Senate Presidency: Don’t support candidate with criminal record – Group tells Tinubu

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president, has been admonished to heed the advice from the Nigerian media, distinguished leaders, and groups across the nation and refrain from supporting any candidate under investigation by the anti-graft agencies to lead the National Assembly, which is set to be inaugurated on Tuesday.

For whatever reasons, the National Movement for Good Leadership and Greater Nigeria said it was inauspicious for the President or the ruling All Progressives Congress APC to flagrantly support a person who has been variously accused of economic and financial crimes and already being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for the number three position in the country, the Senate Presidency.

Leading by example, the Nigeria’s new President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, according to Honorable Isaiah Adanu the National Coordinator of the movement, should be in the vanguard of promoting probity, accountability and good governance by not only preaching good character and integrity , but by ensuring that only clean Nigerians are elevated to top government positions.

Speaking at the unveiling of a special advisory compendium put together on the leadership of the 10th National Assembly in Abuja on Saturday, Honorable Adanu stated that virtually all the newspapers in Nigeria have called the attention of the President to the implications of supporting Senator Godswill Akpabio and or any of the legislators-elect being currently investigated by the anti-graft agencies to occupy the exalted position of Senate President.

In addition, the Greater Nigeria Movement Coordinator disclosed that eminent Nigerians and groups all over the country had spoken too against the support being given to Senator Akpabio by the president and APC with some staging protests and a group of women from Akpabio’s South-South threatening to go naked if the imposition prevailed.

Referring to editorials, news items and articles in the credible national dailies, the Benue State born Hon. Adanu said that the papers including the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Thisday, Vanguard, Nigerian Tribune, Premium Times, The Guardian, Daily Trust, Punch, Daily Times, Leadership, National Star, Aljazir, Blueprint, Business Day News direct and others have pointedly cautioned the new government and APC against further criminalization of politics and governance in Nigeria by the planned elevation of people with criminal cases to exalted government positions.

Exemplifying the editorials with the Late Sage Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo owned Nigerian Tribune, the longest surviving private newspaper in Nigeria, Honorable Adanu said:

“In its editorial titled ‘Political positions and leaders with integrity questions’, the Nigerian Tribune submits: the idea of top aspirants for leadership positions in the National Assembly being persons with integrity questions hanging on them without their political parties and Nigerians in general expressing disquiet about this is utterly reprehensible. How could it be that people with pending corruption cases are the ones mostly penciled in for the highest offices in the National Assembly? The optics, in spite of the much ballyhooed corruption fight of the President Muhammadu Buhari government, is terrible

“The impression has been created that the surest way to paper over any corruption allegation within the body politic is to seek higher offices, perhaps as a backhanded reward for the corruption tag. This evidently sends very wrong signals that the country is not just incapable of fighting corruption, but is in fact ready to celebrate it and keep reveling in it.

“Yet the leadership in the country pretends that it is interested in foreign investments and is keen to attract them in order to improve the economy, only that we do not know of any serious investor, except ones also favorably disposed to corruption and seeking an opportunity to further extend their corrupt tentacles, that would want to venture into the visibly corrupt environment being presented in Nigeria.

“More unfortunate is the fact that with the current deluge of integrity-challenged people in the public space, thus depriving the country of integrity-conscious leaders. We hope that these persons with integrity questions and those sponsoring and supporting them will soon realize the futility of their macabre dance, as the overall weakening of the moral fiber of the society and the resultant lack of quality progress and development will affect all, including themselves. Nonetheless, the higher responsibility is for the general public to be much more discerning in voting and electing quality leaders and shunning those with integrity questions.

The coordinator of the Good Leadership and Greater Nigeria Movement therefore appealed to the President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress to heed the advice as succinctly given by the newspaper established by the most respected, adored and successful leader in the South West till date, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and others to guarantee discipline and good governance Nigeria badly needs.

At the occasion, the movement launched a compendium giving 20 cogent reasons why one of the leading aspirants for the position of Senate President, Senator Osita Izunaso is the best and most suitable person among those contesting for the post.

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