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Outrage in Nigeria over celebrations of Bode George's release from prison
| February 28, 2011
Anger and critiicism has trailed celebrations in Nigeria of Bode George's release from prison on Saturday after serving two years in jail for mismanaging funds of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) while chairman of the board. Bode George was met at the prison by hundreds of supporters and members of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and he left in a convoy of vehicles to the Cathedral Church of Christ in Marina, where a thanksgiving service was held for him.

Members of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) including former president, Olusegun Obasanjo; the minister of defence, Adetokunbo Kayode and Ogun State governor, Gbenga Daniel, ex-governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, etc were all present at the thanksgiving service. A reception was also planned in his honour.

Reacting, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, said that celebrations by PDP showed that the party is disposed to corruption and greed and added, âPDPâs action sends a wrong signal to Nigerian youths that it is alright to steal or mismanage public funds, since it can even turn them into a hero like Bode George.

There is nothing wrong in rehabilitating a prisoner. But turning an occasion that calls for penitence and soberness to a carnival of sorts is a disservice to Nigeria, and a clear signal that the wobbly anti-corruption war of the Goodluck Jonathan administration is finally dead. It also ridicules Nigeria in the eyes of the world. Some clowns are now comparing him to Obafemi Awolowo or Nelson Mandela.

Let us remind Nigerians that partly because of Bode Georgeâs grand larceny, it now takes five times the number of time it should take to clear a container; while the Apapa port can hardly handle some ocean-going vessels bringing in imported fuel, thus heightening the possibility of fuel scarcity.

This is the man for whom a party, PDP, seeking the votes of Nigerians in Aprilâs general elections pulled all the stops to give a heroâs welcome from Kirikiri Maximum Prison. This is the man whom serving ministers of a government that is supposed to be fighting corruption besieged Lagos to welcome.â

âThis is the man for whom the Presidentâs campaign coordinator for the South-West, Governor Gbenga Daniel, standing in for his boss, turned up in Lagos with fanfare to receive. Nowhere in the world is this kind of action possible, except in Nigeria. And no party is capable of this theatre of the absurd except the PDP,â

In a statement, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) criticised ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for attending the celebrations and said, "The reception is shameful and condemnable. It shows that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its leadership are immune to shame, that is why they will roll out drums for an ex-convict like Bode George.

âIt is only in this clime that this kind of thing happens. If a former President, who claimed to be fighting corruption will go to receive a convicted felon, it shows that the PDP and its leaders have perverted values. They have destroyed our moral values.

If we donât stop PDP at the polls, our children will not know the right from the wrong and the poor will continue to suffer. It is condemnable, Nigerians must rise to stop the PDP.â

In its reaction, the PDP said, "The ACN is envying the victory of our leader over their planned evil machinations and their ally. It is our belief that he did not commit any offence to warrant sending him to jail at all. He was never adjudged to have stolen any money.

His offence was a misdeamenor, that is, he was said to have disobeyed a constituted authority, an offence which should attracted probably a fine. So, we felt he was being prosecuted and persecuted. Apart from this, I must tell you, the conspirators thought that the election will hold in January, they clandestinely ensured that his sentence fell within January, when they hoped the electioneering process must have been completed. But things changed, I know, Chief Bode George is an important figure in the PDP in Lagos, the south-west and in Nigerian in general.â

You can see the number of the party leaders and those who are not partisan that attended his thanksgiving yesterday. This is a testimony that they trust him and believe in his good character. So, what they are saying is unjustifiable and it is an arrant nonsense.â

Bode George, ex- PDP deputy chairman released, after 2 yrs in jail for inflating contracts

(2) Comment


"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
scopey    Dallas, USA    February 28, 2011
Hmmmm...oro di hmm, oro pesi je. The country of the blind,Bode Welcome home jare, your two year vacation ended too soon. Clemency is the next thing from Oga.. then you will run for senate or presidency soon. Ni ibi ti e baa ile aiye wa de Ni Nigeria yi.... May the gods of the youth continue to hold her peace with you HAAA! Bode! Bode!
Larry Jones    Columbus, Ohio, USA    February 28, 2011
If there should be a revolution in Nigeria, those who should first be swept away should be all those government officials and politicians that attended that shameful celebration. Shame on you all.
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