The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) on Thursday accused President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of witch-hunting persons opposed to his style of governance, saying that instead of treating the opposition as crucial partners in the nation’s fledgling democracy, he has labelled them enemies of government.
NBA also faulted government on its plans to set-up a joint committee of Nigeria’s top security agencies to co-ordinate investigation into the bribe-for-contracts scandal in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects and chided the House of Representatives Speaker, Dimeji Bankole for a statement credited to him that he would draft soldiers to Ekiti State to help the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) win the re-run governorship Election scheduled for next Saturday.
The President of NBA, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who decried the intolerant attitude of the Yar’Adua administration towards criticism from opposition groups also accused it of aiding corrupt practices in the country. “This government cannot stand criticism from the opposition and this is unfortunate because every good government must appreciate the position of the opposition. Yet, this government has shown that it does not see the opposition as what they are, instead it treats the opposition as its enemies.
This government has now embraced the Obasanjo governance style of witch-hunting critics,” Akeredolu lamented. Akeredolu also lamented that under the present government, corruption had risen sky- high because rather than fight corruption, government has become very comfortable with encouraging corrupt persons and even shielding them. The NBA Chief noted that despite concerted calls for government to be transparent, open and committed to the anti-corruption war, it had remained adamant, only resorting to the empty sloganeering of the rule of law.