The story behind the impeachment of Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State is long and uninspiring, but still it was not surprising because it did not come unexpectedly. It was quite clear the removal notice was purely political in view of the fact that the accusations leveled against him and his deputy were trumped up simply to ensure their exit.
The charges were not unprecedented in the annals of Nigeria’s history; they are everyday affair connected with the lives of many Nigerians either in public or private services. Therefore Nyako was not the first to be accused of corruption and gross misconduct while in office, just as many other past and incumbent governors are equally guilty of similar unlawful acts but they were not subjected to the same treatment.
Nyako was fully aware of a plan set in motion to get rid of him even before it became public knowledge. He knew it was politically motivated by whom he called Abuja-based politicians and that the move was not informed by patriotism or intended to recover the monies over which he had been indicted. Nyako’s persecutors, as he had pointed out, were indigenes of Adamawa State and members of the PDP, blinded by what he called inordinate ambition and ill-advised objective of replacing him with the son of a most influential kingpin of the party in Adamawa State.
The aim, Nyako continued, was to enable them have a vice-like grip on the government that would succeed his in order to effectively embezzle public funds. Whatever has been the motive for uprooting Nyako, it can be safely said that he had now known the nature of the fate that befell him; what remains now is to look forward to see exactly how the architects of his cruel fate will cope thereafter.
On the other hand it can be said that Nyako risked the impeachment, having willfully known that it was to be the consequences of his defection from the PDP. That had encouraged the vindictive and unforgiving PDP to take disciplinary measure, penalizing him for his gross misdeed. Sadly enough, that had been the pay back to poor Nyako for his steadfast and unwavering support to the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan during the turbulent 2011 presidential elections. Nyako’s rejection of the PDP was the bitter pill it could not swallow, for that had heralded the imminent loss of Adamawa State, come 2015.
Another reason that compelled the PDP to have its sweet revenge on Nyako was his unguarded utterances in the United States of America – the land of President Jonathan’s mentors — when he haphazardly accused President Jonathan of being responsible for the emergence of deadly Boko Haram insurgency.
These were the basic reasons for persecuting Nyako, especially as the PDP had realized how it had come face to face with the grim prospects of losing the 2015 elections at both federal and state levels. That was why its adversaries alleged that it is hounding APC governors in its desperation to neutralize their opposition through impeachments. The PDP-dominated Nasarawa Assembly is now hell-bent on removing the vulnerable Al-Makura. Why then is the PDP harassing and harrying APC governors only?
Are its own governors, especially in the Southeastern and South-south zones, above reproach and without any blemish or blame? Are they spared from harassment and intimidation because they belong to the powerful group of perverted politicians that initiate incessant unrests through bigotry and dreaded ethnicity? Are these people above board, with clean records of transparency and accountability?
Why can’t they be pestered and persecuted like River’s State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi who, like Murtala Nyako, migrated to an opposition party? That was a dangerous precedent capable of thwarting our nascent democracy, thus undermining the nation’s stability.
Murtala Nyako has now joined the league of six impeached governors since the return to democratic rule in 1999: Joshua Dariye of Plateau State,
Diepriyei Alameiseigha of Bayelsa, Isiyaka Ladoja of Oyo State and Ayodele Fayoshe of Ondo State. All of them had met their waterloo after a protracted misunderstanding with their parties which also involved the erstwhile president. If the motives of removing them were related to corruption, other governors would have learnt a reasonable lesson from that and would desist from indulging in such dishonourable practices. Alas! That was not the case.
Many highly placed political office holders and senior government functionaries are wholly partaking in corrupt practices with extraordinary relish. That has gone to show that the charges against Nyako and his subsequent removal as governor where not intended to tame the monster of corruption but to aggravate political vindictiveness.
What now remains to be seen after Nyako’s downfall is what the PDP-led federal government and its anti corruption agencies will do to further reinforce their crusade against the almighty corruption. Will he be prosecuted so as to recover the stupendous wealth he was accused of stashing in banks? Could the government continue to harass him until he runs away to seek political asylum abroad so that his political influence in Adamawa State could easily be whittled? Only time will time.