Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gov. Isa Yuguda and Political Prostitution

As we know, Governor Isa Yuguda, who is also the son-in-law of President Yar’Adua, was elected as Governor of Bauchi on the platform of the ANPP in May 2007. However, on 14 April 2009 in a brief ceremony, the state Governor announced his defection to the PDP. Following his clash with All Nigeria’s People Party(ANPP) leadership over appointments into President Yar’Adua’s so-called ‘Government of National Unity, his defection did not come as a surprise to many political commentators. His celebrated marriage President Yar'adua's daughter in January this year only just confirmed the inevitable. Since Gov. Yuguda’s defection, there has been speculations about the future of his Deputy; Alhaji Garba Gadi. But in defiance to the decision of his boss, the Deputy Governor decided to stay put in ANPP.

This issue is now becoming a moving beast in Bauchi State. And according to the Thisday newspaper, the PDP led government has now reached a decision to impeach the Deputy Governor for not “defecting” from the ANPP to the PDP with his master. In fact, it was alleged that any member of Bauchi House of Assembly that signs the impeachment notice is expected to receive a sum of N10 million!

Whether the plot to impeach the Deputy Governor succeeds or not is a matter of time. The conundrum currently being faced by the Governor and lawmakers is that there is no impeachable offence been committed by the Deputy Governor. These sorts of issues only reiterate the obvious that our democracy is a sham..

When did refusal to practise ‘political prostitution’ become an impeachable offence? Whilst I’m not a supporter of the PDP or ANPP, I’m fully in support of Alhaji Gadi’s refusal to defect to the PDP. Section 188 of 1999 Constitution is very clear on the grounds, on which a Deputy Governor can be impeached. According to Section 188 (2)(b) a deputy Governor may only be removed from office if, “the holder of such office is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office, detailed particulars of which shall be specified”. In desperate move to remove the Deputy Governor, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the Governor and lawmakers conjure up something trivial. It is already been alleged that an investigation has been launched by Gov. Yuguda’s “inner caucus” into all financial approvals given by the Deputy Governor since May 2007. This is of course aimed at finding a “smoking gun”, which can be used an excuse to impeach the Deputy Governor.

Secondly, we need to ask ourselves, how can a serving Governor defect to an opposition party whilst keeping his seat? It is not the first time that elected politicians will ‘jump ship’. If I could remember, sometime ago, a member of the Senate from Lagos State also decamped to the PDP from Action for Democracy (AD) It is also important to note that Gov. Yuguda is not the first serving Governor to defect to the opposition party. The current Governor of Zamfara State also decamped from ANPP. I can only compare this attitude to daylight ‘electoral fraud’. It is bad enough that we have an electoral process that is awash with violence, intimidation, forgery etc. But how can you describe a situation, where elected politicians switch platforms. The people of Bauchi State did not vote for the PDP. And if Gov. Yuguda his confident about his popularity, he can choose to do what his honourable, resign and seek re-election under the banner of PDP.

This is what happens in a society where politicians do not have any democratic value. Our political system is awash with ‘professional’ politicians, who are devoid of modern political ideologies. These professionals will do anything to perpetuate themselves in power. What does Gov. Yuguda actually stand for? What are his political ideologies? Is he on the left or on the right? Do his principles align with that of PDP? The fact that he is the President’s son-in-law does not mean they have to share the same political ideology.

The current trend of defection by elected politicians must stop! These politicians cannot expect to eat their cake and have it. Any elected politicians that defects to another political party should be made to stand down and seek re-election. The loophole within our electoral system that allows this to happen must be plugged.

And we really need to ask ourselves, is this, what is called democracy? How can the will of a few bigots continue to be enforced on the majority? We need to rid our system of charlatans and political jobbers. They seem to have mastered the art of deception, greed and fraud. But as I always say, the clock is ticking………….

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