The debacle between the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and Dr. Maikanti Baru, GMD, NNPC with the attendant salient issues of corruption and administrative lapses must not be sacrificed under the altar of political expediency, the Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has said.
“We have followed the events that have been generated by the letter written by Kachukwu to President Muhammadu Buhari on “matters of insubordination and lack of adherence to due process perpetuated by Baru”, and before the dust settle we want to oppose any attempt to sweep the core issues raised in the letter and response of Baru under the carpets.” Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of CACOL said while stating the position of the Centre.
“While we appreciate the President’s role in interceding, we consider the issues thrown up in the episode as grave. It is a situation that logically requires thorough investigations by the relevant anti-corruption agencies with a view to establish their veracities basic on the economic sensitivity of our oil sector.”
“The altercation between the duo of Kachukwu and Baru, with the way the drama is playing out, this is no clear indication that this saga will not go the way some similar cases appear to have apparently gone. Nigerians were treated to a part of the ‘cover-up’ show in the name of reconciliation at ongoing National Economic Summit yesterday in Abuja where Kachukwu and Baru were posing for media cameras.”
“The President is quite aware of that there are backlog of cases involving public officials; both elected and appointed that has not been resolved. And as these cases pile up, the more the Federal Government’s fight against corruption led President Buhari loses credibility.”
“Unresolved cases bordering on corruption, misconducts and abuse of due processes involving high profile public officials still litter the ground and they are not indications pointing to their resolutions. That the cases of Babachir Lawal, suspended Secretary General of the Federation, SGF, Lt. Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai etc. remain unresolved judicially is totally distasteful, so the President must take decisive steps to ensure that this episode is immediately investigated and those in comatose’ should be reactivated pursued to legal and logical conclusions.”
Adeniran consequently, we called on the President to immediately give directive to appropriate anti-corruption agencies and other security agencies for the commissioning of a comprehensive investigation of the allegations that border particularly on corruption and the administrative lapses.
He said “with what was revealed about the oil sector in their altercations are similar to the tradition that has characterized the management of our petroleum resources prior to the coming of the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress FG, a government with a ‘serious’ anti-corruption agenda. All hands must be on dock to halt the tendencies that sustained corruption in NNPC.”
“Prior to this time, specifically on 13 September, 2017, CACOL had made a call to President in an open letter to make changes in his cabinet; Kachukwu was one of the topmost on the list of names we recommended to be sacked including Raji Fashola and Kemi Adeosun. Thus we are we once again reiterating the call for Kachikwu to be sacked or asked to resign.”
“There are no concrete achievements to showcase 2 years after the inauguration of this government, by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources under the superintending Minister of State, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu. All the lofty promises of performance including making the refineries functional within 6 months and building of new ones given by the Minister at the assumption of duty has fallen flat on their faces, just as Nigeria sadly still import refined petroleum products. At this rate, the situation will persist till this tenure lapse, which will be totally unfortunate and unacceptable.”
“Quintessentially, we also reiterate our call on the President to relieve himself of the position of the Minister of Petroleum Resources immediately. This is to allow him to concentrate fully on the wholesome administration of the government. This clearly needs be done conscientiously against the background of a National Assembly that apparently lacks diligence in its oversight functions preferring the mundane for the significant, it becomes expedient. Buhari should concentrate energy on supervisory roles over all Ministries and the Presidential leadership of the country while a substantive Minister is appointed for the Petroleum Resources Ministry.”
In concluding and speaking on Baru, CACOL’s Chairman said, “the apparent personality clash in the saga is not as important as the business of the NNPC. Statutorily, the NNPC boss knows who he should report to. If the allegations leveled against him are confirmed, then he may be punished. But as long as the job gets done, the person he reports to should not be made a sentimental issue.”
The Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to expedite its investigations on the $20M bribery scam involving former officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA with the ultimate goal of bringing the culprits to book.
Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of the Centre said “it is embarrassing and unacceptable that till date, the $20M bribery scam; an international case has not been seen to logical conclusions where culpability of suspects or otherwise would have been established and with culprits facing the full wrath of the law.”
“This is a case that involved a Swiss company, Dredging International Services (Cyprus) Ltd that has already being found guilty in Switzerland and fined 1 million Swiss Francs accordingly since 2012!”
“What could be taking the EFCC, other anti-corruption agencies and the Federal Government so long to identify the former NPA officials that received the bribe and bring them to justice just like it has been done in Switzerland? The fact that the Swiss government had sent its report on the bribery scam which indicted the NPA officials to the FG since 2012 makes the situation curious as far as logic is concerned. The case mocks Nigeria’s anti-corruption drive within the comity nations and something must be by the authorities.”
“Again, we hear from media reports that the indicted companies are still bidding for contracts at the NPA while the $20M bribery scam remain judiciously unresolved. We note that such moves indicate that the case has been ‘resolved’ and business can continue as usual.”
“As such, we are therefore calling on the EFCC and other relevant agencies to move beyond ‘we are investigating’ to practical, expeditious and lawful means to bring those behind the bribery scam to justice no matter how highly placed they are in the society. Nigeria cannot continue to carry an image created by only a few persons via their incurable greed, lust for lucre and self-aggrandizement.” Adeniran concluded
Justice Walter S. Nkanu Onnoghen GCON Chief Justice of Nigeria
Supreme Court of Nigeria
Three Arms Zone
URGENT CALL FOR THE REMOVAL THOSE WITH CORRUPT PROCLIVITY IN THE RECENTLY CONSTITUTED COMMITTEE TO TRY LOOTERS
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL welcomes the decision of the National Judicial Council, NJC to constitute a committee dedicated to the trying of looters of the commonwealth of Nigerians.
Sir, our organization, was up till December 28, 2016 known as Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders. An aggregate of human rights; community based, civil society organisations and individuals with anti-corruption and openness in governance agenda across Nigeria. It is a non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian, non-profit organisation.
We find it pertinent to call on you and your honourable office to reconsider the appropriateness of some members of the recently constituted committee by NJC on trying the looters of our commonwealth based on their apparent corrupt antecedents.
We are convinced that with the task before the said committee and the sensitivity of it, the NJC ought to constitute the body with people of impeccable credentials in terms of incorruptibility and glaring integrity.
As an organization that has been following the efforts of your Lordship particularly the recent positions being put forward by you against the behemoth called corruption and we believe it is imperative to forestall whatever will frustrate your noble intentions.
Justice Ayo Salami and people like Olisa Agbakoba are good nominees because of their track records in public space for the committee but one cannot say the same about some other persons basically because they apparently have baggage of corrupt practices. There are some lawyers on the committee who have clearly demonstrated that as long as they get their ‘fat briefs’, the learned fellows would defend the corruption cases against their clients. Morally and ethically, Lawyers like Wole Olanipekun, SAN, and J B Dauda, SAN have no business being on the committee based on their antecedents of defending suspected corruption criminals.
Your Lordship, the lawyers we are talking about have been persistent in defending suspected corruption criminals and helping looters with the benefit of their knowledge of law to wriggle through the lacunae to escape justice. Their regular justification has always been “we are only doing our work”.
It is against the foregoing that we are urging you not to take the risk of allowing people who are corrupt or have allegations of corruption that can distort your good intentions on the committee. We believe that the present government’s efforts on anti-corruption have its gains that are commendable and with judiciary rising to the occasion, we can end the repeated starts we have been making at excising corruption from our country.
Lastly, your Lordship, we call for a thorough and clinical screening on all the members of the committee to establish, and made public, their true qualifications upon which they are so trusted to be on such a quintessential body. The judiciary remains the last hope of the common people; in a situation where the Judiciary can longer serve the purpose of its creation, it becomes anachronistic, useless, and self-help is becomes the only hope, which is a recipe for anarchy.
