Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Defection To APC Won’t Shield Corrupt Politicians From Prosecution —Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government on Monday assured that the gale of defection in the nation’ s party politics will not shield any corrupt politician from investigation and prosecution .

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed , gave the assurance when he paid an official visit to the Abuja office of The Authority newspaper .

Fielding questions from members of the editorial board of the paper, the minister said that defection, even to the ruling All Progressives Congress , would not immune politicians who had looted the nation’ s economy from being prosecuted.

“Nigerians should be rest assured that the fact that some persons are moving from one party to another does not mean that they will escape prosecution .

“Nobody will escape investigation and prosecution on the ground that he or she has moved to APC .

“We have shown that with a former governor and a member of our party that was convicted . We will never terminate anybody’ s prosecution on the ground of decamping .

“However , it is not for the Executive to do the work of the Judiciary , ’’ he said.

The minister said that the defections being witnessed were not premised on the allegation of escaping justice.
He said some defected for “political calculation and personal reasons. ”

Meanwhile , the minister had reiterated that the ruling party was not perturbed by the gale of defection, especially by members of the National Assembly.

“We did not just start noticing this . The foundation for it was laid the day Dr. Bukola Saraki became the Senate President.

“In every part of the world , when a party has the majority in Parliament, the party decides who is going to be the leader of the parliament .

“This is a case where the party was still waiting for the President to resolve the issue when Saraki , from the back door, emerged as Senate President .

“From then, we have known , because his emergence was illegal and against the wish of the party , ’’ he said.

The minister said that to make the matter worse, Saraki made a deal with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party , by conceding the Deputy Senate President’ s position .

“In the last two years, the National Assembly has been behaving as if the opposition was in control. We have a Senate President that is so hostile to the government.

“For three years, budgets are passed only in June. As I speak today, there has been no disbursement on capital project in the 2018 budget.

“Critical appointments are also being delayed and the government is being blackmailed every day , ’’ Mohammed alleged.

“I have never seen in history where a leader of parliament will announce the defection of 15 members from his own party .

“The proper thing is , if you are loyal to your party , you put stumbling blocks on such defection, ’’ the minister argued .

Mohammed said that Kwara, his state and that of Saraki, which is the epicenter of the defection, remained solidly behind APC and Buhari .

( NAN )

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