ETA: it’s not APC’s responsibility to absolve
Chief Hillard Eta, national Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) South South, tells ADAMU ABUH that the party is still strong and united in spite of disagreements among chieftains.
With the disputes you have in states such as, Kano, Bayelsa and even the one relating to Saraki’s trial at the CCT, don’t you think the party would soon implode?
You sound like the megaphone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), because in a human organisation that is represented in all the 774 local councils of the country, including the FCT, there is tendency to have an altercation in one or two of them. The fourth estate of the realm should do more than this. It shouldn’t be the megaphone of the opposition party that is angry and trying its very best to destroy the party. A political party is a human organisation. Humans have various tendencies. We are not robots and that is why we strive to have consensus at all times.
Don’t you think the trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, is a clear manifestation of the infighting in the party?
Why do we always view conspiracy theory about matters that absolutely have nothing to do with conspiracy?
Now, the Code of Conduct has accused Saraki of violating the provision of the law. What is incumbent on Saraki is to go to the court and absolve himself, prove his case, prove his innocence. All of these conspiracy theories would do no good to the delivery of justice in Nigeria. Look, if it is conspiracy, the court would arrive at that conclusion. But if it is a fact that what he has been accused of is indeed correct, then the law should be no respecter of anybody.
Many loyalists have argued that the party should have come to Saraki’s aid?
Why would the party do that when the party came on the platform of the Rule of Law that everybody is equal in the eyes of the law?
Are we saying that some are more equal than others? Are we living in the Animal Farm?
Are you saying that, because he is the Senate President he should not have an opportunity of absolving himself from allegation? Is that what you are saying?
But Tinubu, who is prominent leader of the APC, who was taken to the CCT, got a soft landing and so why couldn’t such treatment be extended to Saraki?
Tinubu was not taken to the tribunal as a member of the APC. We have never had a situation where our member has been given a soft landing by the government that is in control.
Don’t you think Tinubu’s outburst against Kachikwu is evidence there is trouble in the APC?
How can that be seen to be a manifestation of serious quarrel within the party? The party leader said a functionary of government is stepping out of line and he called him to order. How can this by any state of imagination be seen as a manifestation of crises in the party? Can’t we do self-appraisal? Can’t you criticise constructively?
Do you not think Tinubu would have done that without going to the public arena?
No, this is a new age, new era where people have to express themselves. This is not an era where everything that happens in Nigeria is considered as a family matter. Of course, it cannot be family matter any more. This is a new dispensation where everything is done in the open. We are transparent and I understand that Nigerians are not used to this kind of system where we do self-appraisal, where we do constructive criticism but I can assure you that Nigeria would be the better for it. And Nigerians would welcome this kind of culture of opening up.