Tinubu Alleges Blackmail In Nnaji’s Resignation
AN interesting shade of opinion has been added to controversy trailing the sudden resignation of erstwhile Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, as former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the weekend, alleged that the former university don might have been sacrificed to protect certain interests in the Presidency.
Tinubu, who was responding to questions on the seeming controversy his visit to the United States, generated within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which suggested that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) stalwart may not have been honest about his invitation to the US National Democratic Convention, in Charlotte, North Carolina, lashed out at the PDP, insisting he was officially invited.
Calling on the PDP to face up to the task of governance, Tinubu, who arrived Lagos on Friday, after attending the ACN Abuja convention held on Thursday, said:
“Is it about the high rate of unemployment in this country? Is it about the inability of the ruling party to provide food on the table for hungry Nigerians? Is it about the state of electricity in the country that they cannot privatise properly, without blackmailing the former Minister of Power, Prof. Nnaji, who the government forced to resign, because of their selfish agenda of turning everything into a family affair?”
Nnaji had resigned his appointment on August 28, 2012, ostensibly as a part of the fallout of his company’s involvement in bidding process under the privatisation of the Power Holding Corporation (PHCN). But in his letter of resignation, Nnaji had stressed that he decided to resign “to protect the presidency” and not to bring the presidency through a torrid experience as well as to ensure that there is no spillover of “the personal attacks.” He maintained that he did no wrong.
President Jonathan corroborated this during his town hall meeting in Anambra, when he declared that “he (Nnaji) did not commit any offence. He is very competent. But we are doing privatisation. To make sure there is credibility, somebody must step aside… Some persons told me that some companies have already been shared and I said no.
“In previous privatisation, some errors were made and the country is suffering for it… We have demonstrated that at the political level, we need to replicate it in the industrial sector; he has to step aside… We will get a competent person to replace him.”
Speaking to The Guardian, the founder and president of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) also tried to exonerate the former Minister, saying his decision to resign put him in a different mould of Nigerians. “His action (resignation) is very un-Nigerian. Though, I don’t know him so well –– must have met him only one or two times –– but his toeing the path of honour is commendable.”
However, explaining his U.S. visit, Tinubu maintained he was “officially invited” to attend the National Democratic Convention, in Charlotte North, Carolina, describing as unwarranted widespread story that his attendance was not official.
He maintained that the PDP does not have moral right to question the propriety of his invitation to the convention.
Tinubu said, in any case, this is not enough excuse for the PDP’s failure to address issues bordering on poor governance, failed privatisation process of the power holding company of Nigeria, and inability to put food on the table of the average Nigerian.
“They do not even appreciate that fact that we fought for democracy during the struggle for this democracy, there was a lot of precedence and people outside this country are still watching us. I was at the convention. I was invited properly. Who are the people asking me to prove anything?”
“The ruling party should busy itself about the infrastructure that is lacking in this country, there is need for our leaders to share knowledge with others to know what we need and how to move the nation forward”, he said.
Posted on September 16, 2012, in News and tagged Barth Nnaji resigns, barth nnaji's resignation, Bola Tinubu, National Democratic Convention, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Tinubu, United States. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.