The Action Congress of Nigeria has raised the alarm that the Federal Government has promised the former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, a state pardon if he wins Lagos State for the PDP.
George was recently freed from prison where he was incarcerated for two years for abuse of office, contract splitting and willful disobedience to lawful order.
The ACN said the move reflected the desperation of the PDP-led Federal Government to ‘capture’ Lagos at all costs in the April general elections.
According to a statement by the ACN Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Thursday, the deal entails George winning Lagos State for the PDP and his slate would be wiped clean.
He 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 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.”
The ACN said it would not lose any sleep over the deal, since the battle of Lagos would be fought by the people of the state, having realised the giant strides made by the party in the renewal of Lagos since the return to democracy 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 that George and his pay masters will have to contend with next month, deal or no deal,’’ the party said.
It said, however, that asking George to deliver Lagos was insult.
“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?”
Efforts to get the presidential spokesman, Ima Niboro, to comment on the matter did not succeed as calls to his phone did not go through and he didn’t reply an SMS sent to him