The Senate President David Mark, have confirmed that Professor Chukwuma Soludo was “imposed” on Anambra State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Mark was asked to comment on the political situation in Anambra State where gubernatorial aspirants are alleging that former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, was “imposed” by the PDP following his selection as the Party flag bearer for the 2010 gubernatorial election, the Senate president said: “I do not support it.”
“Any Party that imposes any person on anybody will lose elections because that is not democracy,” he added.
The Senate president was reviewing the political process in the country and faulted the imposition of candidates by political organisations including the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, saying such acts do not enhance democracy.
On the review of the 1999 Constitution, he disclosed that he holds the belief that the constitution is not as bad as critics have always claimed, insisting that Nigerians must change their attitudes and ways of doing things if they expect any change in the system.
According to him, majority of Nigerians who condemned the constitution as a faulty document are the same people who flout it and turn round to agitate for its amendment on the pretext that it is bad.
While advising Nigerians to be patient with the political process, the senate president said democracy is could be chaotic because it is from those circumstances that true democracy will eventually emerge.
He explained the constitutional requirement to amend the document is very stringent. Both Houses have to pass it in addition to all the state houses of assembly. He however said the constitution is not an entirely bad document.
“We are just flouting it and when we flout it, we turn around and say, amend the constitution. It’s not going to be an easy exercise. But we are gradually working on it. My advice has been that let’s exercise patience.”
On why the Senate is yet to pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill, the Senate President said he was not against the bill but that irresponsible journalism where journalists attack and use libellous expressions against innocent citizens should not be tolerated.
“As long as those in the industry practise journalism reasonably and think consciously of national security and national integrity, I don’t foresee any problem absolutely. Irresponsible journalism should not be tolerated,” he declared.
Mark pointed stressed the importance of having a safe guard.
“Protect me also the same way that you have information from me. We should not wake up in the morning with big headlines that say David Mark has embezzled N10 billion. And when we read the whole story, there is very little there. They say ‘well, it is not clear what exactly the story is and then at the end of the day, you discover that the whole article is misleading in all the papers. My name is already dragged to the mud and for the next ten years, I’m still struggling to wipe it off my name.”