CLO Accuses Tinubu of Fraternising with Corrupt Politicians who Ruined Economy

Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has accused President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of fraternising with “The Group of 99”, a set of former state governors between 1999-2003, believed to have laid the foundation for Nigeria’s economic ruin.

The CLO President, Igho Akeregha, who accused the president of fraternising with this group of politicians whom he believes laid the foundation for the nation’s economic downturn, made the allegation at a press conference yesterday  in Abuja.

The theme of the press conference  was “Beware of Regrouping of Corrupt Politicians in Aso Rock, CLO Warns Tinubu.”

These former governors, he stated, have nothing good to offer Nigerians, and that they are coming to the seat of power to protect their selfish interest.

“We appeal to President Tinubu whose election is being seriously challenged at the election petitions court to not convert the highest office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria into a rehabilitation centre for politicians who put the country in this sorry state.”

“Indeed, most Nigerians would question the propriety of President Tinubu parading Ibori and other criminal politicians as good men at the highest seat of power in the country,” he said.

Igho cited the recent remarks by a former Governor of Edo State, Lucky Igninedion, who addressed the media after their meeting with the president saying, “While briefing journalists on behalf of the ‘Class of 99’, Igbinedion had said the visit was to assure Mr Tinubu of their support and cooperation.

“We met the President as a colleague governor that laid the foundation of the current democracy in Nigeria in 1999, which has continued to be strengthened up to today.”

“Igbinedion claimed that they went to congratulate Tinubu on his election and to thank him for appointing one of them, George Akume  as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,” adding that the former governors said they spoke about security, electricity supply to Nigerians which they noted, were key factors in the development of any economy with the president who assured them of the administration’s preparedness to tackle the issues headlong.

However, Igho noted: “But like many Nigerians, we in the CLO are not deceived by the regrouping of these former governors who are now shedding crocodile tears over the state of anomy in the country . They had eight years in office and some of them went to the Senate, what did they do?

“They continued in their old ways. And what manner of support would they be giving to Tinubu beyond an arrangement to accommodate them in the under developing of the country?”

He also stated that the CLO was appalled by recent developments in the country where in June, a former Governor of Delta State, indicted for corruption, led Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and former Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers State to visit President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Aso Rock Presidential Villa.

According to him, Ibori, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in office when Tinubu was governor of Lagos state between 1999 and 2007.

“The case of James Onanefe Ibori, a former Governor of Delta State from 1999 to 2007 is more rankling. He is officially the only former governor who was jailed in a foreign country. He was in 2012 sentenced to 13 years in prison for money laundering by a court in the United Kingdom.

“Ibori fled Nigeria in April 2010 while answering to corruption charges, forcing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)to enlist the help of the Interpol that apprehended him in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and extradited him to the UK where a case of massive corruption and money laundering had built up against him,” he said

He also alleged that, “Ibori is a very powerful politician. Ibori is said to have stolen more than $78.5 million of Delta State public funds and partly funded the election of Umaru Yar’Adua as President of Nigeria in 2007.

“Ibori’s influence in the Niger Delta and indeed Nigeria in general is said to still be strong as persons seeking elective offices consult him for support as a result of his political networks and the depth of his pocket; courtesy of ill- gotten wealth.”

“He was recently appointed as a patron of former Governors Forum in Nigeria, a position he now leverages to curry personal favours and manipulate political power in Nigeria.” 

Igho noted: “The CLO is urging Nigerians to keep vigil over our hard-won democracy as the regular visits and hob-knobbing of the former governors and corrupt politicians with Tinubu at the seat of power is a clear and present danger to efforts to rebuild our battered country.”

He noted that the CLO has woken up to its responsibility of resisting a dehumanising government.

“The CLO, which led from the front in our collective quest and struggle for a just society where citizens should be proud to call themselves Nigerians is drawing local and international attention to the regrouping of these questionable individuals who are mobilising and now poised to determine the future of the country in accordance with their sordid standard and definition,” he stated.

Igho urged Nigerians to be vocal against any anti-human policy of government, adding: “Impoverished Nigerians who are currently reeling in pains and anguish from the so-called subsidy removal, multiple taxation, hike in electricity tariff and other forms of neo-colonial slavery as a direct consequence of corruption must quickly wake up from their slumber to find thir lost voice.

“Collectively, Nigerians say no to blood-sucking groups of vampires who have left our wealthy country in ruins and transformed it into a vast killing field of innocent citizens.”

He urged Nigerians to take back their country from those who want to make it their private estate.

Calling on Nigerians to organise and mobilise to take back their country for “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” he advised the government to channel the $800 million loan into revamping of moribund infrastructure such as the nation’s refineries and the Ajaokuta stell company.

Related Articles