant of the NSCDC on Channels Television and the #OgaAttheTop trends. Not
to forget the drama over the rights to the acronym ‘APC’ as the battle for 2015 continues to gain momentum.
Here are the top 7 quotes for this weeks round-up.
1. “The country was in a very serious crisis and we had to find the solution to these problems. Therefore we need a leader. A leader who is known in the country. So, we looked for a man who has been involved in the affairs of this country, who held position either in the military or in the cabinet and who has certain beliefs about Nigeria. All of us that were trained in the armed forces, there is one belief that you cannot take away from us, we believe in this country because this is part of our training. We fought for this country.”
– Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, on a weekly programme on Liberty FM – a privately owned radio station in Kaduna – “Guest-of-the Week”, explained the rationale behind the choice of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as the country’s President in 1999.
2. “As regards the statement by Mr. President that we are ghosts, let me say with due respect that we are not ghosts; we have sat with officials of the Borno State Government and a delegation of Northern State Governors’ Forum on Peace and Reconciliation, headed by Air Vice Marshall Mukhtar Muhammad (rtd.).”
– In a statement signed by Sheikh Muhammad Abdul’aziz, and distributed to journalists in Maiduguri, a faction of Boko Haram took exception to President Goodluck Jonathan’s statement during his recent state visit to Yobe and Borno States that members of the sect were “ghosts.”
3. “We challenge the cowards behind the so-called African People’s Congress to come forth and defend their position or forever hold their peace. On our part, the three political parties, part of APGA and others seeking to merge are steadily and resolutely taking all the steps necessary for the merger as provided under the Constitution and the Electoral Act. We have elected representatives in all tiers of government.
“We have written to INEC about this ugly development with the hope that INEC would not allow its credibility to be further undermined by political hirelings and their faceless sponsors who appear determined to truncate the democratic process. It is clearly a case of ‘the hands of Esau but the voice of Jacob.”
– Chief Tom Ikimi, chairman of the joint merger committee of the opposition parties to form the All Progressive Congress challenged the African Peoples Congress and INEC over the troubles facing the All Progressive Congress.
4. “The one that we are going to make use of is going to be made known by my oga at the top… yes… I can’t announce one now and the oga says it’s another one that we are going to use.”
– The Lagos State NSCDC Commandant, Mr Obafaiye Shem, who was interviewed on Channels Television and couldn’t tell his organisation’s website, causing the video to go viral.
5. “This decision undermines anti corruption efforts in Nigeria and encourages impunity. If the government is serious about uprooting public corruption, sanctions against those who betray the public trust should be strengthened, not relaxed.”
– Akere Muna, vice-chair of Transparency International, the global anti- corruption organisation, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to rescind the pardon granted to Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the former governor of the oil-rich state of Bayelsa, who was convicted for money laundering and other serious corruption offences in 2007
6. “In Nigeria history, great and eminent men who have been crucified for one crime or the other have been pardoned by past presidents and such men have lived thereafter to further enhance our political and socio-economic development. Amongst those are our respect departed sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the revered Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu who continued after their pardon to contribute immensely to Nigeria’s social political and economic growth till death. Gentlemen of the Press will recall that former Governor DSP Alamieyeseigha was removed from office in a manner that was suggested by many as not being entirely above board.”
– Doyin Okupe, the president’s special adviser on public affairs in an attempt to defend the widely condemned pardon granted to the former governor of Bayelsa state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
7. “We see this as a setback in the fight against corruption.”
– A tweet by the US Embassy in Nigeria, described the pardon for former governor of Bayelsa state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha as a setback for Nigeria in the fight against corruption.