Friday, 31 August 2018

Ex-VP Sambo Denies Defection Rumours

Immediate past Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, is still very much committed to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and has no plans to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), competent sources close to the party in Kaduna State said on Wednesday. They dismissed rumours gaining the ground in the Ex-VP’s home state, Kaduna, that he is about to cave in to purported pressure from the anti-graft agencies to join the ruling party or face trial for imaginary corruption cases.                 

“I can tell you categorically that Arc Sambo is not under any pressure from any quarters to defect to APC or any party for that matter to purportedly save his neck. He has served his state and country to the best of his ability. In all the positions he has held, the former Vice President made transparency and probity his watch words, so there is nothing with which to blackmail him to leave PDP, a party which he toiled with other patriots and like minds to build,” the competent source from the People’s Democratic Party in Kaduna said.

According to the source, “The claim that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is putting any pressure on the former Vice President due to some corruption infraction is not only false but unfounded. The anti-graft agency has investigated him on the strength of the whistle blower policy and as it stands the whistle blower is now in jail for supplying false information to the Commission – the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has prosecuted him for fraudulent misrepresentation and Arc Sambo’s Kaduna residence which was damaged as a result of the forced entry was repaired. In the same vein, the EFCC had distanced itself from the raid carried out in his Kaduna residence while the one in his Abuja office carried out by the EFCC did not yield any negative outcome as all his items removed were returned and his office earlier damaged was repaired by the anti-graft agency.”

The source noted that the recent renewed media attacks against the former Vice President may not be unconnected with the gubernatorial contests within the PDP family in Kaduna State. He said: “The late entry of Mohammed Sani Sidi, former Director General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), into the race has elicited commentaries as to the reasons for his sudden entry. While some speculate that his entry into the race is due to prompting by the former Vice President, others are of the view that incumbent governor, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufa’i, is sponsoring him. Like all other permutations, this is entirely a false assertion as the Ex-VP – being an elder statesman – has no business with the sponsorship of any candidate.”           

On the presence of the former Vice President at some events of the APC Government, the source went further to say that : “It is foolhardy for anyone to suggest that Arc Sambo has any ceremonial relationship with the APC just because he attends some events organised by the APC-led government. Governor el-Rufai invited His Excellency to the commissioning of the first phase of the Zaria water project, which Arc Sambo started during his days as Kaduna State Governor and had attained some appreciable level of completion before he left for Abuja to assume the office of Vice President. He attended the event because it was one of his legacy projects. The second event to which he was invited and attended was the 100 years centennial celebration of Kaduna State. Do these two invitations and attendance make him anything less PDP?                     

“At the national level, the former Vice President has attended only events for which he belongs in the protocol list of government. His visitations to the incumbent President and Vice President were in honor of legitimate invitations and in some cases retaliatory from them.                              

“It is instructive to further state that the former VP has attended all the PDP functions to which he was invited. He was at the two National Conventions of the party and North-West zonal meetings to which he was invited.”  

The source laughed off insinuations that Arc Sambo is sponsoring the presidential ambition of leading PDP aspirant Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, SAN, describing it as “diversionary and high-level mischief”.                     

Contacted for comments, Arc Sambo’s Media Adviser, Umar Sani, said: “We have no time to join issues with the mischief makers peddling these falsehoods. The former VP has no stain of corruption and so has nothing to be afraid of. He is not under any pressure and will neither defect to APC nor will he ever abandon PDP under any guise.”

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