Long Live, Nigeria!
Yours in service to humanity,
Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL
57 years after independence, the clamour for ‘restructuring’ continues to resonate and as the next general elections closes in, it may seem like the call is now getting to the climax. The agitations that have surrounded what is called the ‘National Question’, which ‘restructuring’ is a component of, have gotten to crescendos and tipping edges that are akin to what we are witnessing presently in the country. The character of the political class and elites that have dominated the Nigerian socio-political and economic space, both in and out of power have no doubts constituted a huge obstacle to nation building which have led to several repeated starts, fake or transient victories.
The fact is that the discerning Nigerians who understand the history of the political intrigues of the country in the past years would apparently adduce the coming general elections in 2019; and the mostly inordinate ambitions of desperate and opportunistic politicians as the reason behind the recent calls for restructuring.
At the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, when the renewed call began to gain ascendancy recently in agitations, we had said that the restructuring of Nigeria’s body polity required to be profoundly interrogated, to understand the motivations and core purpose of the seemingly justified call.
Circumspection on all the labyrinths of issues over the National question remain very imperative, so as not to fall into the pitfalls of the past. Nigeria with the apparent faulty foundations remain shaky owing to the historical reality that Nigeria and Africa in general were indeed partitioned at the bayoneting ends of the guns of colonizers; for the convenience of their political cum economic exploitation and subjugation of the people.
Again without any iota of doubt, the call to restructure Nigeria is neither the exclusive preserve of the ruling class in their intra-class fractional and factional struggles, nor is it a new call. It is a call, a demand, a bargaining weapon of choice, in their now covert, now overt intra-class skirmishes as 2019 general elections approaches.
The truth is that no matter how Nigeria is ‘restructured’, the fundamental issue will remain about the social emancipation of the vast majority of the people. Any form of restructuring that is not achieved side by side with the social emancipation of the component units of Nigeria will amount to naught. Such achievement will make no significant difference in National life and the lives of majority of the people who would still remain oppressed and exploited in any arrangement that emerges from ‘restructuring’ designed and controlled by the present ruling class i.e. the representatives of the political and economic status quo.
We are convinced that unless and until when the oppressed people of the different component units of Nigeria unite against their oppressors in their various units in a popular process that will put the destinies of the vast majority in their hands regardless of the unit/s they come from, the National question may permanently become a permanent question.
The pre-independence constitutional conferences, as well as the post-independence constitutional reform processes have all been at the heart, about restructuring Nigeria, as has been the numerous state agitation/state creation processes and the many constitutional and political conferences.
It is important to learn from the history of Nigeria’s several attempts at addressing the National question, either initiated by the Government or by the people (Civil society). From the Obasanjo staged managed National Conference to the last National Confab organized by the Jonathan Goodluck-led government, it is explicit that the call for restructuring and addressing the National question is beyond what the status quo will organize for obvious reasons.
The call to restructure Nigeria, it must be affirmed has also periodically found resonance among ordinary Nigerian citizens like National Consultative Forum, NCF and Pro-Peoples’ National Conference, PRONACO which gained traction particularly in times of deepening economic and political crisis. The more debilitating the economic crisis, the greater the instability in the polity, the louder the calls for restructuring gets.
Therefore the ongoing groupings and meetings across the country on restructuring are also not new. But the quintessential questions would be: do they have the full mandate and representative capacities to speak on behalf of the group, sectional or regional interests they lay claim to represent? What do their constituents understand by restructuring; the gains, losses and are they on the same page in terms of consensus? What would restructuring translate into practically; for the vast majority that will bear the brunt of possible gains or losses in terms of social economic development? What are the modalities for restructuring if a consensus is reached that such is expedient? These are the underlying fundamental questions and issues, the political class and elites across the country are not bringing to the fore in their present ‘agitation’ for restructuring beyond their phraseologies and sloganeering.
