The Ijaw Youth Congress, IYC, has berated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over what it called the deliberate witch hunt of former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan.
The IYC, in a statement by its President, Udengs Eradiri, lamented that the anti-graft agency has refused to learn from the the way it handled the case of a former militant leader, Government Ekpumopolo, aka Tompolo.
According to Eradiri, the current economic recession in the country was a direct result of the indiscreet media trial of Tompolo, which according to it, led to crisis in the Niger Delta.
Eradiri said: “I thought the EFCC by now would have begin to face squarely its jobs of fighting corruption instead of the media charade that is their usual modus operandi.
“They have not learned from the Tompolo incident instead of focusing on facts and doing their job following due process, they quickly went to the media and that incident has led this country to where we are today.”
Eradiri insisted that it was unacceptable and illegal to place the former first family on media trial without following due process, adding that Mrs Jonathan, just like any other former first ladies, made her money from gifts and gratifications.
This, he said is not against the law.
“First Ladies in Nigeria do not do any work. A woman naturally attracts a lot of gifts from men let alone a First Lady who has the power to recommend you for something.
“They receive a lot of thank you and gratifications because most cases they recommend people who come back to thank them. Even when they do not recommend, people go and say good morning with a million dollar. It did not start with Patience Jonathan.
“We know how influential the former First Lady of this country and other First Ladies were. We know how powerful, rich and wealthy they are and the property they acquired as a result of gratification.
“If you say Patience should show how she made her money, you must start with all the First Ladies, otherwise, it is a witch-hunt. Patience Jonathan got her wealth from thank you and there is nowhere in the law that says we should not receive thank you.
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“So, EFCC should stop this nonsense. If you have issues, go and follow the due process and don’t begin to use the media to tarnish the image of the former first family,” he said.
Continuing, Eradiri said the Goodluck Jonathan family deserves respect, warning that the youths of the Niger Delta would not tolerate further attacks and insults on Jonathan’s family.
According to Eradiri, former President Jonathan did not harass the family of late former President Musa Ya’Adua despite the humiliation he suffered in the hands of Mrs Ya’Adua.
“This is a witch-hunt and the EFCC must stop this attitude because very soon, people will begin to resist them. Nigerians will get to the point where they will no longer accept it.
“We support the fight against corruption. All of us know that corruption has eaten deep into our fabric, but this selective fight especially geared towards the region must not be allowed”, Eradiri said.
The IYC boss also lamented that the Federal Government approved a university for the wife of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, despite the corruption traced to him.
“It is in this country that they talked about Abacha’s loot, yet a university had been approved for Abacha’s wife. In this same country where they said Abacha was corrupt. So, why are you treating one former first family differently and then everybody wants to humiliate Jonathan’s family in the best of their ability.
“The former First Lady, Patience, has no question to answer. The EFCC is destroying Buhari’s anti-graft policy because when your anti-graft is beginning to show it is one-sided, it will lose credibility,” he said.
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