Dr. Goodluck Jonathan

Ex-president’s aide calls for Magu’s sack
Obinna Chima
Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has denied any interference in the failure of Governor Rauf Aregbesola to properly govern Osun State.
The spokesman of the former president, Ikechukwu Eze, in a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, said the governor should take full responsibility of the failure of his administration, considering the fact that the state, like the other states in federation, is a semi-autonomy entity fully in charge of its finance and management.

Aregbesola had recently attributed the failure of his administration to the underperformance in office of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led federal government of then president, Jonathan, between 2010 to 2015.
But the former president in his reaction, said: “I see this as the governor’s attempt to rewrite history by disingenuously seeking an accomplice for his dreadful failure in office. This should be prevented from entering public records, as he wished.

“Ordinarily, it is considered a courageous act in governance to admit utter failure, as the governor attempted doing. Unfortunately, in this instance, Aregbesola’s confession bordered on treachery, since he was neither sincere nor commonsensical. Rather than be the hero he sought to be, Aregbosola ended up as an anti-hero whose admittance of failure became mired in cowardice and deception, once he ventured lamely to seek an accomplice or a fall guy in the past PDP administration. His attempt to pass the buck failed woefully, as the public has seen it for what it is: a spineless act of dishonesty and contrived rectitude wearing a mask of false alibi and specious altruism.”
Jonathan noted that Osun, as a state is a semi-autonomous sub-national entity that controls own revenues, so it cannot reasonably yoke its fortunes or misfortunes with that of the federal government.

“Aregbesola should ask himself why his performance is far below the standards set by his counterparts in such states as Gombe, Ekiti, Ebonyi and Enugu. Like Aregbesola’s Osun, they are neither oil-producing nor high revenue earning states,” Jonathan said.
The former president remarked that it would have been more honourable, and perhaps worthy of exculpation, if the governor had been man enough to take absolute responsibility for his monumental failure, without the futile effort to clutch at straws.

Meanwhile, a former Special Assistant on New Media to former President Jonathan, Mr. Reno Omokri, yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “immediately” replace the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
Omokri’s call for Magu’s removal was because the EFCC boss appeared on Channels Television, with a lapel pin “promoting the re-election of President Buhari,” while granting an interview on ‘Sunrise Daily,’ the TV breakfast show.

According to Omokri, the incidence was completely against the ethics and principles of the Nigerian civil service.
He explained in a statement that: “Not since the dark days of General Sani Abacha have Nigerians seen this type of disturbing behaviour.
“The action of Magu went against the ethics and principles of the Nigerian civil service as well as the service rules for military and police personnel.”

According to the former presidential aide, Nigerian civil servants are mandated by law to be politically neutral so that all civil servants can render unbiased and loyal service to any government that comes to power legitimately, irrespective of the political party that produced such a government.

Furthermore, he pointed out that in a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly regarding the International Code of Conduct for Public Officials, for which Nigeria was a signatory and bound by, the UN stated in the 11th principle that: “the political or other activity of public officials outside the scope of their office shall, in accordance with laws and administrative policies, not be such as to impair public confidence in the impartial performance of their functions and duties.”

Continuing, Omokri said: “That being the case, how can President Buhari, who swore on the Quran to abide by the Constitution of Nigeria which produced our civil service, stand idly by while his political appointee brazenly and with impunity goes against domestic and international law as well as the principles of natural justice?

“The EFCC is meant to be a neutral enforcer of Nigeria’s laws on economic and Financial Crimes, but when the head of the body brazenly shows his partiality, how can those laws be applied impartially? How can an open sympathizer of the All Progressives Congress be expected to conduct a fair and balance war on corruption?

“Recently, the Buhari-led administration released a so- called ‘looters’ list’ that exclusively contained names of prominent opposition members. Not one APC member was included on that list despite glaring cases of corruption against them.”
“On March 24, 2018, a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd) said the security services “are not neutral”.
“The next day, the Buhari administration attacked him in a most disrespectful manner. But with Magu’s action of wearing President Buhari’s re-election lapel pin, has Danjuma not been vindicated?

“Do Nigerians and the international community now believe me when I say that the EFCC under Buhari is nothing more than the armed wing of the APC? It is the Gestapo of the presidency.
“It is for this same reason why the Egmont Group suspended Nigeria because the EFCC under Magu had been using financial intelligence received from the group to blackmail opposition elements.

“Egmont said it suspend Nigeria “following repeated failures on the part of the FIU, (Nigeria) to address concerns regarding the protection of confidential information.”
“No wonder Nigeria has made its worse retrogression in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, moving 12 places backward from where the Jonathan administration left us, from 136, to 148. Nigeria is now more corrupt today under Buhari than it was under the previous Jonathan administration.”

“And if President Buhari fails to discipline Ibrahim Magu, as is expected, I call on the National Assembly, in keeping with the doctrine of checks and balances, not to confirm Mr. Magu as substantive Chairman of the EFCC and refuse to provide budgetary provision for the agency while he remains as acting chairman.
“Finally, I call on the international community to take note of the recession of democracy in Nigeria because of the actions and inactions of the Buhari administration,” he said.