The story of Brexit and the consequence of superficial introspection and circumspection in process which is still fresh in global history is manifest in yet-to-be resolved dilemma-like situation that subsist between the United Kingdom and European Union where the UK have had to revisit the referendum that led to its exit from EU. We as people should take a cue from that and look before we leap beyond the apparent political bargain weaponry being wielded at presently by sections of the ruling class and elites across the country as the 2019 elections approaches.
Nigerian politicians are largely inconsistent in their views obviously because the positions they assume at most times on national issues are directly proportional to their narrow political interests’ tendencies beyond that of the country. Majority of politicians’ views on restructuring therefore cannot be far-fetched from inconsistent.
Hence the recent calls being shielded in nationalism and genuine will for nation building from members of the ruling class should be handled with ‘a pinch of salt’. This is because the ruling class factions and fractions who lost out or are losing out in the jostle for control of and access to state power at central and sub national levels proceed to mobilize existing grievances along the lines of existing cleavages, as well as co-opt existing and incipient resistance struggles of impoverished and oppressed citizens against declining living conditions and intensifying economic hardships.
Finally, we think President Muhammad Buhari’s speech on the occasion of the 57th anniversary is one that inspires hope for a better Nigeria in spite of the background of being a country facing very serious challenges almost on all plains. So we commend him for demonstrating commitment and sincerity of purpose in rebuilding the nation and particularly in the bold confrontation against corruption since he took over the reins of power.
The President’s call on the National Assembly and the Judiciary for support is nothing but presidential in act and humility exemplified and we support every move that will ensure harmony amongst the arms of government. The President outlined some ways he intends to make the fight against corruption more effective and that is what is expected of a leader and Nigerians should support him on the campaign.
Quintessentially, Nigerians must resolve on altering the socio-economic and political system which has concentrated the wealth of the collective in the hands of a tiny few that have subsisted for too long in their country. This is the fundamental task that must be done. Long live, Nigeria!
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has charged the governors of the 36 states of the Federation to abandon their overzealous and unnecessary call on the Federal Government, FG to take charge of fixing federal roads within their various territories.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran, said “within each of the every states of the federation, majority of the roads under the purview of their governments are in serious and embarrassing conditions that can best be described as despoiled and unattended to.”
The CACOL Leader who was reacting to the recent calls made by some governors to the FG at a meeting of the National Economic Council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja posited that the states have their hands full considering their share of dilapidated roads that are sprawling the country all over.
Apart from rejecting the suggestion, Adeniran added “we oppose the suggestions that the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Raji Fashola has been peddling recently on tolling of roads; a measure which the governors added as a condition to fixing federal roads. Like the Minister, the governors are saying they will fix the roads through investors and toll them. But the country at different points in history has toyed with such ideas and has failed severally including tolling on roads and we remain where we are today.”
“Those suggestions have always come from the neo-liberal perspective of privatization under varied names and have been used by consecutive governments to abdicate the very basic reasons they were instituted for. Tolling of roads is akin to irresponsibly transferring the responsibility of government to the citizens, the tax-payers and the owners of the resources of the country.”
“Also, going by the track record of some former and present governors in terms of the tendency to exploit such arrangements being suggested in terms of corrupt practices and self-aggrandizement, we cannot help but to be adamant in our skepticism as things stand. This may be another avenue for some sleazing governors added with the existing conduits of corruption which they hideously use to corruptly enrich themselves. Charity as they say begins from home, the conditions of our state roads without any iota of doubts seem to suggest how the governors will ‘rehabilitate’ and ‘maintain’ FG roads should be put in their charge.”
“We therefore propose and demand that the state governors focus more on the parlous conditions of most of the roads under their purview, while the FG should do same with the ones in its charge unless under an extraordinary circumstance. This way, the citizenry would be able to monitor the failures of both tiers of government in terms of performance on one hand and to expose corruption which has been a major bane in the excruciating experience of Nigerians on road infrastructural development on the other.”
