The Presidency has agreed to give freed former Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) chair Chief Bode George a state pardon, if he ensures the victory of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State in next month’s polls, the Action Congrss of Nigeria (ACN) alleged yesterday.
ACN, in a statement said: ‘’The deal, cut at a meeting in the Presidential Villa in Abuja is simple: If Bode George delivers Lagos, he will receive a state pardon for his corruption conviction for which he spent two years in the gulag.’’
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in the statement issued in Ilorin, Kwara State, that everything George needs for this capture has been provided by his masters.
‘’The implication is that even President Goodluck Jonathan, for all his sweet words on ensuring free and fair elections and avoiding unethical measures to win at all cost, is ready to do anything just to ‘’capture’’ Lagos for his party. This is sad.’’
But ACN said it would not lose sleep over the alleged deal, since the battle of Lagos will be fought by the people of Lagos themselves, having realised the giant strides made by the party in the renewal of Lagos since the present political dispensation started in 1999.
‘’We make bold to say that none of the country’s 36 states has witnessed the kind of rapid development, security and peace, infrastructural renewal and growth that Lagos has experienced under the ACN in the past 12 years or so. It is the people who have enjoyed these dividends of democracy, therefore, that Bode George and his pay masters will have to contend with next month, deal or no deal,’’ the party said.
It said that the belief in PDP circles that the morally-challenged George can actually deliver Lagos is the biggest insult that can be passed on the people of Lagos.
‘’This is a man who, without the opprobrium of going to jail for corruption, could not deliver Lagos to the PDP. Now, with an added baggage of corruption conviction and doing time at the nation’s maximum prison, how can he lead a people who are strong believers in accountability, transparency and good governance? Where will he get the moral courage to lead this battle of Lagos? Has Bode George not worsened his case by his failure to show penitence after serving time?’’ ACN asked.
The party said the latest deal between the Federal Government and George has shown the PDP for what it is, a party of anything goes!
‘’We are not surprised at this deal. After all, President Jonathan appeared at the same rally with the same man, even when he has refused to show contrition for his action, and has instead blamed everyone but himself for the fate that befell him. Sincere penitence, we must add, is the minimum requirement for any convict wishing to be reintegrated into the society,’’ ACN said.