BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – A coalition of some civil society organisations (CSOs) have attributed an online report that an unnamed governor of a state in the North West geopolitical zone has been caught on tape collecting bribes totaling $5million to the handiwork of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and his Kwankwasiyya Movement.
The CSOs made up of Citizens for Justice Network (CJN), Peoples Alliance for Indigenous Rights (PAIR), Society for Civic and Gender Equity (SoCEGE), and Network for Transparency (NET), said the objective of the report is aimed at stoking crisis in the North West being a stronghold of President Muhammadu Buhari, ahead of the 2019 elections.
The group said that it is a matter of fact that the publisher of the Daily Nigerian, an online medium, Jafar Jafar, is a former aide to Senator Kwankwaso as governor and still works for him.
These were contained in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday by the spokespersons of the coalition, Mallam Isa Mahmud of PAIR and Okoronkwo Chuks in which they described the report as mere concoction aimed at fishing for something but with nothing.
Mahmud and Chuks further said that the report was an act of desperation intent on causing confusion in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) by wild allegations.
They opined that it is inconceivable that any serious minded person could imagine anybody, more so a governor, stuffing a whopping $5million into the pockets of his trousers.
In their words: “How can any serious newspaper say anybody, a governor for that matter, was stuffing $5million into his pockets? Are the pockets Ghana-Must-Go bags? It shows how shallow and untrue the report by the Daily Nigerian is.
“For the avoidance of doubt, governors of the North West are known for being progressive minded going by the level of developments in their various states.
“For instance, the Kaduna state government is one of the first state to sign up to the Open Government Partnership that promotes transparency in government.
“Also, the Kano state government is one of two states with anti-corruption agency and is reputed to have demonstrated accountability in its operations. Ditto for Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara states that have no issues with any of the country’s anti-graft agencies,” the statement read.
“Having failed woefully at his futile attempt to be president, he is back to spinning cheap tales and aiming to foment trouble in the North West. For the avoidance of doubt, the infantile effort, like all others in the past, will amount to absolutely nothing.”
The coalition wondered how the so-called analyst of the video were able to determine the exact sum from watching on screen.
Spokespersons of the coalition said Nigerians are now wiser and would not be misled into buying a damaged product that the online medium is trying to sell.
They advised the publisher of the online newspaper that threw ethical reporting overboard with his red herring, to be mindful and guided by the Cybercrimes Prohibition and Prevention Act of 2015 against making unfounded claims against any governor of the North West.