Ibori, Dariye, Kalu: Group accuses FG of targeting Christians in anti-graft war
A group of youths from the six geopolitical zones of the country, under the auspices of Federation of Progressive Youths (FPY), on Thursday, accused the Buhari-led federal government of targeting former governors of Christian extractions in its ongoing war against corruption.
The group, in a statement made available to newsmen, in Abuja, by its National President, Felix Afegbua, listed names such as former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, that of Abia, Orji Izor Kalu, Joshua Dariye of Plateau, as well as Jolly Nyame of Taraba as “victims of government persecution”.
In the statement titled ‘Our Case Against President Muhammadu Buhari’s Religiously Biased ‘Fight’ Against Corruption’, the group declared that their “decision to forge this union across regions, tribes and religions in the country, is to foster unity in diversity and fight against elements and government policies, that are polarising and regressive.”
According to him: “We are rising collectively, in strong condemnation of what we have observed as the highly divisive policies of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“After a careful observation and deep thought, we have come to the firm conclusion, that the anti-corruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari, is unabashedly and alarmingly tilted against Christians in the country,” and urge that “it is very important for Nigerians and the International Community to take judicial notice of the sequence and direction of arraignments, arrests and prosecutions.”
The Group further observed that “all the jailed former Governors and the ones on the fast lane to prison, are all Christians. The likes of Rev. Jolly Nyame, Joshua Dariye and Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governors of Taraba, Plateau and Abia States respectively, are clear and alarming victims of this administration’s shameful prosecutorial conduct
“Another former Governor of Abia State, Theodore Ahamefule Orji, is currently facing Buhari’s gulag over relatively lighter offences than the likes of Attahiru Bafarawa, Adamu Mu’azu and Danjuma Goje, just as the case of severely tortured Delta State ex-Governor, James Ibori, is currently in the process of being exhumed, long after serving his jail term abroad,” the statement alleged.
It held further that “while top Christians are languishing in different jails, the likes of Sule Lamido, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Danjuma Goje, Babangida Aliyu, Isa Yuguda, Ibrahim Shema, Attahiru Bafarawa, Muslim governors of Jigawa, Kano, Gombe, Niger, Bauchi, Katsina and Sokoto are walking paved streets, freely.”
“While the cases of the likes of Sen. Jonah Jang, Sen. Gabriel Suswam, former Governors of Plateau and Benue States respectively, are regularly mentioned, these corrupt Muslim former Governors, are having fun in expensive hotels in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, unhindered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” the group further alleged.
It, however, cautioned that the statement was not to encourage corrupt Christians but to discourage partiality in the fight against sleaze.
“Our issue is with the tendency to focus the hammer on a particular group of people or a particular religion, and vicariously, give the impression that the war is not against your favoured religion.
“The anti-corruption war has failed to impress, not because the accused Christians on trial are saints, but because the prosecutor-in-chief, has ulterior motives, besides a seeming crusade, to cleanse the Augean Stable,” he stated.
The statement stressed that “this underlying motive in the fight against graft, instead of providing deterrence to all, can only encourage and worsen corruption across board and across religious leanings in the country.”
It also called on “all well-meaning Nigerians, home and abroad, the international community, the Commonwealth and the United Nations and the National Assembly, to rise against this skewed form of battling sleaze and put an end to all forms of divisiveness in the country.”