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, hereby unequivocally express its vehement rejection of the 2010 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Regulation and Co-ordination Bill to forestall so-called illegal activities of some groups being proposed by the House of Representatives, HOR.
We hold that in terms of regulation, the NGOs/CSOs are already sufficiently regulated, if not over-regulated as things stand presently in Nigeria.
We object to the totalitarian attempt by those who have a lot of corrupt and criminal baggage to shroud in conscious secrecy in order to continue the perpetration of their rule of opaque mode of governance, ineptitude, greed and crass diabolic thirst to keep the vast majority of Nigerians in permanent socio-political and economic slavery.
We are convinced that the promoters in the HOR and within the government generally are desperate not to only perpetrate the subsisting status quos but perpetuate it even at the expense of stripping the masses of their commonwealth and basic rights, at times including the fundamental right to life.
Speaking specifically on the unintelligent justifications by the HOR for necessity of the bill to be passed to law, we say, all the points put forward hold no water!
To begin with, like we said, there are already adequate regulatory mechanisms to particularly monitor the activities of NGOs or Civil Society Organizations generally. The truth is that NGOs and CSOs are over-regulated already by: Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Special Control Unit on Money Laundering, SCUML, Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria etc. HoR is only troubled by idleness, the huge pay for doing nothing, inanities and fundamentally ways to cover-up their tracks of corruption!
We aver that the position of the HoR that some NGOs are used to fund the activities of terrorists and insurgents is an extremist one taken for the purpose of ‘calling a dog a bad name in order to hang it’. It is absolute generalization and the proponents should be asked why those supposed NGOs in the North east are not isolated for interrogations, prosecution or judicial conviction as the case may be.
Also, the insinuation that “they (NGOs) are supposed to be partners in progress with the government” portends a tendency that is apparently insisting that partnering with government is a fundamental conditionality to its recognition. This is absolutely shallow as the position smacks of intolerance for dissenting opinions and therefore has no place in a democracy.
Those propounding the idea at HoR must be reminded that most of the vibrant organizations that were at the forefronts of dissension and struggles against the military rule which eventually culminated into today’s democracy were not even registered!
The gains of those struggles they have already appropriated to themselves; yet they want to muzzle and annihilate the voices of the tradition that battled to achieve the civil rule. And this is apparently because these social formations are still battling for the deepening of Nigeria’s fledgling democracy toward full democratization which makes the promoters of the bill uncomfortable as a result of their palpable innate abhorrence for openness in governance.
The proponents are elected officials who have been recalcitrant in making their assets and remunerations public with all effrontery even though relevant laws require them to, has no moral authority question the integrity of CSOs so generally considering that they are non-governmental abnitio. Clearly, it’s because of the in-justifiable humongous funds the lawmakers rip Nigeria of in the name of remuneration for ‘public service’, while the majority wallow in penury that is lurking behind somewhere in this ill-fated bill.
The HoR needs to be educated to understand that social formations like CSOs/NGOs are formed by people out of circumstances necessitated by their socio-political, economic and cultural existence. No legislation can mute the voices of dissension as long it’s legitimate and existential. Wherever there is oppression, repression, exploitation and subjugation; there will always be dissension and resistance.
We advise the present National Assembly and the shenanigans therein, that has so far been notorious for inanities and futile attempts at covering up their corrupt rumps to focus on fundamental issues of governance. The diabolic and superfluous bill stands rejected like the inordinate and clever moves to kill the social media. CACOL calls on Nigerians to join in vehemently resisting the retrogressive bill by every legitimate means possible, collectively we must stop the marauders in power!
ONLY SECURITY AGENCIES CAN DETERMINE WHETHER IPOB IS A TERRORIST ORGANISATION OR NOT – Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL
The Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran has said defining the status of any organization as terrorist or not is the prerogative of security agencies.
