Nigeria: Jonathan aide slams critics of Ribadu report

By IndepthAfrica
In Nigeria
Nov 11th, 2012

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on September 25, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ TIMOTHY A.

The Presidency, on Sunday, slammed critics of the report of the Mallam Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Task Force, saying their ignorant carping and malicious tittle-tattling are a product of mischievous attempts to politicise the report and individualise a group work.

A statement by the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr Reuben Abati, described the critics as merchants of conspiracy, blackmail, mischief and outright opportunists.

The presidential aide said those who accused President Jonathan of “lack of political will” to fight corruption and who were now talking ignorantly about “political will” were beneficiaries of this administration’s commitment to the rule of law and fairplay.

“It is so unfortunate that there has been so much ignorant carping and malicious tittle-tattling about the report of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, chaired by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, both failings arising from a deliberate attempt to individualise what was actually a group work, a mischievous attempt to politicise one report out of three, and to smuggle into an emergent grand web of conspiracy, elements of blackmail, mischief and outright opportunism,” Abati said.

According to Abati, it was absolutely uncharitable for anyone to say that the Ribadu Committee was “calculated to fail from the beginning.”

He, however, pointed out that for the benefit of those playing politics and doing quick business with the matter, President Jonathan was already taking steps to address some of the issues raised in the various reports, namely the Ribadu Committee, the Idika Kalu Committee on Refineries and the Dotun Sulaiman Committee.

Besides, Abati said “President Jonathan has no reason whatsoever, personal or political (since at least one character has said that the furore over the Ribadu report has something to do with 2015) to protect wrong doers in the land.

“He took on this assignment to make Nigeria better and that is what he is doing everyday, working hard at the Nigerian project and taking every step to transform it for good.”

He enjoined Nigerians to stand on what what he called the side of truth and reject what he described as the mischief of all hunters of fortune, whose interest was their own ambitions.

He also said the president had no reason to embarrass anyone who served on any of the three committees.

Abati further added that in the Ribadu Committee report matter, personal ambitions were beginning to becloud the facts, just as he reassured that President Jonathan would continue to provide leadership, with a call that “nobody should drag him into the cheap arena of opportunistic demagoguery.”

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