A former governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, yesterday said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is the ‘mother of corruption’.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Daily Trust in Sokoto, Bafarawa said APC is the “architect of the enduring rift between it and some of its top-notch members” which, according to him, was causing the country immense loss of progress.
“APC government says it is fighting corruption, but it is the mother of corruption; it has been the mother of corruption since the day it opened its gates to those five governors from the new PDP,” he said.
It would be recalled that in 2014, about seven PDP governors revolted against their party and formed a faction, the nPDP, thereafter, five of them defected to the APC ahead of the general elections.
Those that moved include Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara).
Bafarawa accused them of allegedly buying their way into the APC and thereafter turned all the rules in their favour.
Bafarawa said, “When they (five governors) came into the APC, they were warmly received because they had the money to contribute N100 million each.
“When I, a founding member and acting chairman of the party’s constitution drafting committee queried why they were expressly allowed entry, I was bluntly told they had money to give. I then offered to also contribute N100 million but my own contribution was rejected.
“Those five governors entered APC to corrupt the party, and they succeeded in doing so. This is why I say APC is the mother of corruption,” he said.
Bafarawa added that “I foresaw that they would hijack the party and attempt to do whatever they want. If they are allowed to do whatever they want, there will be problem in the politics of the country; if they are not allowed, which is the situation now, there will be a rift between them and the government, they will be disloyal and impudent to the government, and this will cost the country immense problem in terms of progress.”
The two-term governor maintained that the problem in the APC started from the time some of its founding fathers were ejected and the structures of the party handed over to the newly admitted governors who, he alleged, joined the party for a purpose.
He recalled that the constitution of the party was drafted in his Abuja residence, and there was no provision that said “sitting governors should be the leaders of the party in their respective states.”
Bafarawa, who said he shared the same political ideology with President Muhammadu Buhari, advised the president to open his doors for constructive criticisms.
Responding to the allegation, former governor Wamakko, speaking through his former aide, Alhaji Abubakar Cika Umar, asked Bafarawa to go and clear himself of the arms scandal.
“He is a shameless person; otherwise, he would not be dishing out falsehood when he has a serious allegation dangling on him. He is being accused of participating in the cornering of the arms money and we all know the diversion of the arms money contributed to the escalation of the insurgency.
“The diversion of the funds led to the killing of innocent persons, turned thousands of children to orphans and made many women to become widows,” he said in a phone interview.
Bafarawa is one of politicians that are being probed over the diversion of arms funds. It was reported that he collected N4.6bn from the former NSA Sambo Dasuki.
Also, Governor Ahmad, through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Dr. Muideen Akorede, said, “All the allegations were not true because none of the five governors at the time paid any amount to join the APC.
“In Kwara for instance, our political structure is an independent one, which made it possible for us to move into the party in mass. We didn’t dislodge any member of the APC but only gave life to it,” he said.
Also, Hajiya Binta Sipikin, an aide to Kwankwaso, said her principal will not join issues with Bafarawa.
“Senator Kwankwaso is seriously attending to national issues for the betterment of Nigerians. This is not time for politicking but a time to consolidate the gains of the APC,” she said.