Speaking against the background of the controversy that has tailed the proscription of the Nnamdi Kanu-led Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and its qualification as a terrorist organization, Adeniran said that there must be certain parameters, upon which those who are supposed know, i.e the security agencies, because of their expertise and training based their decision on.
He said, “First and foremost, it is only the security agencies that can determine the veracity of that claim, whether the IPOB are a terrorist organisation or not. This is because there are conditions to be fulfilled by any organisation to be tagged a terror group.”
“However, what we could see is that the organisation, especially the leader, made a number of statements that pointed towards insurgency, not terror. When someone is seen on social media (whether in a fake or an authentic video) openly soliciting arms and ammunition to fight the battle for self-determination in the country, that is a step beyond the red line.”
“Yes, people have a right to associate, to hold an opinion and propagate that opinion within the ambits of existing laws. The United Nations also said people have a right to self determination; but a situation where you want to wage war against your own country has a different connotation. That is the area we are looking at. The IPOB has set up some outfits which are confrontational to the existing government. It is like belittling the capacity of the existing government and no government will accept that.”
“If the movement does not use arms against security agencies, that’s fine. If you ask the Department of State Services and the National Intelligence Agency, they are the ones to determine what the status of IPOB is. Government must also take the path of dialogue, which the IPOB should initiate by stating their grievances in writing to the Federal Government.” The CACOL leader concluded
Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has commended the order given by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen for the establishment of special courts for corruption cases in the country.
“The country really needs special anti-corruption courts to the speed-up judicial processes in corruption cases and other related offences. We have consistently advocated for reforms in the judicial system including the creation of Special courts for corruption cases to facilitate the enabling environment for the successful prosecution of the anti-corruption war. Several cogent reasons abound for the inevitable need for Special courts for corruption cases and some reforms in our laws.” He said
The anti-corruption crusader was reacting to the CJN’s directive on Monday to heads of courts in the country to create special courts for corruption cases at the special court session held at the Supreme Court in Abuja to mark the commencement of the new 2017/2018 legal year. Onnoghen averred that the creation of special court would speed up determination of cases.
“As a matter of fact, since the kitchen became hotter for corruption criminals based on the ongoing war against corruption, corrupt elements are fighting back using every means available including lapses in our laws to evade justice. The plethora of corruption cases that the ongoing anti-corruption drive has thrown up calls for reforms in the existing judicial system to ensure that the efforts to rid Nigeria of sharp practices bears fruits.” Mr. Adeniran said as he welcomed the order for the creation of special courts.
“As corruption fights backs viciously, the logical response is to; lawfully remove all the encumbrances on the path of the anti-corruption drive which corruption criminals cleverly use to wriggle through the labyrinths of the existing judicial system to escape justice.”
“We therefore welcome and commend the CJN and the judiciary for this bold initiative and the proactive steps being taken to achieve the establishment of Special Courts, just as we call on all the Arms of the Federal Government to work in unison to fight corruption, a scourge that have encroached our country for too long and threatening to obliterate it. The decision is akin to taking one step ahead of criminals who had always deployed different tactics to evade justice should it come to fruition.”
Media Coordinator, CACOL
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The Beko Rights Klub, BRK and the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL have added their voices to the appeal for by some military officers convicted and under various categories of punishment by various courts-martial to the Presidential Investigation Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement to hear their complaints against the Nigerian Army.
Mr. Debo Adeniran who made the appeal on behalf of BRK and CACOL said “we have consistently for the past two years been appealing to the authorities of the army and Federal government to grant former Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, Enitan Ransome-Kuti, who was demoted from the rank of Brigadier General to Colonel and others for their pardon.”
“We were especially pleased when he was released from confinement and with a sense of fulfillment because we had maintained that Enitan was innocent based on the fact that he acted more like a patriot and demonstrated a good sense of leadership with the decision he took which actually saved lives of many of our gallant soldiers that would have been lost in the Boko Haram ambush they retreated from.”
