‘Impeach Corrupt Govs.’—Fashola

Posted by By Kazeem Ugbodaga on 2009/01/19 | Views: |

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‘Impeach Corrupt Govs.’—Fashola

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state has advocated that corrupt governors in the country should be impeached and tried rather than expunge the immunity clause from the constitution.

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state has advocated that corrupt governors in the country should be impeached and tried rather than expunge the immunity clause from the constitution.

The governor, while speaking at the commemoration of his 600 days in office, yesterday, said since the constitution had spelt out that once a public officer is found to be corrupt, he should be impeached and tried, he did not see any morality in removing the immunity clause from the constitution as is being advocated in certain quarters.

“Nobody should condone corruption. Does it only exist in the public sector? Is it immunity that is the problem? There are only 74 of us who enjoy immunity in Nigeria,” he stated.

The governor stated that removing the immunity clause would slow down the pace of governance as many people would sue elected leaders, and that instead of the leaders looking for ways to deliver the dividends of democracy to their people, they would be pursuing several cases in court.

Fashola said it does not make sense to remove the immunity clause, adding that the reason why people were involved in corruption was because the nation’s economy had failed.

He cited the impeachment of the governor of Illinois, United States, for corrupt practices, stressing that this should be done to any governor or other public officers found to be corrupt, rather than remove the immunity clause. Fashola added that despite his closeness to president Umaru Yar’Adua, he would never be tempted to decamp to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor stated that since he was elected on the platform of the Action Congress (AC), there was no justification for him to decamp and still hold on to the mandate in another party.

“If it comes to joining another party, I will first resign as governor and hand the mandate back to the party, before leaving. “The PDP has not offered any idea on how to move this nation forward,” he said, adding that all the failed budgets were from the PDP government.

Fashola added that he was not nursing any second-term ambition as being speculated in some quarters, adding that every minute of his administration would be judiciously used to serve the electorate before asking for a second term.

On the issue of wage increase, the governor said he and his cabinet would soon look into it to see how officers’ capability, position and responsibility would be used to determine the wage increase.

“No state in the federation has similar challenges staring Lagos state in the face in view of its population, and population determines a state’s prosperity,” he said.

In the area of demolition of illegal structures, the governor stated that the administration was doing this with pains, but had no option as public interest superseded personal interest. “It is a painful decision for us. No building that has government approval has ever been demolished,” he said.

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