As a prelude to the 2015 general elections smart players in the political arena are already positioning themselves for vantage positions. One of these smart alecs is allegedly said to be former vice chairman (South West) of PDP and ex-convict Chief Olabode George. The former military administrator of Ondo State and retired naval chief, is now a in a new-found alliance with the vice president, Architect Namadi Sambo. The thrust of this strange relationship between the two is not far-fetched as Bode George, known to be a very deft political player, is strategically angling himself for plum positions in the scheme of things when Namadi Sambo’s 2015 presidential ambition finally rolls out.
Having run foul with his former boss and President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Bode George deems it fit now to swiftly make moves by way of fraternizing with another political heavyweight in order to still belong substantially in the PDP hierarchy. That heavyweight, if he can be called that, is the architect0turned-politican and incumbent vice president, Namadi Sambo.
Fresh facts abound on Bode George’s regular and frequent visits to Namadi Sambo’s official residence to discuss the possible modalities for actualizing Namadi Sambo’s 2015 dream. Bode George’s nocturnal visits to Sambo have become so rampant that many are wondering what type of fraternity could have suddenly transpired between the two if not for selfish and unfettered gains on the side of Bode George whose conviction for embezzling billions of Naira as chairman, NPA, almost sent him out of relevance in the PDP both at the national and state levels.
Interestingly, with all Bode George’s unwholesome record, he still belongs as a member of the PDP Board of Trustee, which some see as very laughable, and indeed rather unwise of the party as big as PDP.
A group of international and independent observers recently added bite to some of the strange developments within the rank and file of the party PDP. They were so graphical and detailed in their observations as you will read hereafter.
“It was commendable to see the ruling party PDP demonstrate such political maturity as a pacesetter to other parties in Nigeria. They were well organized and as independent and international observers we congratulate the PDP for a good Convention.
However, it is most unfortunate that a particular character cast a negative shadow and stigma on this assembly of leaders of the political class at various levels. The man happens to be an ex-convict who is a board of trustee member of the party and has returned from serving a prison term for gross embezzlement of government funds in billions!
Firstly, we find it difficult to believe that the PDP could accept for such a man to continue in the board of trustee and sit with eminent distinguished personalities like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and other accomplished politicians who have impeccable records. This could never happen in any other country in the world. In the USA, he would have resigned without being requested and would have left active partisan politics. The man was not just present at the convention but was moving around and trying very hard to be relevant and conspicuous.
It was very smart of those working with the President that they did not allow him to move close to the President for recognition or it would have amounted to the President endorsing and celebrating criminality!
The PDP must realize that the whole world is watching Nigeria and how it handles its anti-graft drive since corruption has been identified as the major factor militating against sustainable development of all the various sectors in the country. As the ruling party and the largest party in Africa, the PDP ought to be a pacesetter in this anti-corruption effort. Foreign countries within the International community are committing billions for Nigeria to fight corruption and would like to see some visible efforts in this regard to justify the funds from donor agencies. We also observed that the ex-convict was part of the planning committee and benefited from allowances and payments for the Convention.
The PDP needs to look into this as a matter of urgency and the new Chairman must prove his mettle by taking this issue on to ensure that this case will be seen as a litmus test for his administration. We therefore recommend that the ex-convict be suspended from the party immediately to demonstrate the party’s zero tolerance for corruption.
He should be removed as a member of the board of trustees of the party to serve as a deterrent to others who may wish to loot government coffers.
He should be stripped off the National honour he received several years ago, (CON) so as not to ridicule the award and embarrass those distinguished eminent citizens who proudly share the same honour. When a man is honoured and he abuses such privileges and commits a financial crime which leads to prosecution with conviction, and serves the prison term, he has dishonoured the award and should be stripped off it immediately. This is the way it is done in any other countries in the world and should serve as a deterrent to other distinguished persons who are ex-convicts.
We therefore expect President Jonathan to address this immediately as the world is waiting for his response to this celebration of criminality in public.
Most importantly, the President should not be persuaded into granting a Presidential pardon to an ex-convict who has looted government funds shamelessly as this would make a mockery of the anti-corruption stance and we the International community would reconsider the funds we are sending to Nigeria to fight this cause.
We also understand the man has not refunded the stolen loot and if he has, it is better to make it public as there are government properties that he is supposed to have sold without authorization or rendering account of the funds of the sale.
We advise the Presidency to desist from permitting ex-convicts from visiting the Presidential villa and attending meetings with eminent citizens therein.
Nigeria should be able to manage without an ex-convict running affairs for the PDP at any level. It is a disgrace and the man’s performance at the National Convention of the PDP last week was a great show of shame. There are other resourceful men and women in the party.
We are looking forward to some steps to address this situation within the PDP and would appreciate their cooperation for the best interest of good governance and anti-graft for a better Nigeria where International investors could operate. We are taking this case as a special one to gauge the sincerity of the government and party’s anti-graft stance.
The group continued in yet another letter on their position on Chief Bode George’s many atrocities and why he should not be allowed near any seat of government, let alone holding offices as high as that of a BOT member of PDP. It reads in part…
“The ex-convict was turned down for his visa application to the USA last year and it was only after an appeal which was based on health grounds for which there was already payment and confirmation that he was granted a visa to enter the USA. His wife, who lives in America, had to support the application and it was based on our human rights policy not to deny any person access to the advanced medical technology and service in the USA that he was considered. Other countries did the same with his application.
The USA does not encourage corruption at any level and hopes Nigeria and the PDP will do the same. This is a case that interests the International community. We are monitoring the actions of the man and his cohorts and await appropriate action from the PDP and the Federal government. It is questionable for an ex-convict to drop names of highly-placed government officers all the time, as if they are indebted to him. In criminal psychology we analyse this complex in detail. Ex-convicts are supposed to go for psychological evaluation and counseling after their release to compliment the rehabilitation programme in the prison. They should not be allowed to jump into normal activity immediately so as not to compromise the integrity of those in contact with them and the environment.
This is why they sometimes misbehave in public and try to prove they have been accepted by important people.
As for the identity of the group, they are called ‘International Forum For Anti-Corruption’, with one Dr. Dwaine Forster as the Director of Foreign Affairs.