An exclusive report by The PUNCH yesterday revealed that some military officers convicted under various categories of punishment by various courts-martial have appealed to the Presidential Investigation Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement to hear their complaints against the Nigerian Army. Some were also dismissed by the Nigerian Army for alleged negligence of military duties; and 54 soldiers, who claimed to have been illegally tried and convicted by the court-martial for demanding weapons for counter-insurgency operations in the North-East geopolitical zone.
Mr. Adeniran said “we implore the Nigerian Army Council to reconsider its’ decision to demote Brigadier General Enitan to the rank of Colonel just as we add our voice the plea for pardon by the soldiers on basis of compassion and consideration for their patriotism. We believe they deserve pardon.”
“The revelations reeled out from the Arms procurement scandal and the DasukiGate confirm Brigadier General Enitan’s his innocence and patriotism when we recall the narratives that followed the Baga Massacre, in Borno state. In fact, we believe with those expositions, the actions of Brigadier-General Enitan and others are justiciable, reasonable and dialectical. What will a soldier do when his superiors have diverted funds meant to prepare him/her for an operation that involves risks of losing one’s live and troops, given that he/she also has been trained on the principle of self-preservation even in the fiercest battles? Saving the lives of troops that he led must have been imperative.”
“We therefore join our voices in urging the Presidential Investigation panel to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari to grant the gallant soldiers pardon. Section 198 of the Armed Forces as well as Section 175 of the constitution which grants the President powers grant pardon to any convicted person in Nigeria without condition and regardless of whether or not the convicts had pending appeals could relied upon to achieve this.” He concluded.
AN URGENT CALL ON PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI TO MAKE CHANGES IN THE FEDERAL CABINET TO REVAMP GOVERNMENTAL PERFORMANCE FOR SOCIO-POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Our organization, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL is up till December 28, 2016 known as Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders. CACOL is an aggregate of human rights, community based, and civil society organisations and individuals with anti-corruption and openness in governance agenda across Nigeria. It is a non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian, non-profit organisation.
Your Excellency, CACOL, heartily welcomes you back to active duty like all well-meaning Nigerians after your last trip for medical care in the United Kingdom; we also wish you full recuperation soonest. Indeed, the significance of your return at this auspicious time needs not to be over-emphasized given the state of the nation upon your return and arduous task ahead.
Your Excellency, we find it pertinent to call on you to urgently take steps to make some changes in the Federal Cabinet to reinvigorate the processes of governance on one handand delivery of service to the people on the other. Glaringly, after about two and a half years since the inauguration of this government, certain patterns have unfolded that has exposed mediocrity and incompetence within the ranks of the cabinet members with regard to their performances in lines of the duties assigned to them. This is reality is necessarily telling on the general performance of the government itself wholesomely.
Mr. President, in making our call for these expedient changes in the cabinet, we equally want to crave your indulgence to make our recommendations in terms of clearly nonperforming or ineffective Ministers. We recall that at the end of your first year in office, you sought for the opinion of the public on whether there was the need to make some changes in the cabinet which demonstrated your openness to accommodate views and make good use of them.
Predicated on the foregoing, our organization, CACOL is therefore recommending as follows:
1.The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing: The Ministry superintended over by Mr. Raji Fashola, (SAN), have over the past years made more noise than any practical achievement on the ground to justify the funds that has been ploughed into the three sectors under it. All the actions and policies of the Ministry have compounded the sufferings of Nigerians in multi-folds; from lack of power supply to the illogical hike in electricity tariffs, from continually decaying infrastructure to death traps as roads with a Housing sector that is ‘non-existent’ or in absolute comatose. The Minister is constantly at loggerheads with institutions, contractors and even the citizenry he is supposed to serve. The Minister keeps standing logic on its heads by asking the already impoverished Nigerians to bear the brunt of his failure by asking them to pay for services not rendered even up to the effrontery of hiking the tariff of electricity against a background of a country in perpetual darkness. He made history by achieving the lowest, ZERO, mega watts for more than 18 hours in history of power generation in Nigeria last year; with nothing to offer than damage, we call on Mr. President to ask him to honourably resign or he should be sacked!
