The putrefying stench of corruption in Nigeria under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) appears to be oozing from all fronts as the president braces for the inauguration of his second term in office.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is already charging President Buhari to, within 14 days, account for the ‘’humongous corruption and treasury looting’’, under his watch, amounting to over N14 trillion, before this coming May 29, the expiration date of what the party described as ‘’the disastrous APC-led administration’’.
The PDP charge came as Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State berated the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarhem, for allegedly running an illegal oil bunkering squad for the purpose of financing his quest to be appointed the Chief of Army Staff.
Governor Wike declared that any attempt to appoint General Sarhem as the Chief of Army Staff, will spell doom for the country’s failing security architecture.
He was speaking on Wednesday during a courtesy visit by the Commander of Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe, Real Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
According to the PDP governor, ‘’Sarhem is doing illegal bunkering, which he is using to finance his quest to emerge as the country’s Chief of Army Staff. He has his own team that is making money for him through oil bunkering.’’
While accusing the GOC of allegedly compromising security in the big oil state through illegal actions, Governor Wike added, ‘’we will have a security meeting and he will release the details to criminals. And the Chief of Army Staff will leave the man here because he is playing their role.
‘’How will security of the state be with such a man as the GOC? He will compromise when fighting to reduce crime. They sent us a GOC who destroys the security architecture of the state.’’
The governor wondered what the Joint Task Force Operation Delta Safe will do when they encounter the illegal oil bunkering team of the GOC, pointing out that Rivers people stopped the GOC and his accomplices from imposing a governor on the state during the elections.
‘’A man came to plot coup. The people resisted him for plotting coup. You want to impose a party that has no candidate for National Assembly and State Assembly elections on the people. How will such a party win the Governorship election? A party that nobody saw its posters? Rivers people said no.
‘’He has result sheets. Let him bring the result sheets to the tribunal. Army now has result sheets. That is now part of their mandate’’, Wike said and accordingly assured the Joint Task Force commander that the state government will support their operations to ensure that they defend the Niger Delta, especially Rivers.
While assuring that anybody who wants to help the state fight crime, ‘’I will support. I will never support those involved in illegal refineries’’, Real Admiral Akinrinade thanked him for the supply of gunboats, security vehicles and finances for security operations in the area.
He assured the governor that the joint task force will not relent in fighting crime in the state, adding ‘’Governor Wike is a consummate politician and grassroots leader. As a man who understands National Security, he understands that National security itself is Local.
‘’We want to seriously commend you on your numerous achievements you’ve made since your tenure. I will like to take this opportunity to congratulate the governor on the renewal of your mandate to serve the people of Rivers for another four years’’, he said.
On the alleged N 14 trillion treasury looting, the PDP is insisting that President Buhari must show his integrity by opening up his tenure for investigation, the same way his Presidency is demanding of other elected officials in the legislature and state governments across the country.
The party is also charging the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on
Anti-corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, to help the country by advising Buhari to present his stewardship for investigation for alleged corruption, instead of his (Sagay) unnecessary fixation on court rulings on Rivers State.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, who made this allegation in a statement, noted that the Buhari-led APC administration was going down in history as the most corrupt administration ever; a stinking sanctuary of treasury thieves that thrives in manipulation, deception and official concealment.
According to Ologbondiyan, ‘’it is totally unpardonable that President Buhari, despite his claimed integrity and zero tolerance for corruption, not only superintended over an administration that reeks and wallows in ocean of corruption but also refused to allow any investigation into earth shaking corruption under his watch.
‘’Our demand is that the Buhari Presidency should order investigation into the whereabouts of N9 trillion ($25billion) allegedly stolen in his Ministry of Petroleum Resources, through under-hand oil contracts as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo.
‘’The Buhari Presidency should also explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged corruption in the handling of the N2.6 trillion oil subsidy regime, particularly the alleged N58 hidden tax per liter which Nigerians have continued to bear since the fuel price increased from PDP subsidized cost of N87 to presumably unsubsidized cost of N145 as well as the reported stealing of N1.1 trillion worth of crude oil using 18 unregistered companies, allegedly linked to members of the cabal at the Presidency.
‘’We are challenging President Buhari to allow an investigation into the alleged looting of over N40 billion Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) funds; the over N45 billion allegedly looted from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); the alleged siphoning of $322m repatriated funds; the alleged extortion of N1.2 billion through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, as well as the billions stolen under the tradermoni project, among others.
‘’Unless Mr. President has something to hide, he should within the next 14 days, allow for an independent inquest into these allegations of corruption.’’