‘There is no selectivity in anti-graft war’

Okechukwu

Okechukwu

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Osita Okechukwu has said that contrary to the notion held within the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there is no selectivity in the on-going war against corrupt practices in the polity. In an interview with The Guardian in Abuja, Okechukwu maintained that the measure is in line with the APC manifesto.

Okechukwu who was a member of the APC Manifesto Drafting Committee remarked that the claim of selectivity can only hold water if members of the opposition come forth with petitions against APC members and the anti-graft agencies fail to act accordingly.

According to him, “Let me start by saying that from all indications, even Mr. President’s traducers would agree that the war against corruption has commenced in earnest.

There are even signs and moves towards recovery of stolen funds. Yes there are moves, but they are tainted with allegations of being selective? I am coming to that wind of propaganda by those who ruled Nigeria for the last decade plus and left us impoverished, despondent and hungry in the midst of unprecedented oil revenue.

Those who know Mr. President know that he will not even spare his only son or his dear wife if caught in the Cookie jar.     “Are the traducers saying that President Buhari will leave a minister who bought two bullet proof cars for $1.6 million a day longer in the office without prosecution? It is amusing that those who squandered our commonwealth for over a decade are crying foul.

The truth is that Mr. President has drawn the red line; as no public official from May 29th 2015 would behave the way they used to do before. In other words it is no more business as usual.

So the war against corruption has started in earnest, we have heard from Mr. President himself, not only is he fighting the war against corruption, he has gone to the field to even identify and pinpoint the banks where Nigerians who stole from our treasury banked the money.

The truth is that the bubble has burst and the Cookie jar exposed. Can you imagine how within two months, the global community has started to respond to his requests for return of stolen funds. Methinks the greatest thing he has done so far is the implementation the manifesto of our great party.

He gave life to our pledge to wage strident war against corruption. APC pledged to wage war against corruption, by making sure that the EFCC, the ICPC and all the anti-graft agencies are going to return to their core mandate.

And so far, a lot of people are now saying ‘so the EFCC have been sleeping all these while’. It is the body language and the commitment of Mr. President that has moved the anti-graft agencies to start hitting the ground running.

It is unprecedented and we are sure that in the next twelve months, a lot of combing will be done in an effort to recover our stolen funds.

To that extent he is implementing the APC manifesto because the manifesto stated clearly that if the corruption we have on the ground continues the way it is going, nothing can be achieved in terms of physical and social infrastructure.

And that was exactly what led to the collapse of physical and social infrastructure. If you go to the other chapters of the constitution and the APC manifesto, we also stated that in an effort to plug the loopholes, the multifaceted accounts being opened on daily basis by ministries, departments and agencies should be one single account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He has drawn a red line on that. Now the NNPC, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Customs Service etc, all will have only one account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), hence the Federation Account. The era of husbanding public fund as personal fund is gone.

A circular to this effect has been circulated. It is a death knell to multiply accounts by Ministries, Departments and Agencies.      “For God sake, let us be very deep in some of these.

If I have not been the Director General of NIMASA, GMD of NNPC et al, where do you find me culpable? You have to start from those who have been in government and they know as well that if anybody who is of the APC clan is found wanting, Mr. President will not shield the person.

Otherwise I challenge the PDP instead of beating the drums of hate, of deception, and maligning Mr. President, to file petitions, if possible with concrete evidence.

That’s what we did when we were in the defunct CPC and ANPP. Our coalition body the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), filed petitions against ex-President Obasanjo, Professor Maurice Iwu and co. So you don’t wait for Mr. President to file petitions for you. We even went to court to seek mandamus when EFCC was dilly dallying.

Agreed that anti-graft agencies can investigate corruption without petition, but to be exact, file your own petition. But if you grumble and make general accusation that oh Mr. President is being selective, you may not achieve much. But if your report thieves in the APC, and no action, then you can take the matter to Mr. President or the court.

For God’s sake it is trite law that he who asserts, proves his assertion.     “If you have concrete evidence that one is corrupt, please head to the EFCC, or call the attention of the ICPC, or the Nigeria Police Force.

A lot of people forgot that the Nigerian Police Act also contains war against corruption, so also is Code of Conduct Bureau. Mr. President, I am sure will not go out of his way to set up anybody. Methinks it is the deluge of petitions before the anti-graft agencies that has led to these probes.

The PDP has governed the country for the past sixteen years. At a certain point they had over twenty seven governors, then twenty one, they headed all the federal agencies, departments and so I don’t see where accusing finger is coming from.

All I know is that if you have a petition and the EFCC refuses to address the petition, then head to court, and seek for a mandamus or make it public with the media. But if you sit down and say Mr. President is being selective, he didn’t probe Mr. Osita Okechukwu, have you ever asked yourself the EFCC is going after mostly against those it has petitions.

According to Shakespeare, the constitution of a man is not written in his face. In sum, the anti-graft agencies are back to action, given the body language of Mr. President, let’s tap into this wind of change and rid Nigeria of corruption.

As President Buhari said if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”       Okechukwu who is the spokesperson of the APC in the South-South geo-political zone, also reiterated that the Buhari administration will prove cynics wrong by satisfying the yearnings and aspirations of Ndigbo.

He noted, “On assumption of office, immediately Mr. President started appointment with the service chiefs, and no Igbo son is among them, the cynics and ethnic merchants went to town, with all manner of uncharitable innuendos, orchestrating unimaginable stories of ethnic hate.

There were hues and outcry. In defense, we told them that it was too early in the day to shout or complain because we know that President Buhari has the Igbo people in mind like any other part of the country.

Even when we referred to the Igbo adage which cautions that you do not assess the success of the market too early in the morning, they dismissed us. We subscribed to his profound statement that he belongs to nobody and he is for everybody.

For God sake, let us be very deep in some of these. If I have not been the Director General of NIMASA, GMD of NNPC et al, where do you find me culpable? You have to start from those who have been in government and they know as well that if anybody who is of the APC clan is found wanting, Mr. President will not shield the person. Otherwise I challenge the PDP instead of beating the drums of hate, of deception, and maligning Mr. President, to file petitions, if possible with concrete evidence. That’s what we did when we were in the defunct CPC and ANPP. Our coalition body, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), filed petitions against ex-President Obasanjo, Professor Maurice Iwu and co. So you don’t wait for Mr. President to file petitions for you. We even went to court to seek mandamus when EFCC was dilly-dallying. 

They didn’t believe him. Luckily for us, we have been vindicated with the appointment of Igbo sons – The Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu and Engr. Dennis Ajulo as Group Executive Director (GED) Exploration and Production of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) respectively and Enugu Airport was also listed as one of the airports to be upgraded.

To head NNPC to us is substantial appointment and we commend Mr. President for this gracious appointment. We are happy to be vindicated, because the gossip-terrorists and ethnic merchants cannot win us at every turn in the public domain.

We have won this round and will likely win at the end of the first four-year stanza of President Buhari’s regime. The Ndigbo I know will vote for Mr. President in 2019.

They are beginning to realize how dangerous and antithetical to national growths these gossip-terrorist and ethnic merchants are.

In fact some of them are now APC converts, jostling for ministerial and other appointments. They couldn’t believe that such critical and juicy appointments will be allotted to a group who didn’t vote for Mr. President. For us, more is still on its way as Mr. President has over 500 placements to make in the next few months.”



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