Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Why President Buhari Must Probe IBB, OBJ




As President Buhari probes Goodluck Jonathan's administration for corruption, there is is need for him to raise similar hammer rod on his kinsmen, ex-President/Head of State such as IBB and OBJ, writes Gbemiga Olakunle.

While we support the intention of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to probe the administration of former [post_ad]President Goodluck Jonathan, we are of the opinion that the officials who served in the past administrations of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida up till that of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua should be given the opportunity to return the “excess luggage” that belongs to the state (if any) in their own interest and for reasons of clear conscience towards God and humanity. It is in their own interest because such money that was ill-gotten at the expense of the state or as a result of betrayal of trust on such public officials may result in misfortunes.
To be seen to be fair and just, public officials (both politicians and bureaucrats) who are comfortable multi-millionaires and billionaires by Forbes’ ratings should be encouraged to come forward and donate or better still return to the nation’s coffers whatever they cannot defend through their legitimate earnings, investments or intellectual properties. The public officials who were not known in the business circles before they got appointed or elected into offices should be made to account for the reported millions of dollars in their foreign accounts.
The same should apply to some self-appointed whistle-blowers in this present administration and in the immediate past administration. The self-appointed roles of these whistle-blowers may be a ploy to divert government’s attention from their own alleged shady deals which could not be hidden from the preying eyes of the international community and social media. No doubt, these whistle-blowers are doing a good job by raising public awareness to where some looted money is hidden. But the fact remains that they too may be having some skeletons in their cupboards when scrutinised.
We are on the same page with President Buhari’s administration for its stance to probe the immediate past administration because of the alleged monumental fraud or reckless looting of the nation’s treasury.
However, in order to free itself of allegations of any form of carrying out a witch-hunt as the opposition is already insinuating, the Federal Government should also beam its searchlight on both current and past public officials and create a window of opportunity for those of them who have some restitution to make by voluntarily returning some “excess luggage” which they are illegally keeping to themselves which can attract misfortunes to them either now or in the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, the Federal Government should busy itself with plugging the loopholes in our economy and also ensure that the managers of our economy and treasuries at various strategic points of revenue generation are men and women of proven integrity and good record who do not develop itching fingers. Otherwise, it may be a case of drums of water being poured into baskets. So, government should seal up all these leaking holes and get good managers before the commencement of its loot- recovery drive.
  • Gbemiga Olakunle

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