How Money Politics, Promise Of Automatic Ticket To Lawmakers Threaten Al-Makura’s Seat
In Nasarawa State, denials continued to come from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Presidency and the state Assembly over sponsored plots to impeach Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, but unfolding events have put questions on such denials. First, earlier denials that the deputy governor, Dameshi Barau Luka, was going to dump the APC for the PDP, in the initial stage to enthrone the PDP in the state with the subsequent impeachment of Al-Makura, were rubbished by the eventual defection of the deputy on March 3. He had claimed he defected because Al-Makura betrayed him.
Then came the ideas of probing the governor, after an initial one in November of 2013, which was dumped midway. The probe was rushed, and a report into the investigation was hurriedly compiled. Few days after, 16 of the 24 members of the Assembly rushed back from an on-going recess and held an emergency session where they passed a motion of impeachment containing allegations of fraud and abuse of office. The deputy governor was spared in the impeachment notice.
Sources said a member of the National Conference in Abuja brokered the deal for members, part of which was that they would benefit from automatic ticket for re-election to return to the House in 2015, an allegation Mohammed Baba Ibaku (PDP, Udege/Loko) swiftly denied. An earlier report had also alleged that 20 members were invited penultimate week and promised N1 billion as gratification to impeach Al-Makura, an allegation Ibaku and the PDP spokesman, Olisa Metu swiftly denied. These allegations came penultimate week. It was followed by series of meetings in Lafia, first with the PDP members of the National Assembly, and second, with the state PDP structure.
The allegations also said that an impeachment notice was already written ahead of the planned members’ return from the recess, with inputs from the Presidency, the PDP national leadership, as well as the PDP members of the National Assembly. Incidentally, the impeachment notice was greeted with anger from the people, as protesters poured into the streets of Lafia, in opposition. Government had to move in the military to contain the protesters, but it is not clear what would happen next as traditional rulers and opinion leaders have waded into crisis, ostensibly to halt the impeachment moves.
Culled from Sunday Trust
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