APC and PDP Clash Over $1 Billion Cash to Fight Boko Haram

 

Flabbergasted by the sad state of affairs in Nigeria, Professor Wole Soyinka lamented: “All I can I say is that we have been overwhelmed into insensitivity by sheer excess. I have studied very carefully those figures and I have had to take a couple of aspirins after every paragraph, after every figure to ask and pinch myself; are we really living in the real world? Or whether this is some kind of fantasy world which is projected onto the pages of newspapers.

“One can no longer use the words like disdain and contempt, we have moved beyond that. We are being treated, not even like first or second class or third-class citizens, when we are brushed in this way, we are being dehumanized.”

The Nobel Laureate is not the only Nigerian who is stunned by the audacity with which officials loot from the commonwealth.

Speaking at a 2016 event, the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri, advocated that all politicians undertake psychiatric test before occupying any office. She said: “I sit down sometimes and wonder what corrupt Nigerians are thinking of. Somebody gets a big position and thinks he needs a big house in the United States and then jets off to buy a mansion. He comes back and then wants a house in Europe. He jets off to the UK to buy one and then thinks of the UAE, he jets off to Dubai and buys one and he is not satisfied.

“He then jets off to South Africa to buy one. I went to Pretoria and I was taken to a street which was vacated by De Boers, the white farmers who had left South Africa and I was shown houses owned by Nigerians. They looked like cathedrals to me and in fact. They looked like haunted houses and when these Nigerians travel to South Africa, they can’t stay there so they lodge in hotels. So, what is the aim? What goes on in their minds? And that is why I said that before the government employs anyone to positions of authority, let them be medically examined. They need psychiatric tests.

It is sad that rather than being shamed into doing the correct thing, the duopoly of APC/PDP (Two sides of the same bad coin) recently treated Nigerians to a show of utter shame that will not find a place in any decent society.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, kickstarted the ugly spectacle when he released what he said was a list of PDP chieftains who participated in the comprehensive looting of our national patrimony.

According to Mr. Mohammed: “The PDP has challenged us to name the looters under their watch. They said they did not loot the treasury. Well, I am sure they know that the treasury was looted dry under their watch. Yet they decided to grandstand. This shows the hollowness of their apology.”

These are the names in the Mr. Mohammed list:

PDP Chairman Uche Secondus

Allegation: On the 19th of Feb 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA.

Former PDP Financial Secretary

Allegation: On the 24th of Oct 2014, he took N600 million only from the office of former NSA.

Former National Publicity Secretary Olisah Metuh

On trial for allegedly collecting N1.4bn from the office of former NSA.

Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, Chairman of DAAR Communications

On trial for allegedly taking N2.1 billion from the office of the former NSA.

Former SSA to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei

On trial, over N830 million allegedly kept in accounts of four different companies.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Cousin Robert Azibaola

On Thursday, a Federal High Court ruled that he has a case to answer for allegedly collecting $40 million from the office of former NSA.

Mohammed said his list is just a tip of the iceberg and added: “They are in court and the records are available. Some of the people on this list are seeking to plea bargain, and that is a fact. “We insist that Nigeria was looted blind under the watch of the PDP and that the starting point in tendering an apology is for them to return the loot.” http://dailypost.ng/2018/03/30/breaking-nigerian-govt-releases-names-looters-full-list/

Rather than being shamed by the list, the PDP rather went to town with its own list of APC leaders it alleged have looted the public purse.

Mr. Reno Omokri, New Media aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, criticised the Buhari government for not including names of members of the ruling All Progressives Congress accused of or are being tried for corruption.

His statement entitled: “The Real Looters List That Buhari and Lai Mohammed Do Not Want You to Know About,” named 10 members of the APC he said should have been added to Mohammed’s list.

Listen to him: “A few days ago, the fallacious minister of information, the rightly named Lai Mohammed, whose first name rhymes with his life’s calling, released a so-called ‘looters list’ with six names of alleged looters. His list did not contain even one member of the All Progressives Congress. If the list proves anything, it is that President Buhari, Lai Mohammed, and their All Progressive Congress are not fighting corruption.

“Please find below the teaser list of looters.

“Note that this is just a teaser. Depending on the reaction of the Buhari-led government, more names will be released.

“Rotimi Amaechi: Indicted by the Justice George Omeregi led Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry of looting ₦97 billion along with co indictees including a former army general.

“Saminu Turaki: Alleged to have looted ₦36 billion. First charged before Justice Sabi’u Yahuza of the Federal High Court in Dutse, Jigawa State. Currently facing trial before justice Nnamdi Dimgba at the FCT High Court.

