Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has responded to a recent attack directed at him and other governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The PDP had questioned the anti-corruption war of the Muhammadu Buhari administration following the President’s endorsement of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the All Progressives Congress candidate for the governorship election in Edo State, who is undergoing trial for alleged fraud to the tune of N700 million.
However, a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity said PDP should sack all governors on its platform – specifically mentioning Bala Mohammed as one of the Governors under investigation for corruption – before criticizing the president.
A statement by Garba Shehu said: “Bala, while in office as minister, allegedly received N550 million as bribe from Aso Savings and Loans Limited with respect to some properties in the Asokoro area of Abuja.
“He is said to have corruptly abused his position as Board Chairman of Aso Savings by allocating four numbers fully detached duplexes and 11 numbers semi-detached duplexes valued at N314 million through the Presidential Taskforce on Sale of Government Houses, to himself.
“The former minister is also accused of making a false declaration of his assets.”
However, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on New Media, Lawal Muazu, on Thursday, Bala Mohammed said: “politicians who lack the qualities needed as leaders are at it again.”
He said that the statement by the Presidency clearly shows “how corrupt politicians find APC a safe place to flee to after a long time enjoyment of their corrupt practices.”
According to the Governor, it was obvious that the Buhari was favouring the incompetent politicians because of party affiliations.
“Once a person moves from the opposition party to the APC, he becomes a saint and untouchable,” he said.
Mohammed said that Buhari should have put the PDP’s reaction into consideration instead of turning a blind eye in defence of the person in question.
According to him, Adams Oshiomhole, a former National Chairman of the PDP had already de-marketed the APC candidate for the Edo election, and “It is a questionable stance to come back shielding a person which yourselves had proven not to be trustworthy.
“It’s everywhere on cyberspace, in a 10 minutes campaign video, where the then party’s chairman on the campaign ground said that Ize-Iyamu wasn’t able to cast his vote on 14th April 2007, because he was hiding from EFCC,” Mohammed said.
“You either consider the PDP’s comments on your candidate and stop defending an indefensible or tell Nigerians that you were lying in 2016.”