A non-governmental organisation, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), has queried the propriety of the choice of the two governorship candidates by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
This came on the heels of the recent emergence of former Governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu and former Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Timipre Sylva as candidates of the APC governorship elections, scheduled to hold in Kogi and Bayelsa states on November 21, 2015 and December 5, 2015 respectively.
All Progressives Congress’s candidate for the Kogi State governorship election, Prince Abubakar Audu’s public records is that of a man that has been described in many derogatory adjectives ever since he left office as governor in 2003. It is well documented that he has been hurled severally before several judges and on various issues. Mr. Audu was recently being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, of misappropriating N11 billion of the state’s funds while he was governor between 1999 and 2003.
Mr. Sylva was also docked alongside his co-accused in July 2014 for allegedly using three companies to siphon funds from Bayelsa state treasury between 2009 and 2012. A fresh plea over a six-count criminal charge was filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. He is said to be facing trial over the allegation that he masterminded the illegal diversion of funds from the Bayelsa State treasury while in power. He was specifically accused of siphoning over N6.5 billion from the Bayelsa State treasury between October 2009 and February 2010.
CACOL’s Executive Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran, frowned at the choice of the ruling party’s governorship candidates. He said, “The two candidates being presented by the ruling party in the two states are standing trial for corruption and we don’t think the party should allow those who have not discharged themselves of baggage of corruption to contest election, let alone win election. That would mean that they are allowing a danger that has been foreseen to cause catastrophe because, if they have not discharged themselves of corruption charges on account of their first term in office, they ought not to be allowed to cause further damage.
“Their integrity is still doubtful. So why should we allow them to go into the same office where we cannot be sure whether or not they are going to govern with integrity?”
Speaking further, Adeniran stressed that no sustainable democratic culture could be established as long as our No. 1 enemy, corruption, thrives. “This is why CACOL and other anti-corruption institutions and organisations should not relent in the fight against this seemingly untamable monster that had, overtime, assumed the overbearing status of an albatross that has constantly been terrifying the very existence of this nation by preventing corrupt elements from assuming political positions,” he said.
Adeniran said that CACOL believed President Buhari, as a leader in the ruling party, and one acknowledged to be a no-nonsense man on issues of corruption, could not afford to be neither be too deaf nor blind to the long list of allegations against Audu Abubakar and Timipere Sylva.