Posted by By JACOB EDI, UBONG UKPONG Abuja and UCHE USIM, Lagos on
Barely one week after President Umaru Yar’Adua publicly declared his assets, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), is calling on his Vice, Goodluck Jonathan and other elected leaders, to also do same immediately, if they were corruption free.
•I’ve done mine before Yar’Adua, says Agagu
Barely one week after President Umaru Yar’Adua publicly declared his assets, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), is calling on his Vice, Goodluck Jonathan and other elected leaders, to also do same immediately, if they were corruption free. President Yar’Adua, had last week told the world that he was worth N856 million.
The call came in the heels of a declaration by the Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Agagu that he had declared his own assets long before Yar’Adua made the move.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, the NUJ National President, Ndagene Akwu, expressed the Union’s disappointment that several days after the bold step by the president, the vice president, Senate President, David Mark, House of Representatives Speaker, Patricia Etteh, states governors and other elected leaders, have not seen any reason to follow his example.
Said Akwu:"It is obvious from the assets declaration that the new man at the helm of affairs of this country is not a corrupt leader and it is in the light of this that we call on the Vice president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, the Senate President, Senator David Mark, the Speaker House of Representatives, Honourable Patricia Etteh, all state governors and other elected leaders to emulate the courage and good example of Yar’ Adua. This we believe is one sure way of reducing corruption in the country."
He expressed the NUJ’s commendation to the president of not only declaring his assets but also making same public, stating; "The asset put at N856 million, in our opinion reflects the actual wealth of the president, which by the standard of Nigerian leaders is modest."
Certifying President Yar’ Adua as an incorruptible leader, the NUJ president reminded that Yar’Adua, on assumption of office in 1999 as Katsina State governor, publicly declared his assets and did same while leaving Katsina State government house in 2007.
As if reacting to the NUJ’s call, Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Agagu, says he declared his assets before President Umar Yaradua.
Speaking with newsmen at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja on his return from abroad yesterday, Agagu said that those who wanted to know his worth should check it at the Code of ConductBureau.
His words: "I’ve done mine a month before the president (Umar Yar'adua) did his own and it is open to everyone at the Code of Conduct Bureau."
"All you need to do is to fill a form and send it back to the code of conduct; it's open for everybody who wants to check."
Agagu also spoke on the nature of his administration, saying he can `work with anybody who means well for Ondo state, not with people who are throwing stones.
"As long as we can carry people along so that we can have a smooth sail in this administration, I think it's a worthwhile venture,'' he said, adding that the unity government was working well in the state.
"I have six gubernatorial candidates sitting with me to move the state forward,'' he said, explaining that that was enough to move ahead.
Agagu said that no one could upturn his victory at the tribunals.
"We won nice and square,'' he said, adding ``I don't see anybody upturning a victory that is so clear."
The governor said that while away, he was in Dubai to learn from their free trade zone which Ondo state in conjuction with Ogun state, was trying to set up.
He said that the Dubai authorities had agreed to support the state in setting up its own free trade zone.