By Chioma Obinna
A call has gone to President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently reorganise National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP, by sacking the entire management of the organisation, saying that “the face-off between the Magnus Kpakol-led management and the Keke Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria is undermining federal government’s effort at battling the scourge of widespread poverty among Nigerians.”
Making this call in a press statement issued in Abuja and co-signed by National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Affairs, Ms. Zainab Yusuf of the Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, the group also tasked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and allied offences Commission, ICPC, to wade into the fracas and investigate the groundswell of allegations of financial malpractices leveled against the embattled management of NAPEP.
HURIWA stated that the damaging allegations of multi-million naira fraud against the Dr. Kpakol-led management of the National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP, if left uninvestigated will further demonstrate the lackluster approach of the current administration to battle the hydra-headed monster of corruption which according to the Rights body, is the root cause of mass poverty among the largest percentage of Nigerians.
The group further tasked the National Assembly to pass a legislation spelling out the operational modalities and effective internal mechanisms for detecting financial indiscretion in NAPEP.
“We are also condemning the Magnus Kpakol-led NAPEP for allegedly allowing Billions of funds meant for the agency to lie fallow in different financial institutions thereby scuttling federal government’s determination to actualize one of the major planks of the millennium Development Goals by 2015 which is eradication of extreme poverty among a majority of Nigerians.”
“We are miffed that at a time that more and more Nigerians are becoming extremely poor due to corruption by political leaders, NAPEP, an agency of government funded by tax payers’ money to implement remedial measures for eradicating the menace of poverty has become the greatest stumbling block to the collective desire of Nigerians for checking the unprecedented rise in mass and extreme poverty”.
“We sincerely appeal to President Jonathan to sack Dr. Magnus Kpakol and the entire management of the obviously ‘sick’, ‘weak’ and ‘grossly inept’ agency for abysmally failing to implement the strategic mandate of eradicating poverty among Nigerians.
Why should Magnus Kpakol and his management spend huge taxpayers’ funds on advertisements to engage in meaningless media warfare with local contractors?”
The group said “May we remind Mr. President that the world is watching to see whether his administration will begin to tackle official corruption which has wrecked our national economy.
Nigerians and citizens of the rest of the civilized world are keenly following the drama playing out in NAPEP which bordered on widespread allegations of diversion of public funds to private hands. Nigeria’s disappointing and dismal transparency rating in the global community this year must be redressed through a radical, preemptive and workable approach to batting the scourge of corruption”.