Benazir, Aziz not our men: Quader

Awami League general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul QuaderProthom Alo file photo

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader has clarified that former inspector general of police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed and former army chief Aziz Ahmed have no connection with the ruling party and that they got appointments as per their seniority and merit.

"Benazir is not a man of our party. He became IGP for his seniority and merit. Similarly, Aziz is not from our party. He became the army chief for his merit and seniority,” Quader said while addressing a meeting at the party’s Dhaka district unit office in the capital’s Tejgaon area on Tuesday.

He also expressed a firm stance to try them, saying, “If they commit any misdeeds inside and it appears before the government, Sheikh Hasina has the courage to try them.”

Looking back to the BNP government’s inaction against corruption, Obaidul Quader said, “No one was punished during your time. Your party leader is corrupt himself. We have managed to bring a portion of Arafat Rahman Koko’s money from Singapore. The FBI came to Dhaka and testified against Tarique.”

The ruling party leader highlighted that they never compromised discipline in appointments within the police, army, RAB, or administration. He recalled instances from the BNP era and said they appointed Moin U Ahmed, who was the 9th person on the priority list, as the army chief, bypassing the preceding eight candidates.

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“Who has done this? Khaleda Zia. Who created Ashraful, Rakibul Huda, Kohinoor? Mirza Fakhrul is throwing stones in the dark. He might have forgotten that the acting chief of his party is a fugitive convicted in arms smuggling, money laundering and corruption cases,” he noted.

Defending his party, Quader challenged the opposition and asked them to come with evidence if any of the top leaders of his party are corrupt. “Our prime minister is known as an honest politician both at home and abroad. There is no room to question her integrity.”

On the flip side, he claimed that the BNP is the birthplace of corrupt people and the most corrupt individuals belong to the party.

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Besides, he questioned the neutrality of two anti-graft watchdog -- Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) and SHUJAN -- and expressed suspicion if they are affiliated with the opposition block.

“Now, there is TIB, there is SHUJAN (good soul in verbal meaning). I do not know if it is SHUJAN or KUJAN (evil soul). They play the tune of Fakhrul and Gayeshwar. It is people’s question: are TIB and SHUJAN a ‘B’ team (supportive team) of the BNP? The tone they speak it shows no difference. They speak against the government in the same manner," he said.

The media recently uncovered that former IGP Benazir accumulated a huge wealth during his tenure in different key positions in the police and RAB. It prompted the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to launch an investigation against him.

Meanwhile, the US state department imposed an entry restriction on former army chief Aziz Ahmed, bringing allegations of corruption.