The Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu on Thursday stood by his recent statement that President Goodluck Jonathan signed a single-term agreement with some northern governors prior to the 2011 presidential elections.
Aliyu had, a month ago, made the revelation on a Kaduna radio programme, causing ripples across the country.
At the Minna National Discourse on Corruption which was put together by the Niger State Government and the National Planning Commission, Aliyu said that people have been asking him to make clarifications since he made the statement.
The theme of the discourse was “Confronting Trends of Indiscipline, Corruption, and Disregard for Rules and Regulation in Nigeria.”
The governor, who said he had held back from making statements, however said, “If to be truthful is to be illiterate, I stand by it. On the political scene, I am happy with what some people say. I don’t see it as a condemnation of the PDP; I see it as trying to correct a situation.
“We should look at the problem as one that must be corrected. Agreements made in secret must be adhered to.”
Aliyu used the occasion to declare his loyalty and commitment to the Peoples’ Democratic Party and that all the criticisms of the party by the discussants was to make the party toe the line of sanity and correct its steps to become stronger for elections ahead.
He also described corruption as a cankerworm that had eaten deep into the fabric of the country, stressing that financial corruption in high places was jointly carried out by civil servants and political appointees.
In his remarks, a former Permanent Secretary, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed, cautioned against the manipulation of the 2015 elections in the interest of the survival of the nation.
Ahmed, who noted that the past four elections in the country had been devoid of the expected transparency, said it was for this reason that the country was groping in the dark politically.
He described the PDP as a boat heading for the rocks.
“If you can salvage it, salvage it; if you cannot, desert it for other boats,” he said.
The guest speaker, former minister of external affairs, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi, said over $500bn had been siphoned from Nigeria from 1960 and 2012.