Open letter to Minister of Information and President (2)

“The situation is dire and the time to act is now. For example, between the period 2006 and 2013, just 55 people allegedly stole a total of N1.34 trillion in Nigeria. That’s more than a quarter of last year’s national budget.” Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, January 18, 2016, Abuja. I was in Abuja on Tuesday, the day after the Minister made this announcement. As usual, I strolled out of the hotel to buy newspapers. But, from a short distance away, I could see that the vendor had more than the usual number of visitors; something big must be in the papers. The stroll became a trot. Getting there, all the papers on display carried the same headline about 55 people and N1.34 trillion stolen. Soon, four papers were wrapped under my arm. Rushing back to the hotel for breakfast, I then started reading the story. It was a disappointment right from the first page for several reasons – out of which a few will be disclosed. To begin with, the Minister must be the only knowledgeable person in Nigeria, who is not aware that President Buhari, despite all demands made on him, had stated categorically that he was not interested in probing any other government except Jonathan’s. So, of what use is this information, which is even incomplete and misleading to our Fellow Nigerians? Lai Mohammed is in government and the action he is calling for (playing to the gallery really) should be directed at his boss not to us. In the alternative, he should be calling on the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Magu, to present the information at his disposal and to ask for action. The last port of call is the media. After taking all the steps he should have taken then he can invite the media to inform them of what had been done. Instead, he went on to tell us how many schools could have been built or kilometers of roads tarred. We know that already. Furthermore, Lai Mohammed, in rendering that partial report, would have us believe that all the theft took place at the Federal level alone or, impliedly, by PDP members alone. Even he knows that is not true. I live in Lagos State, and there are people who served Lagos State in various capacities who will not fail to be indicted if their assets are fully declared. We know people who entered that government with old jalopies, renting flats at Surulere, who had enough money to run for governor in their states four years later. Even with the generous remuneration packages of the RMAFC, nobody can jump from poverty to the affluence required to run for governor. Where did the money come from? Funds were stolen in every government – Federal and States and aome of the houses at Victoria Island and Lekki as well as Magodo point to where we should search for Lagos State funds. Those who live in glass houses should stop throwing stones. More to the point, the Minister demonstrated an astonishing lack of guts. He should have had the courage to name all the 55 or forget it. At any rate, there is another category missing. At least one of the three Presidents – Obasanjo – was accused by the Senate probing the Petroleum Technology Development Trust Fund, PTDF, of misappropriating huge amounts from the Fund; including buying a Peugeot 607 for a lady from the account. Pages 154 to 1999 of my PDP: CORRUPTION INCORPORATED mentioned several names including Obasanjo. So why is the name missing from the list of those who have cases to answer from 2006 to 2013? Was the omission deliberate or inadvertent? Lai Mohammed is welcome to a copy of the book. After that he can hold another press conference and release INFORMATION. At any rate, the amount missing from 1999-2007 was approximately N8 trillion; the N1.34 trillion quoted grossly understates the scale of economic atrocities. Now that Obasanjo has become a “friend” to the present government, it has become necessary to cover up his own atrocities. That is not what a Minister for Information should be doing. He either makes full disclosure or he keeps quiet. RETRIBUTION – 2 “Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding fine..” HW Longfellow, 1807-1882. VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS. One school teacher must have gone on her knees to thank God when she saw the picture of Olisa Metuh in handcuffs. Years ago, Metuh had gone to his daughter’s school to actually assault a teacher for disciplining the BIG man’s daughter. The assault took place in the classroom in front of the other students. “All power corrupts”; even small powers corrupt. Today Metuh is at the receiving end of corrupted power. There is a God O!

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