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The man who released the #GandujeGate videos explains why it matters

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The man who released the #GandujeGate videos explains why it matters

Jafaar Jafaar, the publisher of Daily Nigerian, the online platform responsible for releasing the controversial videos of Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, has urged anti-corruption agencies to take legal action against the governor.

Backstory: Jafaar said in an interview with Thisday newspapers that the videos, which showed Ganduje, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), collecting bribes from contractors, was a litmus test for the federal government and the APC.

“If the APC government, the government that has been preaching the gospel of anti-corruption, preaching the gospel of sincerity, preaching the gospel of equality, fails to do anything about something of this magnitude, then the fight against corruption is just a ruse,” Jafaar said from a safe house following alleged threats to his life.

On why he chose to release the tapes, Ganduje said he wants it to serve as a deterrent to other governors who are in the habit of collecting bribes from contractors. “I was driven by two things, really. As a journalist – every journalist will like to have some good reports (exclusives or scoops) that will grab international attention. That’s one. Another point is that the videos can go a long way in providing sanity to our system – especially to the governors collecting kickbacks.

“Because they have seen the embarrassment videos have caused their colleagues, they will think twice and hard before doing anything unseemly. I think the story will serve as a deterrent and make the society better. This should make the governors stop collecting kickbacks or reduce their frequency of collecting kickbacks.”

He said he has no regrets and would do it again if the opportunity presents itself. “Even if the Kano State governor gives me his seat as a governor and says, ‘Come and become governor of Kano State but don’t publish those videos of me collecting bribes,’ I will rather publish the videos than become the governor of Kano State.”

Bottom line: It is still too soon to tell if Jaafar’s efforts will yield any tangible results. The Kano State House of Assembly has said it will invite “independent experts” to analyze the video. Considering that the APC has the majority in the assembly, it remains to be seen how the investigations will be handled. Ultimately, the assembly is one of only two institutions with the power to take action against the governor. He is covered by immunity and so the government’s anti-corruption agencies are technically powerless to act. The other institution with powers to act are citizens who would go to the polls in February to elect leaders. If they feel convinced by the tapes, then they would express their feelings with their votes.

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