By Charles Kumolu
Rights activist, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to avoid appointing people of questionable records into his cabinet, saying the names of ministerial nominees and other prospective appointees should be sent to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, for clearance.
She also called on the president to make the fixing of the power sector a priority, adding that the socio-economic problems bedevilling the country are products of the failure to resuscitate the sector.
Lori-Ogbebor in a letter to the president, said she might lead a protest against any appointment of people of questionable records into Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, if the trend was repeated.
Writing in her capacity as the President of Warri Women Consultative Assembly, she urged Buhari to resist any pressure to increase Value Added Tax, VAT.
She said: “Our fight for integrity and anti-corruption is a fight we believe in. This is the only way Nigeria can be a country of pride, stability, and be free from hunger and penury. Remember that a lot of us worked for your victory and we are confident that you will not let us down by appointing men and women who have ruined this nation in their previous positions.
“Already, people are looking for ministerial appointments, and other appointments in Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and, Ministry of Niger Delta among others.
“We ask that you look into the integrity of these people, who are asking for jobs. A lot of them have cases with EFCC, ICPC and the police. They are using the power of corruption money, to suppress these cases, but we know them.
“We, therefore, ask that before these men are appointed to these high positions, they should be referred to the law enforcement agencies for clearance. If this is not done, these men will be vicious and use their positions to marginalise us, milk this country dry and suppress those of us fighting.
“The security situation is frightening. The situation is getting worse day by day. No nation can move on economically if lives and property are not secured. The elections are over and the politicians have stopped giving handouts to people, leaving guns in the hands of people.
“Our governors should prioritise job creation. Each state should set up a think-tank to identify the resources for job creation. If jobs are not created, insecurity in the country will spiral out of control.”