The founder and convener of The Egalitarian Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Kayode Ajulo has criticized the frantic spate of decampment of politicians nationwide into the folds of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the wake of the party’s emergence as the ruling party as “desperate, venal, and self-seeking behavior” on the part of the decampees.
Speaking with journalists Wednesday in Abuja, Ajulo, a legal practitioner whose non-profit organization was established to champion human rights, justice and equity across Africa, described the action of the decamping politicians as an “exodus borne of self-preserving instincts of dishonourable characters within the erstwhile ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP” while raising an alarm that the APC was being subtly turned to a sanctuary by “shady characters from the PDP who want to escape the long arm of the law”.
“The deluge of defections into the ruling All Progressives Congress should be a matter of concern for discerning and well-meaning Nigerians who want a country founded on justice, equity and the rule of law.
“Let no one be deceived by this trend of defections; it is nothing but a desperate measure enacted by corrupt politicians to evade prosecutions for crimes committed,” Ajulo said.
The legal luminary who is also the National Secretary of the Labour Party, wondered why the affected politicians were suddenly falling over themselves to align with the ruling APC even though in the build-up to the 2015 elections, many of the defecting politicians claimed to have no confidence in the candidature of Muhammadu Buhari who later emerged winner at the presidential polls.
“These are people who vigorously opposed the bid of President Buhari during the campaign season, now he (Buhari) and his party, APC, have become the beautiful bride being courted by many suitors. Initially, it was assumed that the decampees were ‘porting’ to the ruling party because they wanted continued access to the huge funds accessible by association with the party now in power. However, a close look at these characters have showed that they see the APC as some sort of haven and they are flocking into it not so much because they are chasing money but actually because they are fleeing from accountability and possible prosecution,” he said.
Expressing fears that the trend was ominous, Ajulo called for vigilance on the part of civil society and the international community also stating that the current spate of defections portends grave dangers for the nation’s democracy and President Buhari’s anti-corruption agenda.
“It is very regrettable that the very ones that Nigerians would have expected to speak out against this travesty are keeping mute because they are also lobbying for choice appointments within President Buhari’s cabinet.
“The president should be very wary of those scheming to enter the ranks of his party because this would go a long way to determine the results of his much publicized war against corruption. President Buhari should be mindful of the fact that he rose to office on the platform of incorruptibility, and the fact that Nigerians were convinced to vote him in because of two main factors: they wanted change, and his anti-corruption stand convinced them that he is the man for the job,” Ajulo said.
He further stated that the recent spate of defections into his party may very well cripple his good intentions to rid Nigeria of corruption, and any attempt to indulge the decampees by shielding them from corruption would effectively truncate his war against corruption and erode the massive goodwill that he currently enjoys from Nigerians.
“The president should leverage on the confidence that Nigerians have repsed in him by adopting a non-partisan stance as he executes his war against corruption in Nigeria. Furthermore, he should take the opportunity to convince skeptics by starting the house-cleaning from his own party- the APC. President Buhari should take a cue from the Apostle Paul who wrote in the book of scriptures that “judgment shall begin from the house of God” and that “if we judge ourselves, then only are worthy to judge others”.
He charged the civil society and the international community to be relentless in beaming their searchlight on the performance and activities of all political office holders regardless of the party they belong to, stating that only an impartial war against corruption would be acceptable to Nigerians everywhere.
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