I have nothing to hide over alleged missing $20b, says Jonathan
THERE are fresh indications that the controversy surrounding the alleged missing $20 billion from the coffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) is far from being over as President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday absolved his administration of any wrongdoing.
And to demonstrate the sincerity of his administration, Jonathan has ordered the immediate release of the full audit report by the Price Water Cooper to the public.
In another development, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday released a list of over 182 eminent Nigerians and accomplished Africans who were honoured by naming major streets within the FCT after them.
In the same vein, the President also refuted claims by the spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lai Mohammed who accused the government of embarking on last minute looting of the nation’s resources, rushed privatization of key institutions and hurried recruitment into the public service.
However the President has approved the appointment of the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi as the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC) He also confirmed the appointment of the Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission Mr. Munir Gwarzo as the substantive Executive Secretary with effect from yesterday.
Gwarzo who has been acting as Director-General of the Commission, was appointed to the Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission as Executive Commissioner in January, 2013.
Obi was the Deputy Director-General of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organization for the March 28 Presidential election.
Similarly, the President also announced the sacking of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Health Insurance Scheme, (NHIS) Dr. Femi Thomas. In his place, he approved the appointment of Dr. Olufemi Akingbade from Ekiti State as the Acting Executive Secretary of the agency with immediate effect from yesterday.
Until his appointment, Akingbade was the General Manager of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) of the NHIS.
Jonathan’s reaction is coming barely 24-hours after the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari threatened to revisit the alleged missing $20 billion, which led to the suspension of the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) and now Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, an action Buhari reportedly described as unnecessary.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, in a statement on behalf of Jonathan said, “We have noted with concern, the allegation by the spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed that officials of the Federal Government are engaged in last minute looting of the nation’s resources, rushed privatization of key institutions and hurried recruitment into the public service.
According to Jonathan “We also consider as most unfortunate and uncharitable, the suggestion by Mohammed that the Jonathan Administration is trying to “tie the hands” of the incoming government merely by continuing to discharge its constitutional responsibilities until the end of its tenure.
“The Jonathan Administration which continues to do its best to ensure a smooth and peaceful handover over of power to the Buhari, deeply regrets the unfairness and combative frame of mind reflected in Mohammed’s statement.
Without any prejudice whatsoever to the freedom of the incoming administration to do as it pleases, within the confines of extant laws when it assumes office, the Jonathan Administration will continue to discharge its responsibility to govern until May 29, 2015.
In continuing to fulfill the obligations of his office however, President Jonathan has not, and will never condone any form of unscrupulous conduct on the part of state officials.
“As Mohammed threatened in his statement, the incoming administration will be perfectly within its rights to review all actions of the present government as it may deem fit.
“President Jonathan is also deeply concerned by the continuing suggestions that his administration still has anything to hide about the unproven allegation that about $20 billion is unaccounted for by the NNPC during his tenure.
“To lay the matter to rest, President Jonathan in line with Section 7(2) of the NNPC Act, has directed that the full report of the PWC Forensic Audit of the NNPC accounts be released immediately to the public so that all Nigerians will be properly informed on the matter.”
FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed said during the FCT executive meeting yesterday that the major streets in Asokoro Extension, Guzape, Wupa, Wuye and Maitama Extension districts as well as expressways and roads would be renamed in honour of President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President, late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, former Speaker of House of Representatives and Katsina Stat Governor-elect, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Dahiru Musdapha, Business moguls, Femi Otedola, Aliko Dangote and several others.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Media Assistant to the FCT minister, Nosike Ogbuenyi, the soon-to-be commissioned Inner Southern Expressway which dissects Abuja city centre was named after President Jonathan while the longest Wuye district boulevard express road measuring 1,730 metres was named after Dr. Atiku Abubakar.
Another major road in the same district was named after Vice President Sambo.
According to the statement, other prominent personalities also honoured by naming streets after them in Asokoro extension district extension include former Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Anan, South African anti-apartheid activist, late Walter Sisulu, former President of Sudan, Gaafar al-Nimeiry, former Minister of State for FCT, late Prof. Miriam Ikejiani-Clark, former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi and 16 others.