- Category: Politics
- Published on Thursday, 10 March 2011 05:36
- Written by Vanguard
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I will not cover-up corrupt ACN leaders – Ribadu; I will cancel 6 new universities – Utomi; I have only one bank account and no building -Shekarau
Ribadu spoke in Abuja, yesterday, at the policy dialogue for presidential candidates organised by the Murtala Muhammed Foundation just as it emerged that opposition presidential candidates were still mulling the prospects of presenting a joint candidate against President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Meanwhile, Dr. Pat Utomi, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Mega Party, SDMP, at the MMF forum blamed poor leadership for the problems of the country even as he accused President Jonathan of expending N100 million daily on his presidential entourage during his campaigns.
Utomi, who bemoaned the state of education in the country, promised to cancel the recent establishment of six federal universities, describing the decision as unreasonable.
The All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, presidential candidate, Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, also at the same forum articulated the essence of exemplary leadership by those in authority as done by the late Gen. Muhammed even as he accused the PDP legislators in the PDP dominated National Assembly of collaborating with one another to fix fake items to the purpose of swindling the country.
The policy dialogue with presidential candidates was organised by the Murtala Muhammed Foundation for selected presidential candidates including President Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; Ribadu of the ACN; Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC; Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau of the ANPP and Utomi of the SDMP.
Jonathan and Buhari were absent at the event coordinated by Mrs. Aishat Oyebode, daughter of the deceased former Head of State, Gen. Murtala Muhammed, in whose worthy memory the foundation was established.
Mallam Abba Dabo, Director of Media at the Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Council, however, said tthe President could not have attended the forum on account of previously scheduled campaign commitments. Jonathan was in Sokoto yesterday for a presidential campaign rally.
I ‘ll stand by what is right- Ribadu
Challenged on his possible attitude if elected towards allegedly corrupt leaders in the ACN that are presently supportive of his presidential ambition, Ribadu responded:
“I want to assure you, I am Nuhu Ribadu and I will remain Nuhu Ribadu forever. It is too late for me to change, I am 50 years old, I have always stood by what is right and just and fair, I can assure you I will do what is right, I will do justice I will stand by the people of Nigeria. There are areas that I can never compromise.
6 new varsities
Prof. Utomi while giving reason for his foray into the presidential contest said he had become tired of offering prescriptions that were never adopted by the ruling class.
Utomi revealed that talks among the major opposition candidates were still going on even though he expressed little hope of a possible accord.
Utomi dismissed the establishment of the six new federal universities by the Jonathan administration as totally unreasonable in the face of what he described as the gross under_funding of the existing universities.
He equally advocated the establishment of community policing as a prescription for the deteriorating security situation in the country.
I ‘ve only one bank account – Shekarau
Shekarau, on his part, lamented the consequence of bad leadership on the country, saying the values entrenched by the late Gen. Muhammed must be imbibed.
According to him, Murtala did what he preached and he said he was on his part abiding by what he was preaching.
Affirming his integrity and virtue, he said he had continued to maintain only one bank account since his days as a secondary school teacher and that he presently does not have a building of his own anywhere in the world.
He as such challenged anyone with the knowledge of any bank account or building otherwise ascribed to him to publicly expose him. He, nevertheless admitted that the state government was building a retirement house for him in accordance with the pension law passed by the State House of Assembly.
“The only account I have in the world is the one I had when I was a teacher in secondary school. The only house I have is the one that the State is constructing for me,” he said. Shekarau also defended the virtues of the Alimajiri system. He said what was needed was for the system to be fully rehabilitated.