The apex Northern socio-political group, Arewa Consultative Forum, had in a proposal submitted to the National Assembly rued the destructive impact of corruption, and called for the capital punishment for anybody found guilty of the crime.
However, efforts by our correspondents to get the position of the governors on the issue, on Friday proved abortive, as they declined to be specific in their positions.
While some of them said they would align with the popular wish of the masses, others said their position would be determined by their political parties.
In Rivers, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. David Iyofor, said the issue would be discussed during the Nigeria Governors Forum meeting.
In his response to a text message by our correspondent, Iyofor said, “The governor is the chairman of the NGF and the matter would be discussed in a meeting by the governors.”
Also, the Chief Press Secretary to the Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, Mike Udah, said the governor seriously detested corruption but he would not say if the governor would support death penalty for ‘official corruption.’
Udah said, “The governor frowns seriously on corruption. He groups it in the same class as armed robbery and kidnapping. But I don’t want to second-guess him on whether or not he will support death penalty for corruption. I will have to hear from him first.”
Efforts to speak with Plateau State government officials were not successful. Text messages sent to the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Shedrack Best; Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Abraham Yiljap and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Edward Pwajok, were not replied.
In Bayelsa State, sealed lips were also maintained on the proposition by the ACF.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Markson Fefegha, did not pick his calls. Responding to a text message sent to him, the commissioner said he was in a meeting.
Also, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, failed to reply a text message sent to him on the matter.
While the Lagos State government said it would always be on the side of any law that had the backing of the people, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, who was not specific on government’s position, explained that the government was aware of the ongoing debate on the issue.
He said, “Lagos State is always on the right side of any law that has the backing of the people.”
The Ondo State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH on the telephone, said the people of the state would soon take a joint position on the proposal.
He said, “Corruption and the punishment for offenders are some of the issues begging for serious attention and the personal opinion of a person may not be enough to address it holistically.”
In Oyo State, the Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said the governor’s position was not different from the position of the Action Congress of Nigeria.
He said, “The governor will align with the position of his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, in this regard.”
The story was the same in Enugu State. The Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Chukwudi Achife said, “The matter is within the domain of the Attorney-General.”
The Commissioner of Information, Mr. Chuks Ugwoke and the AG did not respond to text messages sent to their phones, neither did they answer calls made to their phones.