Budget ‘Padders’ Deserve Life Imprisonment – Salvador | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Budget ‘Padders’ Deserve Life Imprisonment – Salvador

salvador (2)
Posted: Aug 2, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Hon.  Moshood Adegoke Salvador , a former member of the House of Representatives is the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos state chapter. In this interview with AUGUSTINE ADAH, he spoke on issues in the party and the budget padding crisis rocking the Yakubu Dogara-led House. Excerpts:

 For over 16 years the governorship position has eluded PDP in Lagos State. What are you doing as the new party chairman to change the position?
On the issue of winning, the party is putting a new strategy in place. In the last governorship election, everyone knows that we won the election.  I can tell you there are two ways to the issue.  It is one thing to win an election; it is also another for you to be robbed of your victory. You could win an election, but the person in power with the paraphernalia of office may decide to rob you of your victory, in that case, you have to improve on your strategy to make sure that such a thing does not happen again. That is what we are improving on now and it is not something I can discuss on air because it could be that it was discussed publicly before and our political enemies got it and used it against us, so we have learnt our lesson to keep everything within us until the right time.

The PDP National Convention is slated for August 17; do you think they are issues that may shift the date forward?

I don’t think it is right for anybody to change the date. We have to go on with the convention as scheduled because we know that the previous judgment has been set aside, therefore you cannot put anything on it.

But Ali Modu Sheriff said few days ago that holding a national convention is not the major priority of the party at the moment. What can you say about that?
He has ceased from being the national chairman of the party since our last convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. So, how can he then speak on behalf of the party?. On what capacity is he speaking on the affairs of the party? As far as I am concerned, Sheriff is not the party leader and whatever he is saying now is a mere personal opinion that is not binding on the party.

But there was a judgment last week that nullified the appointment of Ahmed Makarfi as caretaker committee chairman of the party, thereby recognising Sheriff as the National Chairman….
(Cuts in) I am telling you that the judgment cannot stand because the previous judgment at Federal High Court Port Harcourt that removed him as the acting National Chairman of the party has not been set aside.  So, you cannot make any further judgment when the earlier one has not been set aside.  I believe the judge himself may be making a mistake or he was presented with false documents.

Why do you think Bode George should be the next national chairman of PDP?

As far as I am concerned, Chief Bode George is the most qualified person to lead the party at this crucial time.  Don’t  forget  that he has served the party in various capacities as vice-chairman, south-west, deputy national chairman, south and deputy national chairman  so it the right time he take the leadership of the party as national chairman. Beyond the positions he has held in the  past,  George is a trusted and tested leader which the party need his experience to salvage it from the present predicaments.  I want to assure you that come August 17, George would take over as national chairman and   a new chapter would be opened in the party.

Alleged budget padding in the House of Representatives is generating a lot of attention in the country, as a former member of the green chamber, what is your reaction to the whole issue?

It is a new development for people to start padding the budget. It is corruption of the highest order. There is need for thorough investigation of the matter and if it comes out to be true, those involved should be given a life imprisonment for having boldness to do such a thing.  It is a new horrible development which we did not experience during our own time.  When I was there in the House, I singlehandedly sponsored a bill for   the Enugu Coal Mining Institute project and during the committee sitting,  we increased their budget for the  factory to produce coal box. When they brought a budget for the project, we asked them to go and do their budget costing properly because when they start production it is not going to serve only  the people of Enugu  but for the entire people of Nigeria. So, they came back with a higher budget and we approved the amount for them because we want all Nigerians to benefit from what they were doing at that time.  It was not a budget for your pocket. So, we need to seriously look into the matter so that when appropriate punishment is meted to culprits, it would serve as deterrent.

What is your idea on how best to deal with the growing insecurity in the country?

I think it has to involve the general public and not government alone. We have to remove ourselves from the attitude of ‘not my business’ when you see danger lurking around. We must not remove our eyes from anything that pose danger to ourselves and others in the society. When we are confronted with such a dangerous circumstance, we must quickly call the law enforcement agents, it is in this country that I see somebody reporting a matter to the police and the police would say it is a civil matter, they would not follow you. Is it only a criminal matter that they would be interested in dealing with? This is part of what we are saying. If all these things are put in place, we wouldn’t have problem in this country.