“Timipre Sylva: A well-known financier and supporter of the APC administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Alleged to have looted ₦19.7 billion. Was facing trial before Justice A. Y. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja. However, two days after President Buhari was sworn in, the new APC government WITHDREW the charges preferred against Sylva on June 1, 2015, and on October 3, 2018, the EFCC returned to Sylva, 48 houses seized from him during the administration of former president, Goodluck Jonathan in 2013 to him.

“Murtala Nyako: Alleged to have looted ₦29 billion. Currently facing trial before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja

“Senator Danjuma Goje: Alleged to have looted ₦25 billion. Currently facing trial before the Federal High Court, sitting in Jos, Plateau State.

“Senator Abdullahi Adamu: Alleged to have looted ₦15 billion with the help of 18 co-accused. Charged on March 3, 2010. The case continues to linger in court.

“Orji Kalu: Alleged to have looted ₦3.2 billion. Currently facing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

“Kayode Fayemi: Indicted by the Ekiti Judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by former Ekiti State chief judge and the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti, Ademola Ajakaiye, of sundry financial malfeasance totaling over ₦2 billion.

“Senator Joshua Dariye: Alleged to have looted ₦1.2 billion. Currently facing trial before Justice Adebukola Banjoko at an FCT High Court.

“Babachir Lawal: former Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Allegedly gave a ₦200 million contract to his own company from monies meant to look after Internally Displaced Persons. Has been sacked after the protest by the opposition and civil society. Has still not been charged. Was allowed to be replaced by his own cousin.

“By the omission of these names, the Buhari led Federal Government has vindicated Transparency International.

“According to Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, Nigeria is more corrupt today under Buhari than at any other time since Transparency International started keeping records!” http://www.nigerianmonitor.com/pdp-releases-list-of-alleged-looters-in-apc-nigerianmonitor/

Nigerians were clearly affronted by the shameless and cavalier manner in which the affairs of their nation are being mismanaged by the two parties which, together, have misgoverned the country for the past two decades.

A former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi-Okogie, was among prominent Nigerians who lambasted both parties on their accusations and counter-accusations.

“In a press statement, titled, ‘We Are Watching and Waiting 2.’, the retired Lagos Archbishop of the Catholic Church described the back and forth accusations between the two major parties as a show of shame: “Nigerians are currently forced to watch a show of shame by the ruling party of today and the ruling party of yesterday. Such are accusations and counter-accusations of looting that Nigerians find it difficult to differentiate between the accuser and the accused.

“Huge sums of money belonging to the people of Nigeria obviously got into wrong hands and for the wrong reasons. There are good reasons to suspect that the looting that took place cut across party lines. Nigerians deserve to know how, for example, the two leading parties financed their campaigns in 2015.

“But instead of honest answers, we are treated by the two big parties to a theatrical display of politically-motivated compilation of lists of looters.  We are forced to say what Jesus said to the accusers of the adulterous woman in the Gospel: whoever has not sinned let him cast the first stone.”

“Unfortunately, it can and it ought to be said that our political leaders constitute the greatest threat to security in this country, not armed robbers nor kidnappers, not Boko Haram nor herdsmen.

“Nigerians are impoverished by those who are put in charge of her enormous resources while our political leaders live in affluence.  The standard of living continues to nosedive.  And while politicians display ill-gotten wealth at birthday and wedding parties, there is widespread dilapidation of infrastructure.

“Our government got a friendly reminder recently. Counseled to invest resources in the people of Nigeria, its apologists, as usual, insulted the messenger.  Has Bill Gates become a ‘wailer’ and a looter as critics of this government are often labeled?”

The cleric added, “Instead of indecently jostling for positions in 2019, the immoral electioneering propaganda that has replaced good governance, and the vicious fight over whose turn it is to capture the pot of honey that Nigeria’s wealth is, our politicians across party lines should stop and ponder: what type of Nigeria are we handing over to our children and to our children’s children?

“Whether our political leaders in all the parties will seek wise answers to that question is left to be seen. That is why we are still watching and waiting.” https://punchng.com/looters-list-apc-pdp-in-a-show-of-shame-says-okogie/

We, at the Take it Back Movement, will like to remind Nigerians what we have consistently said: The APC/PDP duopoly are simply two sides of the same bad coin. The recent spate of decamping and defections and carpet-bagging between the two parties clearly vindicated our stance.

Those who continue to tell us fanciful tales about President Buhari’s integrity and anti-corruption stance should tell Nigerians why any man of integrity did not only surrounded himself with people of questionable integrity but is clearly selective in his prosecution of treasury-looters.

 

Femi Akomolafe

Media Consultant / Take it Back Movement