Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole — Jonathan’s govt took N3.7trn pension funds

Jonathan and Oshiomhole

Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has again accused the immediate past government of former President Goodluck Jonathan of tampering with the pension funds to the tune of N3.7 trillion.

Oshiomole’s latest revelation followed the prosecution of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke, in London on allegations of corrupt enrichment.

The development came on a day Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara also hailed the anti-corruption stance of President Mohammadu Buhari, calling on Nigerians to support the President to achieve tangible results.

According to Oshiomhole, the past administration grossly thrived in corruption and embezzlement of public funds.

The governor, who spoke to State House Correspondents in Abuja in the presidential villa, Abuja yesterday, submitted that Madueke’s case was the tip of the iceberg, saying Jonathan’s administration perpetrated monumental fraud against the Nigerian state.

He said: “For me, I don’t think anybody should be surprised because the most favorable commentators on the Nigerian condition, both the economy, the polity and society, everybody agree that our economy was badly mismanaged over the past several years.

“I have not seen one commentator that disagrees. Even when they talk about rebasing and so what. Have you rebased the level of poverty? Have you rebased prosperity? Have you rebased unemployment? Have you rebased homelessness? Have you rebased hunger? So I have not seen anyone that says Nigerian people are doing better. This was never my issue. I was only a spokesman of National economic council.”

“Yesterday, I saw a lot of analyses of how pension funds should be invested on infrastructure. You challenge Pencom and Ministry of finance, you will discover that over 3.5trillion was drawn down by the previous government from pension funds to support recurrent expenditure.

“Not to support infrastructure. Even the media here, I wonder why you want to hear it from me because some of the fuse we parrot flow from what we have read from your electronic media and print media arising from what you have observed.

“There have been probes, there have been revelations, where whistle blowers have been removed from office, they became guilty for speaking out. I believe time will tell how much was taken and who was involved. I think what you are hearing now is like appetizer. It’s sickening. It used to come from America, now it’s Britain.”
The governor, however, stated that he was not on a personal political vendetta but speaking the truth to give vent to good governance.
He also stated that he was the happiest Nigerian to live in the times of change under President Muhammadu’s Buhari’s administration.

“In this country when you speak out, all the arrows should be fashioned to attack. But one of the things I learnt in life at the age of 17 when I got into the leadership of labour, is that the truth does not require supporters club. It can stand on its feet any day. You can hit it. You can kick it. You can bomb it, but you can’t destroy it.

“The truth is that a lot of money was stolen and what you are seeing is just a tip of the iceberg because when you imagine what accrues to Nigeria, consistently form 140 dollars averaging 108 dollars over a long period of time and yet your treasury is empty and you were running a budget deficit, you were devoting 85 percent of your budget for four consecutive years on recurrent, you were borrowing and you draw the entire pensions fund,’’ he said.
No government involvement

“It’s not about who has hand in what. I think it’s about law and order. In other climes, institutions do their work. They are not at the beck and call of political authority. They have their mandate and the law specifies this and it is scrupulously followed.

“I’m the happiest person because I’ve been in government for seven years without being in power. I was in government, I couldn’t call a commissioner of police and talk as a security officer. I’m haunted by all manners of persons. You kill the snake in Edo, they will put the snake on life support in Abuja and they keep harrassing us. Now, all those venoms are dead and buried.

“For the first time I’m excited and happy not just for personal benefit, but for the changes I’m beginning to see. They’ve not started scrutinizing, just blocking the holes. It’s no longer flowing like before and so the propensity to indulge in those conspicuous habit already curbing themselves.

“People are regaining sanity, human rationality is returning and the idle class that makes money without office or business address whose only address is an iPad and cell phone with appropriate phone numbers are all lamenting and not sure of tomorrow,” Oshiomhole stated.

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