2011: WHITE PAPER CAN'T STOP KWANKWASO â€“KANO PDP CHAIRMAN
The Kano State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Farouk Iya has listed reasons why the White Paper issued on the former governor of the state, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwakwaso would not bar him from contesting the gubernatorial slot of the party in the 2011 elections.
Speaking to journalists, on Thursday at the NUJ Press Centre, he blamed those raising the issue of the White Paper as either grossly ignorant of the law or simply out to deliberately misinform the party members for their own political gains.
Iya was responding to an earlier petition of a Forum of concerned party members led by the former state chairman of the party, Alhaji Yusuf Beita. Bieta's group had raised the issue of the eligibility of the former governor of the state, who was found wanting by the Justice Badamasi panel, way back in the first tenure of the present administration in the state.
Iya explained that a White Paper is a constitutional issue adding that ordinarily those who had been indicted by a White Paper ought not told public office, for 10 years. On the contrary, he noted that Kwankwaso, ever since the issuance of the paper had served as Minister of Defence and appointed into the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) including several other public positions all of which required strict scrutiny from the appropriate quarters and was not barred at any time.
He said in 2007, when the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, asked Kwankwaso to step down after he had won the primaries of the party, it was in the interest of the party not on account of the alleged indictment or a White Paper.
'What happened was that Obasanjo asked Kwankwaso to withdraw because he had a White paper on Atiku Abubakar and there was no way one would subsist and the other not. You cannot tell Atiku to withdraw and leave Kwankwaso to contest. What they did at that time is that they threw away the baby and the bath water and that cost our party a lot of disadvantages' he stressed.
He further observed that already the matter is before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, where Kwankwaso had sought to vacate the paper on him. He added that the party would prefer to rest the matter pending the outcome of the Supreme Court on the issue.
He equally observed that if precedence is anything to go by in the matter, the case of Atiku versus the Federal Government would come into reckoning adding that the Supreme Court in its judgment then, had ruled that for a White Paper to become effective on a person, the accused must be tried and convicted by a full-fledged High Court.
The Chairman took responsibility for the meeting of the party held in Kaduna about a few weeks ago, saying , he but not Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, convened a meeting in line with the tradition of the party over the years to hold their retreats in Kaduna. He said despite the condemnation of the meeting as bias, it achieved a lot in terms of bringing about a near consensus for the various positions among aspirants within the party.