- Pressure mounts on governor over state allocation and IDP spending
By Charles Ajunwa and Benneth Oghifo
Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday challenged the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima to offer plausible explanations “for the ignoble roles he played in worsening the Boko Haram tragedy in his home state.”
This is coming as some concerned Borno State stakeholders are calling on Shettima to account for how he has been managing the state’s finances and the expenditure on Internally Displaced Persons for almost eight years.
In statement issued yesterday by his Media Adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, in response to criticism of his book (My Transition Hours) by Shettima, the former president said in the past four years, the Borno governor had been living in denial, “towing an evasive path he has cleverly beaten for himself. What he may not know is that he is only walking the path of a villain.”
In another statement issued by Reno Omokri on his behalf on the same day, Jonathan told the Buhari administration to leave him alone and face Transparency International, that reported that Nigeria was more corrupt today than under the last Peoples Democratic Party’s government.
On the Borno governor, Jonathan was quoted as saying: “On Wednesday Nigerians were treated to a noisy but feeble defence by Borno Governor Kashim Shettima who, only ended up showcasing a jaded ritual of chest-thumbing, rather than offer plausible explanations for the ignoble roles he played in worsening the Boko Haram tragedy in his home state.
“In the past four years, he has been living in denial, towing an evasive path he has cleverly beaten for himself. What he may not know is that he is only walking the path of a villain.
“Once demand is made on him to explain why he deliberately ignored both the directive of both the Federal Ministry of Education and the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for Governors to keep candidates in the affected locations out of harm’s way by relocating them to safer areas for their exams, he goes asking for the release of the report of Gen. Ibrahim Sabo-led facts-finding committee set up by President Jonathan.”
The statement also said that the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu towed a revisionist path when he claimed that Jonathan’s anti-corruption records couldn’t be substantiated.
“Has he forgotten that facts don’t lie? The only credible and globally recognized anti-corruption marker is Transparency International. Nigeria’s best ranking in TI’s corruption perception index still remains her placing in 2014, under President Jonathan, as the 136th out of all the countries ranked. This is far better than the last position recorded under the present government where Nigeria was ranked as number 148, a decline that took the nation 12 places backward.
“Rather than continue to raise a false banner of piety which apparently is no longer working, this administration would have served itself and the country better by understudying the success nuggets of its predecessors.
“Part of the successful tools established by Jonathan to fight corruption included the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, which weeded out 50,000 ghost federal workers and saved the country N15 billion monthly.
“The institutional framework also included the establishment of such mechanisms as the treasury single account (TSA), and bank verification number (BVN), vital anti-corruption tools which are now shamelessly being appropriated by those that inherited them.
“There is no doubt that Jonathan provided focused leadership on the economic front, through institutional and sectoral reforms which impacted positively on the fundamentals for growth. Having sowed wisely, the Jonathan administration reaped bountifully by keeping inflation at a single digit, growing Nigeria’s economy to become the largest in Africa with a GDP of over half a trillion US dollars, and becoming the number one foreign direct investment destination on the continent,” remarked Jonathan.
The statement said it was obvious from the pattern of deleterious comments from certain quarters since the successful public presentation of ‘My Transition Hours’, a book by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan that a comprehensive plan to discredit the book was afoot.
“However, since facts don’t lie, the plot shall come to nought, just as the sustained propaganda blitzkrieg against the author and all he stands for, has failed to dampen enthusiasm and respect for his legacies,” said Jonathan.
Meanwhile, the concerned Borno stakeholders, who pleaded for anonymity, are asking Shettima to account for all the revenue that had accrued to his administration for almost eight years. They allege that the governor had not been transparent in his financial dealings, particularly regarding funds released for the upkeep of Borno IDPs.
Jonathan: Buhari’s administration should leave me alone and face Transparency International.
In a related development, former President Jonathan yesterday told the Buhari’s administration to leave him alone and contend with Transparency International that reported Nigeria as more corrupt today than under the previous government ran by the Peoples Democratic Party.
Jonathan, in a statement signed by Omokri, said the presidency was showing signs of guilt in its response to the content of the book.
The statement read in part: “It is just evidence of a guilty conscience. As Shakespeare said, ‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks.’
“First and foremost, it was not former President Jonathan who said Nigeria is more corrupt today than it was under the last Peoples Democratic Party administration. That fact was actually stated by Transparency International, the only global body acknowledged as an independent rating agency for corruption.
“Whereas under Jonathan and the PDP, Nigeria made her best ever improvement on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, moving eight places forward from 144 to 136 in 2014, but under President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, Nigeria has made her worst ever retrogression, moving backwards 12 places from 136 to 148. This is a fact.”
The statement added: “Other people have stated the obvious besides Transparency International, one of them being Ms. Priti Patel, immediate past UK Secretary of State for International Development, who this week described President Buhari’s anti-corruption war as a sham and an impediment to Nigeria and urged foreign direct investors to shun Nigeria because of Buhari.
“Predictably, Garba Shehu, threw diplomatic etiquette to the wind and hurled invectives at Ms. Patel.
“But Mr. Garba Shehu forgot to tell Nigerians how his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari went to Paris and praised the Governor of Kano State, a man caught on camera hiding dollar bribes in his babanriga. Yet, they charged Ayo Fayose and refused to charge Babachir Lawal.
“Even the blind can see the corruption of this administration and the deaf can hear it; with questionable certificates, fraudulent #NextLevel logo and document, plagiarising speeches of both Barrack Obama and Charles DeGaulle. Not to talk of the $25 billion dollars’ worth of contracts awarded without due process at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as revealed in Mr. Ibe Kachikwu’s leaked memo, Aisha Buhari’s ADC’s looted billions and the reinstatement and promotion of a thief like Maina.
“Besides, if the Buhari administration is upset at their gold medal for corruption, they should not take out their frustrations at Mr. Jonathan. They should face the umpire who gave them the award, Transparency International.”