2.We recommend the immediate replacement of Mr. Malami Abubakar as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of this country to save this government and the country from further embarrassment and criticisms within the comity of nations. The mantra of this government and one of the campaign cardinal points of its party is ‘fight against corruption’. For any government to succeed in its policies, programmes and agenda, the commitment, professionalism, soundness and integrity of the Chief Law Officer of that government must be impeccable and consistent. We are afraid, based on recent happenings, the current Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has fallen short of these critical requirements and incapable of delivering any fundamental departure from the corruption ridden past of governance in the country. We noted the AGF’s unnecessary interventions particularly in cases high profile publicly exposed persons and the needless ‘rivalry’ with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, an agency under his Ministry and which ordinarily reports to him officially. The Attorney-General was publicly accused of meeting, negotiating, agreeing terms and collecting N50 billion on behalf of the government without recourse to both the regulatory agency and supervisory ministry last year. Local and international criticisms greeted the unprofessional conduct of the Minister and secrecy associated with his negotiation with MTN. These reasons, amongst others necessitate our call for the removal of the AGF and Minister of Justice.
3.The Minister in charge of the Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has been everything but impressive and constantly appears to be confused on policies and in-depth economic management. The economic terrain under her watch is riddled by contradictions, policy somersaults and uncertainties. It is our conviction that it is the concerted efforts of the Central Bank and other MDAs trying to diversify, particularly the Agriculture Ministry and with the increase in the price of oil that helped pulled Nigeria out of recession recently and not via the acumen of the Finance Minister. We recommended that she should be replaced with better competence and prowess.
4.The Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources under the superintending Minister of State, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has no concrete achievement to showcase 2 years after the inauguration of this government. All the lofty promises of performance including making the refineries functional within 6 months and building of new ones given by the Minister at the assumption of duty has fallen flat on their faces, just as Nigeria sadly still import refined petroleum products. At this rate, this situation will persist till this tenure lapses, which will be totally unfortunate and unacceptable, thus it is time to replace the Minister for someone with greater acumen, necessary will and skills.
5.Quintessentially, we call on you, Your Excellency to relieve yourself of the position of the Minister of Petroleum Resources immediately. This is allow you to concentrate fully on the wholesome administration of the government which clearly can only be done conscientiously by your esteemed self and against the background of a National Assembly that apparently lacks diligence in its oversight functions preferring the mundane for the significant, it becomes expedient. We urge that you concentrate your energy on supervisory roles over all Ministries and the Presidential leadership of the country while a substantive Minister is appointed for the Petroleum Resources Ministry.
Your Excellency, as a matter of fact we recommend changes in almost all other Ministries; they are either prostrate or in comatose, some are even approaching non-existence in status. Nigerians can hardly tell what the Ministries of Education, Health, Aviation, Commerce and Industry, Solid Minerals Development etc. are doing in these very challenging times for the country. They all appear to have gone to slumber following the lack of clue on what to do.
Finally, Mr. President, we call on your good office to look into the activities of the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA with a view to making changes in the current leadership as they have continually failed in preventing incessant flooding across the country that has accounted for some many losses of life and properties. The NIWA is responsible for surveying, removing, and receiving derelicts, wrecks and other obstructions from in land waterways across the country by the Act that created it; why should be experiencing floods at the same locations repeatedly over the years if the Authority had been up and doing in terms of its duties? The leadership has definitely failed in designing anticipatory and preventive plans which would have forestalled avoidable disasters.
Once again, we say welcome back, Your Excellency; we wish you more energy, courage and strength.
Long Live, Nigeria!
Yours in service to humanity,
Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL