February 7, 2008
8 mins read

“This issue is beyond Senator Aliyu apologizing to the senate. He must show us the pro of that we have fraudsters in the National Assembly.” – Hon Halim Agoda


I met Senator Nuhu Aliyu for the first time last December. We had worked together in the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) committee that was instituted to organize a day of tributes in memory of Chief Sunday Awoniyi. To be honest, I was quite delighted to meet him because I had formed an impression that he was a very principled Senator, whose unusual sense of duty stood him out in Nigeria’s Senate. When the scheming began for senate president, I wrote a column where I argued that Senator Aliyu deserved to be considered as senate president. –


I felt (and still do feel) that Senator David Mark did not deserve to be Senate President because he was at the forefront of advocacy for the third-term agenda of Olusegun Obasanjo, the disgraced despot. It was not fair that someone who did not want the successful operation of Nigeria’s democracy, by advocating for Obasanjo’s perpetuation in power, should now benefit from the struggle of the Nigerian people and the successful defeat of the obnoxious third-term agenda. And who can forget just how gung ho Senator David Mark was in his contemptuous disrespect of the feelings of the Nigerian people, and his open advocacy of that obnoxious agenda?


On the contrary, Senator Nuhu Aliyu had I not supported the third term agenda. The fact that he had spoken publicly in the past, against [the presence of individuals with an unsavory past in the National Assembly, added positively, in my estimation of the man. In my view, if we wanted to have a credible senate that can I continue the honorable tradition which Senator Ken Nnamani had instituted, a Senator like Nuhu Aliyu, could very well be the best for the position; and I wrote that much. I did not know the man, nobody told me to promote his candidature, but what! had written derived from my own reading of the political terrain.


It was therefore a most interesting coincidence that the death of Chief Sunday Awoniyi and the effort to commemorate his life, [brought me face-to-face with Senator Nuhu Aliyu, He carried himself an air of importance I which was one of the first things I noticed about him. Anyway I told him that I  had followed his I career in the Senate, especially in the past couple of years. I underlined the fact that he did not support a third term and that was my main reason for advocating that he be considered for the Senate presidency. There was also the fact that I was worried that whenever positions were zoned to the North Central, Niger, and Kwara States are never considered for the positions. Anything in the North Central seemed to go to Plateau and Benue in the main!


We parted, with the commemorative event having been successfully organized. I did not give much thought to our meeting anymore until the Senator came charging into the moral horizons of Nigeria gain, on January 23rd, 2008. Senator Nuhu Aliyu had told his colleagues, obviously with an eye on the public acclaim that the might cream there from, that both chambers of the National Assembly are infested with people involved in Advanced Fee Fraud (419)”, according to DAJLY1RUST of January 24,  2008. The Senator had been speaking during a debate on a motion on the direction and tempo of the country’s war against corruption. “In this National Assembly, we still have many 419ners”, he declared very boldly.


Of course such a statement would generate a lot of heat, and it did! Many members of the Senate demanded that Aliyu should be compelled to mention the names of all the fraudsters in both chambers of the National Assembly. Senator Ayogu Eze, argued correctly that we cannot sit here with people whose credibility is in doubt. The National Assembly is supposed to have people of integrity, so Senator Nuhu Aliyu should mention those he says are 419″.


Senator Nhuu Aliyu then raised the stake in a clear display of histrionics, when he responded that “1 will mention the names of those that are into 419 here now. I was giving a scenario of how it was not possible for police to prosecute 419 perpetrators before EFCC and why they had a field day. Allow me to mention just one name now”! It was at that moment that he was stoppedby Senate President David Mark, who then directed that the matter be investigated by the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges. But Senator Nuhu Aliyu still attempted to retain a deck on the moral high ground by telling the Senate President that “Mr. President I agree totally with your ruling and I am ready to mention the names of the 419s to the Committee.”


In a country that has suffered for so long in the hands of bandits and conmen, who had the privilege of occupying high places with the attendant consequences, the Senator’s apparent forthrightness was very welcome. The Distinguished Senator raised the stakes when he reiterated the position that the National Assembly was harboring fraudsters, as reported by VANGUARD newspaper of Tuesday, January 29th, 2008. “I repeat and I repeat again, I stand by what I said”. Senator Aliyu then vowed that “gentlemen if in the process I die, I will be happy to die for Nigeria. I will not mind if I die for the cause I believe in” To underline that seriousness of purpose he reminded Nigerians that “I have an integrity to protect. I have been in the National Assembly since 1999”.


Senator Nuhu Aliyu had always boasted about his background in crime investigation and intelligence, and in this case, he did not disappoint, when he reminded the nation that “I was in charge of general investigation in the whole of Nigeria and I was Deputy Inspector- General of Police. Believe you me, nobody has these intelligence backgrounds as I have”. Given the huffing and puffing of this old policeman, one would have thought, that the National Assembly and indeed Nigeria would be met with an earthshaking revelation of a scroll of names of the infamous “419ners”. But as the days rolled by, it seemed that there was more than meets the eyes in the grandstanding of the Senator police officer


Firstly, he told people that “the only thing you are not going to hear from me is the names you want to know. I will not mention those names.” Furthermore, he added that “I wouldn’t mention names to anybody except the Senate President or the Speaker these are the only two.”


By the 30th of January, 2008 Senator Nuhu Aliyu took us to a most disappointing denouement, when he withdrew his allegation and apologized to his fellow legislators. In a most cowardly u-turn that exposes the hollowness of his moral indignation, the terribly disappointing Senator offered a very eclectic and unintelligent explanation for his decision to withdraw his allegations “My contributions became controversial and angered many of my colleagues and members of the House. The

media had a field day (the media is always the punching bag of scoundrels’)” Then Senator

Nuhu Aliyu offered the most irresponsible justification for his about turn. ”I have come to realize I am losing my friends in the Senate because of that debate. I do not want to lose them”.


A matter of very serious national importance such as the opportunity to cleanse the National Assembly of fraudsters was suddenly reduced to an effort to keep friendships forged in the National Assembly!’ If this is how our country’s fate is determined, then we have here one more reason why our underdevelopment has persisted! Senators, at least using the example of Nuhu Aliyu’s annoying eductionism, toy with our lives; and they prefer to ensure that friendships are kept alive rather than deal with national issues in a meaningful manner!


But knowing just how hollow his “friendship” thesis is Senator Nuhu Aliyu attempted to find a cover under the umbrella of some trite legalism. He talked about the contacts he made with his lawyers “who have advised (him) strongly to withdraw that aspect of the statement (he) made that there are 419ners in the National Assembly”, The man is obviously given to some self delusions about his service record, because he went on about the lawyers who “know that (he) had spent 3S years in the police force and had served it meritoriously…No matter how detailed a police investigation is of a crime… a suspected criminal is innocent unless and until he is pronounced guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction”. Then our ‘crime buster’ Senator went on to “agree with (his) lawyers” and the real statement of the day was that “I HERE BY Wl1HDRAW ENTIRELY THAT PART OF THE STATEMENT” (statement about ‘419ners’ in the National Assembly). Senator Nuhu went further to eat humble pie, by adding that “I regret what took place that day and I apologize”


So disgusted was a friend of mine, that he sent me a text which described Senator Aliyu “a, coward”. But the question is why would such a man, with his record of service come out so boldly and then chicken out so disappointingly? Did he think through the allegation before he made it? What impression has he reinforced about the National Assembly and our law makers? What purpose did Senator Nuhu Aliyu serve when he went on his chest-beating accusation? And how much of deflation has he now taken to his reputation? Does he realize that he has caused so much distress to “his friends” and that he has become an object of ridicule amongst the Nigerian people? If he did not possess the courage of his conviction, why on earth did he disappoint us all?


There are so many points of interrogation that we can raise on this matter. But it is important to state that Senator Nuhu Aliyu made a transition from hero to zero in his about turn. He showed himself an inveterate coward. That accusation obviously rankles him a great deal, because SUNDAY SUN of February 3, 2008 quoted Senator Aliyu as saying it was wrong for “anybody to call (him) a coward having served the Nigeria police for 3S years and the latter part as DIG Alagbon (those 35 years again’)”. He confronted his accusers that “my integrity is intact and those who know me can attest to the fact that I was not double speaking”. He then threatened his accusers, tantalizingly again: “if I am pushed to the wall, I have other options open to me”.


I think that Senator Nuhu Aliyu does not seem to realize just how damaged he has become with his self-inflicted debacle. If he had thought through the situation, he would have taken into consideration, the injury his accusation inflicted on his much haloed friendships; the anger he has caused the Nigerian people who wanted the exposure of the fraudsters enjoying lucre in the National Assembly and the rubbishing of his own years of meritorious service to Nigeria. But the distinguished Senator Nuhu Aliyu has assured us that when push comes to shove, he has “other options open” to him. We are suggesting that the only option that is acceptable and honorable for him now, is to reel out the list of the fraudsters, the “419ners” in the National Assembly. Senator Nuhu Aliyu owes Nigeria the duty to name and shame! Period.



In recent days, the media reported that Doctor Amos Adamu, the ‘alpha and omega’ of Nigerian sports,’ has begun to take steps to Investigate why the Super Eagles failed in Ghana. As we wrote last week, Amos Adamu, the real source of problems in Nigeria sports has positioned himself to appear as the solution to those problems. They might even bow to public pressure to sack coach Berti Vogts, but that will only amount to papering over the deep rot in our sports. Adamu will still control everything, because ‘he needs to be there to achieve his ultimate ambition to be sponsored eventually by Nigeria to become the President of CAF, whenever Issa Hayatou vacates that seat. Did you notice he organized an honorary PhD degree for Hayatou at the university in his home town, Ogbomosho, the other day. Keep your fingers crossed, but the man who was said to have boasted in the past that nobody can touch him even if all our sports go down under, will still call the shots! Nigeria is in trouble!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss