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Graffiti… Probe of NNPC from 1999 inevitable, says Dele

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“World Bank backs Buhari to probe NNPC, others”. -Punch, April 14, 2015, p 32.

The report by Everest Amaefule, went on to state that “The World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa, Mr Francisco Ferreira, said looking into financial records of the country, especially allegations of corruption at the NNPC, would check impunity and build public institutions in the future”.

While thanking Ferreira for his observations, it must be stated that Buhari does not really need the World Bank or any external organization before probing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and others. He has our mandate to do so.

However, before becoming overwhelmed with hunting down too many crooks, let me kindly suggest that the in-coming President should beam the search light on two organisations first – the NNPC and the Nigerian Ports Authority. The others can wait. Let me quickly provide the reasons for this focus of attention – starting with NNPC.

“$2 billion [oil] block sold at $5 million.”

PDP: Corruption Incorporated p 290″.

The North trusted Obasanjo in 1998, that was why the Gang of Four – Generals IBB, Danjuma, Gusau and Abubakar – decided to release Obasanjo from prison, rehabilitate him and sponsor him for President under the PDP in 1998. Read Chapter two. The Fourth Republic was corrupted from the first day. But, characteristic of OBJ, he betrayed all the rest once he got into office. Instead of ensuring even distribution of the dividends of democracy, Obasanjo brought in the Garrison concept; under which a few benefited. It has remained the same till today.

In Chapter 10, which was titled “How the NNPC was captured”, there are sufficient revelations (but only a small part of the available evidence) that the Ministry of Petroleum, which was under the Presidency from 1999 to 2006, was the hub of PDP’s corruption racket. The example cited above from page 290 of that book, merely underlines the impunity with which our funds were recklessly “mismanaged” under the former President.

Anybody reading pages 272 to 295 (and there is more where that came from my archives) and who wants justice done to the people of Nigeria, must support the call for a full scale probe. The infinitely self-righteous Obasanjo, unknown to most members of his own party, ran a most disreputable organization called NNPC. Allied to the scam at the NNPC was the Petroleum Development Trust Fund, PDTF, scam detailed in Chapter 6 of the same book.

According to my estimates, close to N8 trillion was already unaccounted for by the time Obasanjo was forced to go home in 2007. The desperation for Third term was, in my opinion, based on the need to cover the tracks. Plan B was to install puppets as successors and hope none would probe the atrocities. OBJ’s latest theatrics (tearing up party card, blasting Jonathan, supporting Buhari etc) are, to me, nothing more than the clever tricks of somebody who is still hoping that nobody will probe our finances from 1999 to 2007. Buhari must ensure that these tricks fail. Nigerians want full accountability for 1999 to 2007; then 2007 to 2010 (under Yar’Adua) and finally from 2010 to 2015.The probe must start from the beginning not from Jonathan.

Each and every time Obasanjo was called to account for his misdeeds, he bluffed his way out by intimidating the PDP-controlled National Assembly. Even, after his departure and when an inquiry was conducted into the funds mismanaged on the Power Project, he still continued to intimidate the NASS. Till today Nigerians have no idea what happened to the $13-16 billion reportedly spent on the power project under Obasanjo. All we know is that there has not been any significant progress commensurate with the expenditure.

Thank God, a new NASS, controlled by another political party is in place. Nigerians demand and deserve answers regarding how so many trillions of naira vanished with so little to show for them in sixteen years of PDP rule – half of it from 1999 to 2007. If a list should ever be released of those who under-developed Nigeria in the 21st century, and the new Millennium, our leaders names in that period should top the list.

If approximately N8 trillion was the accountability gap by 2007, and it is now closer to the N30 trillion which Professor Soludo recently proposed before he was silenced, part of the increase, of approximately N22 trillion, represents a hang-over from the misrule. How much is difficult to estimate without a proper investigation into major aspects of government from 1999 to 2015. A good deal of the desperation to hang unto power, at all costs, is associated with the fear of revelations which might be made after office holders leave the scene.

The nation’s current debt stock and the accountability gap are inextricably linked. Various individuals in top government positions have “misappropriated” or “mismanaged” more funds than our total debt. It would make no sense to go looking for money to pay our debts when our own citizens are sitting on funds stolen from our national purse. A probe is inevitable. There are more revelations to follow…

A tale of two defectors

Back in August last year when Femi Fani-Kayode and Ribadu announced their defection from APC to PDP, I wrote a two part series likening them to two political comedians. The APC gained by their departure; the PDP made a ruinous bargain by accepting them.

Ok, even my severest critics must agree that I was right this time.

-Article by Dele Sobowale

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0 Comments

  1. Don Lucassi

    April 27, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Abeg, this is the start of committee upon committee. From 1999 is a long long time and I wonder what will be revealed by the probe. I advice that we move on and find ways raise funds for national growth.

  2. Apachee zooma

    April 27, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Don, lets start somewhere…but with all sincerity.

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