CACOL condemns Jonathan’s statement on corruption

National daily Newspaper
Thursday, 19 September 2013 08:54







President Jonathan

*Backs Amaechi’s NGF on Okonjo-Iweala’s resignation

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has condemned, in its entirety, the statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan that “Nigerians, through their actions, encourage graft.”

This is even as the Non Governmental Organisation has thrown its weight behind the call for the resignation of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Declaring open the 54th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Economic Society in Abuja, the President was also claimed to have stated that “both the public and private sectors are involved in corruption, but  he would not give out their names, so that I won’t be attacked.”

Reacting to the statement, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, maintained  that “it is highly undignifying for the number one citizen of the country to make such a statement.”

He said, “It is very disheartening that a president who was elected to solve the country’s woes could be afraid to wield his authority.

“The President’s statement is an expression of cowardice. If the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is afraid to mention the names of corrupt people, who else will? “What hope does an average Nigerian have if the Commander of the Armed Forces is scared telling the truth simply because he doesn’t want to be attacked?

“It is either he is an accessory, a co-conspirator, or he condones corruption or an outright coward. that is what encourages corruption not the hapless Nigerians who gave President Jonathan their mandate to act on their behalf.”

This apart, Adeniran averred that the President had not been above board in his fight against corruption and even encourages corruption by some of his actions.

Obviously setting out a code of conduct for the President, CACOL’ boss said, “Fight against corruption must be championed by a leader, who in himself is not corrupt. What moral authority does President Jonathan have when he is a principal actor? Up till present, Jonathan has not declared his assets. As if that was not enough, the President also granted amnesty to ex-convict Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. Is that not rewarding corruption?

Not done yet, Adeniran noted that “the same President shielded Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, from prosecution after he was alleged to have diverted about N21 billion of the pension funds into some illicit accounts with three banks, according to the police  testimonies before the senate pension management hearing.”

By such suspected actions, he said, “the President has only confirmed to Nigerians that he is not only a coward, but a co-conspirator  by choosing to keep mum  because he does not want to be attacked.

“The fact that he knows this and has not used every authority at his disposal to bring them to book only confirms that he, himself is corrupt. It would be illogical for a corrupt person to fight his corrupt friends or foes; after all, he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

As if calling for possible rectification, CACOL Executive Chairman said,  “it is high time the President realized that the position he occupies is not for cowards.

“He should not be afraid of fighting a just war, after all, a man who doesn’t know what to die for is not worthy of living. The buck starts with him as the head of state. Leadership by example will reduce corruption in this country Nigeria.”

Adeniran suggested that “ the National Assembly should summon the President to name the names of the corrupt people he said he knows.”

In a similar development, the Non Governmental Organisation(NGO)has thrown its weight behind the call for the resignation of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The call was hinged on what was described as, “the non-compliance with the Appropriation Act 2013 and the mismanagement of the country’s economy.”

Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, said the minister “has done more harm to the nation’s economy in the recent time.”

In asserting that the Minister appeared “not to be in control of her duties of late.,” he highlighted some of the Minister’s lapses as follows:-

“First, she claimed Nigeria was not broke, after some times she said the country’s budget could not accommodate ASUU’s demands; after then, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku claimed that Nigeria would shut down, should government accede to ASUU’s demands.”

By such glaring inconsistencies, Adeniran said, “he Minister has been contradicting herself quite lately and has run the country’s economy aground.”

As a result, he said, “she should be relieved of her position.”

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