Sanusi’s Suspension Is An Impeachable Offense By Bolaji Samson Aregbeshola
Sir: The national assembly should immediately begin impeachment proceedings against the current president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Dr. Jonathan is culpable in the oil theft and non-remittance of revenue from crude oil by NNPC under his administration. Reading through the reasons adduced for the suspension of the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, you would be tempted to think that the federal government is indeed acting in good faith and in the interest of Nigerians. But if you take a critical look at the event leading to the suspension of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, you would see that Dr. Jonathan and the leadership of the NNPC are culpable.
Most Nigerians will continue to wallow in abject poverty if all corrupt leaders of government are not made to return their loot and brought to justice. Nigerian leaders of government believe that they can always get away with crime and criminality against the Nigerian people but it is up to us the citizens to prove them wrong and show them that power reside with the followers because we have suffered too long on account of the financial recklessness of our leaders.
NNPC was established in 1977 after the discovery of crude oil and have been the manager of Nigeria’s crude oil that has become a curse to the country rather than a blessing. Crude oil that has changed the fortunes of many countries and led to their economic expansion as well as growth has become a curse to Nigeria. Increase in oil prices over the years have not led to infrastructural development. Nigerian leaders continue to steal the money from our oil wealth thereby depriving the country and its citizens a better life.
NNPC has continued to hide the truth from Nigerians and as it has always been the case, the presidency has once again tried to cover up the allegation of the non-remittance of about 76 per cent of crude oil revenue amounting to about $20 billion between January 2012 and July 2013. This has happened several times since independence.
In one of my articles titled “FG, Tell Us the Truth about NNPC” published by This Day Newspaper on 18 October, 2010, I surmised that it would be better if the federal government under the leadership of Dr. Jonathan would be sincere in its presumed audit of the finances of the NNPC from 1999 to 2010.
The suspension of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is similar to what happened in 2010 when the then Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Remi Babalola was redeployed to another ministry for making a statement that indicted the management of the NNPC. The Jonathan administration did nothing to investigate these claims up until 2013 when another fresh allegation came from a man who should be in the know.
Those who are in the know of activities in the NNPC have at one time or the other made different assertions and allegations. The federal government have always been quick to cover up these allegations rather than bring all the culprits to book because it is true that there exist a cult in NNPC and this cult have been responsible for the problems in the oil sector.
Almost four years after demanding the truth on NNPC in my article, the federal government has yet to expose those that have been responsible for turning our oil wealth into a curse and Nigerians on the other hand have been laid back and lackadaisical.
It is expected that the federal government should be a good and prudent manager of our nation’s oil and gas resources. But leaders of government are also working in connivance with individuals that are responsible for our economic misfortunes and the impoverishment of Nigerians.
Anyone who tries to expose the ills in NNPC and the oil sector is gone after. We have had governments that rely solely on oil and gas revenues but have they ever wondered what will happen if and when the oil dries up? The plan of most Nigerian leaders is to get whatever they can from our oil revenue before it dries up. They have refused to switch our agrarian economy to an industrial economy especially in the manufacturing sector. We have been through this road before many times as a nation but the onus lies on the Nigerian public to rise up and demand for justice and accountability from leaders of government.
The federal government has failed us and has shown that the citizens do not matter or have a say in the affairs of the nation. The presidency makes decisions not minding the thinking and feelings of the generality of the Nigerian population. Several times, atrocities committed by the NNPC are shielded from the public besides the federal government do not give a hoot what people think. This has led to a situation in which another whistle blower would be suspended and accused of financial recklessness just to cover up for the high level of corruption that has been going on in NNPC. In 2010, it was reported that NNPC failed to pay the $5 billion it got from NLNG into the federation account. President Jonathan did not do anything about it besides that was the last we heard about the matter. The president has not told Nigerians why he would shield the truth about activities in the NNPC from them.
Now monies not remitted by NNPC into the federation account have grown from $5 billion into $20 billion because nothing has been done by the federal government to put an end to this crime. Nigerians are nonchalant and that is the reason we are experiencing more fraud in a corporation that hold the key to our economy.
NNPC is supposed to be transparent and free from financial complicities because of the role it plays in the nation’s economy. It is unfortunate that this corporation has always been enmeshed in one financial misconduct or the other. One can only hope that the national assembly would rise to the occasion and do the needful.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources is conniving with the NNPC and so also is the presidency. Obviously, the presidency needs to dissociate itself from the corruption happening in NNPC by auditing it and bringing to justice every individual that has been responsible for siphoning funds that were meant for the smooth running of the nation’s economy.
The national assembly should come up with more stringent laws to fight corruption in the NNPC by debating and passing a bill that will help address oil theft and the non-remittance of oil revenue into the federation account. This can only be achieved if members of the national assembly are not a party to the quick and brazen defence of the NNPC by the presidency.
Members of the national assembly in this dispensation would have their names written in gold if they can help put an end to the longstanding corruption in NNPC. It is difficult making a sense of the FG and NNPC deceit.
Bolaji Samson Aregbeshola, author of a book titled “Nigerian Political Parties and Politicians: A Call for National Unity.”