Press Statement - 20th August, 2012
It has become imperative to speak out and challenge President Goodluck Jonathan’s much publicised tantrums about fighting corruption and entrenching probity and accountability in governance, as well as this government’s persistent noise about repositioning all sectors of our national life.
The revelations last week from Wall Street Journal that Federal Government under President Jonathan, through Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) annually bribes some Niger Delta militants with about $40 million to guard pipelines is worrisome, and makes nonsense of all the audacity this government claims to be standing on as a democratically elected government.
It is suicidal and a shame for a government that claims to abhor corruption, irregularities and all manner of fraudulent contracts and embezzlement of public funds to be the bastion of corrupt practices. A government that has remained nonchalant and undermining national security and public interest before its citizenry and the international community.
It has clearly demonstrated that the government is not sincere and to an extent a watershed for corruption; what is more, its silence on the report by the Wall Street Journal has also proved that corruption is mainly perpetrated by the government and its cronies with impunity. That Mr. Dokubo Asari, collects $9million every year to keep his estimated 4000 soldiers at bay. ‘General’ Ateke Toms and ‘General‘ Ebikabowei Boyloaf Victor Ben collect $3.5million apiece while General Government Tompolo Ekpumopolo is the most priced of all: he gets $22.5 million yearly calls for serious concern, aside the multi-million naira contract given to him to supply 20 patrol vessels shows that the country is under militant siege.
The development further confirms that the allegations of fraud and audit challenges in NNPC are real and being hatched by NNPC officials in collaboration with presidential directives.
Another avenue that has been justified in siphoning public funds is engagement of fake middlemen in achieving dialogue with Boko Haram sect. It is also clearly deliberate to continue milking away national resources, as the government persistently say its doors are open for dialogue and they are dialoguing with the sect. And only for Nigerians to continue witnessing spontaneous attacks.
It is against this backdrop that we resolve as follows:
- That the government must explain to Nigerians in detail the circumstances surrounding bribing the likes of Dokubo Asari, Tompolo, who once faced treasonable charges and his fellow kingpins with over $40 million yearly to guard the nation’s pipelines. Are they a veritable alternative for Nigerian Armed Forces and other security personnel?
- The National Assembly too should set up a viable independent committee to investigate the allegations, and the role of NNPC as the mainstay agency of Nigerian government. It is pertinent because this act has serious implications that ought to be treated with utmost urgency.
- The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should begin prosecution of the militants, the NNPC officials and other top government personnel involved in the fraud. The same thing should apply to all those defrauding the country of its resources in the name of dialogue with the Boko Haram sect.
Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu
Arewa Youth Forum
20th August, 2012