Former Lagos State governor Chief Ahmed Bola Tinubu yesterday said the federal government is planning to try former governor of Adamawa State Murtala Nyako, after forcefully removing him, on a treasonable felony that might see Nyako being imprisoned for life.
In a statement made available to journalists in Lagos, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said President Goodluck Jonathan’s ambition of gluing himself to power could destroy the nation’s democracy.
“This kangaroo impeachment is government’s way of punishing Nyako. The plan is to use the content of the letter he wrote to the northern governors as a basis to try him for treasonable felony and eventually sentence him to life imprisonment.
“Nyako’s frank, if rough-edged, letter concerning the security situation apparently infuriated the monarch of Aso Villa who has become so arrogant as to believe no opposition against him is justified; thus he has the liberty to impose his brand of injustice to crush those who oppose him. Before our eyes and under Jonathan’s watch, Nigeria is gradually descending to fascism. We must all act now before it consumes us all,” he said.
According to him, Nyako’s impeachment is an aberration of Nigeria’s constitution and a setback to the nation’s democracy: “Under the constitution, a governor can only be impeached for ‘gross misconduct’. For the PDP, Nyako’s crime was not the false allegations contained in the articles of impeachment.
“Perhaps, Governor Nyako’s greatest sin is his temerity to speak truth to power albeit in a courageous way. On two different occasions, he gave an unvarnished insight into the Boko Haram menace and the insecurity engulfing northern Nigeria.
“At the Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, this year, when he visited with other northern governors, he placed the blame for the Boko Haran insurgency on the Jonathan presidency.
“He then followed this up with a detailed letter to the forum of the Northern governors in which he accused the Jonathan-led government of genocide against the north. This rattled and unsettled the government.
“In impeaching Governor Nyako, the PDP used the constitution to abuse the constitution and the democracy it is supposed to enshrine. Governor Nyako’s impeachment must be seen completely as a political move to punish him and deter others from leaving the PDP.”
He argued that, if there were really cases of misconduct, the House of Assembly wouldn’t have waited till he left the PDP.
“Upon leaving the PDP, his actions suddenly became the meat for impeachment. There is only one thing new which was not then present. The governor’s political party affiliation changed. In the PDP’s mind, his party change transmitted him from the list of those to be praised to the list of those to be persecuted.
“He and the PDP contrived the removal of Governor Nyako from office. This is a temporary and costly victory for it reveals more and more the undemocratic heart of the man who rules over the nation.
“He now justifies his illegal and immoral acts by claiming that any show of dissent or opposition to him is the product of partisanship and thus not to be seriously considered.
“This is what all dictators tell themselves and he has become one. As such, he believes he can turn his back on the will and welfare of the people in order to attain his personal ambitions. Yet, while he may ignore the people, even he cannot make them disappear nor can he keep them for seeing him for what he is.
“If he truly believes the false acclaim of his coterie and party dregs are genuine, let him stop these contrived attacks against opposition politicians. If he believes so much in himself, let the people decide things at the polls.”
He added that impeaching duly elected opposition politicians will not increase the president’s and the ruling party’s popularity.