By GODWIN ETAKIBUEBU
MADAM, thank you very much for reading my first letter to you, as l was told you did. The fact that you read the first one will make this second one, and the third; which shall be last on this issue, easily assimilating subject for your consumption. Oh, let me appreciate the fact that you have already raised the issue under discuss with my brother, your husband. That is too kind of you and the right step to be taken by any woman who is to be a blessing to her husband.
The madam at the Petroleum Ministry is not helping matters in this allegation of corruption being levelled against the NNPC, not by the Governor of the CBN, but by four previous bodies set up to look at the books of the institution [NNPC]. These were KPMG [a world acclaimed auditing/accounting firm], Nuhu Ribadu investigative Committee report, Aig-Imoukhuede investigative committee report and the Farouk Lawan; House of Representative Committee report. There are other committee, like the NEITI and RMAFC, reports indicting NNPC at different times. All these reports, at various times, indicted the “so-called holiness of operation” account your sister minister of petroleum resources is presenting.
Madam, the reason why Sanusi Lamido Sanusi [whom l shall refer to henceforth as SLS]’ letter of September 2013, to your husband is now becoming a “political issue of engagement” in 2014, is the closeness and resemblance it bears to Olusegun Obasanjo letter to your husband on the state of the economy. Of course, l shall always remain the first person to admit that the timing of leaking the letter of September, 2013, to the public, either by SLS or whosever within his knowing, coming out at almost the same time OBJ letter appeared made SLS a major suspect. It interpreted the old adage of “the witch crying in the night and the child dying the next morning”.
There is a third reason why SLS has become a major suspect in the unfolding political events of the present. The Speaker of House of Representative added his voice of “Jonathan body movement” that tend to suggest his unwillingness to fight corruption. In addition to this is the unverifiable claim of the Niger State Governor [a man claimed by E.K Clark as lacking credibility – “remember he nominated Jonah Jang as Northern candidate for the election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum only for him to vote for Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State” was how he described him] an agreement signed by Goodluck Jonathan to the effect of serving only one tenure. Again, at that time, OBJ also spoke of how “desirable for the Presidency to go to the North”. Add all these to Ibrahim Babangida “clarion call” on the Speaker of the House of Representative “to aspire for higher office in the land”, nearly anyone would almost come to the conclusion that SLS leaked letter is just to “complement the Northern agenda”.
Yet Madam, l want you to put all comments of individuals mentioned above, plus many others in perspectives, including the SLS contentious letter. I shall say more about this man’s [SLS] character and what he really wants to achieve by his loquacious altercations in my third and last letter to you. For now, let us go to the SLS’s presentation of facts on the NNPC.
The Minister coordinating the economy admitted that the missing [or shall we call it unremitted amount] was nothing near $49 or $20 billion “but $10.8 billion”. This is an admission [in whatever language used or choice of words used] that as much as $10.8 billion American dollars “was taken away by somebody” and that somebody, you will agree with me Madam, is not in the CBN but at NNPC.
Madam, there is more to this admission – a collaborative but shockingly revealing – from the Group Managing Director of the NNPC. He said [quoting admission of less than a week ago] that “the impression Nigerians have is that $10.8 billion seated in the four towers of the NNPC”, referring to the NNPC’s corporate office. The GMD further added, arrogantly though as if he were talking to a group of imbeciles, that “Nigerians believe NNPC is sitting on money, but l want it known that these monies we are talking about are not ‘realisable flows’”. He re-emphasised this by concluding that “to put the records straight, the money is not seated anywhere because the $10.8 billion have been spent on subsidy, pipeline maintenance and other losses”.
Madam, the “Oga” madam your husband, my brother appointed to preside over that corruption-riddled NNPC edifice, like l earlier told you, has not helped matters. When it dawned on her at the Senate hearing that the whole world now know that NNPC actually is stealing money under the guise of Kerosene subsidy since there is a presidential order against such practise, all she offered to say was that “l was not in office as of the time this presidential order was given, but only relating to the committee what happened”. Then she threw a bombshell that “the presidential directive is not a law because it was not gazetted”. What she has said in effect is that “we can steal it because there is no law against it”.
Madam, each time your husband speaks, either inside or outside Nigeria, that the “issue of corruption in Nigeria is over-exaggerated”, he makes more mockery of himself than those he speaks with. How, with all these revelations, can a leader who really runs a country, tell the whole world that the issue of corruption is over-exaggerated in Nigeria? The money stolen by these oil thieves, ditto other segment of the Nigerian society, is kept in banks of those people [Europe, America, Asian and China] with the active collaboration of those countries’ citizens. Yet, these are the same people my brother, your husband tells everyday that there is no corruption in Nigerian. Tell him not to say it again – never again until he is able to do something about it.