Leadership (Abuja)

2 June 2008

Nigeria: Why Yar'Adua Has Not Got Things Right - Sen. Ikenya

Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya has stated that President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has not been able to find his feet after one year in office because he wasn't originally prepared for presidency but hurriedly packaged for the job by former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Taraba born, PDP Senator stated: "Yar'Adua did not package himself to be the president. People packaged him. That is the truth of the matter. This happened because Obasanjo refused to allow people to contest and I believe he (Yar'Adua) is a last minute choice. Because he was packaged, he needs to find his feet".

Continuing, Ikenya said, "I believe he will find his feet. Some people believe that he is moving at a snail speed, it is better to arrive at a good destination than to crash. I also believe that he will move faster very soon."

On the issue of tenure elongation for President Yar'Adua as suggested by his colleague, Senator Saminu Turaki, Ikenya said it was unfortunate for a senator to make such statements.

He said, "Turaki was not fit to be senator if he could say such a thing and that he should have known what this same thing caused the nation in Obasanjo's era.

"The law must take its course. Turaki should be an ordinary man in the street, not a senator. He knows too well that in the last regime, this same issue caused a crisis that engulfed the country,"

He said, "On account of refusal to support third term for President Obasanjo, some politicians were witch-hunted by the EFCC in the pretext of fighting corruption, while some corrupt politicians who supported third term were protected by the presidency, resulting in denial of some good and credible politicians space in this dispensation.

"Third term or tenure elongation must not repeat itself in our democracy."

Ikenya went ahead to state that all corrupt politicians should be brought to book, and that all former governors who are presently in the Senate, if found wanting or found to be corrupt while in office, should equally not be spared, as some of them did not deserve to be in the Senate.

"Some of the ex-governors don't deserve to be in the Senate. They failed their people as governors of their states."

On the allegation that the Senate was not interested in clearing Farida Waziri as EFCC chairman, he said all they were interested in was that she should pass through normal process of screening and confirmation.

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