Few Individuals Responsible For Agonies Of Nigerians – HEDA – The Sun Nigeria – Daily Sun
By Henry Uche
Following the scorching economic hardship in the country, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has reiterated to Nigerians that a very few individuals in the country are responsible for their pains, sorrows and anguish, however, the fight against corrupt acts must be sustained.
According to HEDA, Nigerians have no reason (whatsoever) to lack basic needs of life as the human and material endowments are so enormous to cater for everyone (that is) if prudent management and sound corporate governance and administration was entrenched in the body polity of Nigeria.
HEDA made this known at a CSO/Media Parley in Lagos, on OPL 245 Malabu controversy, to intimate the publics on HEDA’s efforts in the fight against corruption in collaboration with some government’s agencies to restore the stolen wealth of Nigeria, calling on all and sundry to work hand in gloves to recover the $1.3bn involved in the Malabu dirty Oil deal.
From the update, it appears the last is yet to be heard about the role played by key Nigerians and their cronies in the J.P Morgan -Malabu Controversy on how this humongous amount of money was squandered at the peril of the masses.
The matter which started during the reign of Late Military dictator, Sani Abacha, has left some persons with bruises (reputational and emotional) while opposing parties still clinched to each other’s jugular leaving the proverbial grasses (masses) to suffer.
HEDA in a speech revealed that, J.P Morgan Chase (JPMC) bank, ABUBAKAR Aliyu (A Nigerian Entrepreneur), Federal Government of Nigeria under Goodluck Jonathan, EFCC, Nigeria Police, Dan Etete (former oil minister), Mohammed Bello Adoke (Former Attorney General/ Minister of Justice), Shell and Eni Oil Companies are parties in the Malabu Oil and gas deal.
Intimating the publics on HEDA’s feats so far, its secretary, Mr. Sulaimon Arigbabu, affirmed that some of the parties have been under trial by a Milan Court in Italy but the case has not been res adjudicata. More so, the court acquitted Shell and Eni and other defendants in March 2021, though the judgement has been appealed by the Milan prosecutors and the federal government of Nigeria.
HEDA affirmed, “The Milan Court revealed that in June 211, Adoke telephoned J. P Morgan to arrange transfer of $1,092,015, 000, funds from federal government of Nigeria’s Escrow account with the bank to an account at BSI bank in Switzerland, held in petrol Services Ltd, a company close to the then Italy’s Honorary Consul in Nigeria and his Nigerian Associates, though he (Adoke) was no longer a Minister /AGF, but the order was rejected by BSI bank for compliance reasons. (Adoke’s cabinet was dissolved on May 28, 2011), but he vigorously denied sending the 21st June’s Email which he described as forgery.”
Despite the fierceness of the battle with accusations and counter -accusations, HEDA’s chairman, Mr Olarenwaju Suraj, laid bare what Nigeria have suffered as a result of the matter under review.
According to him, Nigerians (under any circumstance) should never lack basic needs of life in the midst of abundant human and material resources. He described the economic pains of Nigerians as unwarranted. “Nigeria being ranked the poverty capital of the world, the second most jobless country and the sixth most miserable people on earth. These were as a result of nefarious activities of a very few individuals who deliberately chose to mismanage the commonwealth of Nigeria.
Looking inward, citizens languish in abject Poverty, Penury, sickness, unemployment, incessant suicides, unabated terrorism and other dehumanizing incidents have been the order of the day. While unemployment stands at 33.3%, inflation at 17.1%, exchange rate at $550/N1, interest rate at double digits, increase in Personal income tax, high debt profile with humongous servicing cost, declining GDP, among other debilitating economic indices which have left hundreds and thousands dead, Nigeria Politicians are busy squabbling over who will become the next president. The much touted anti-graft fight seems to be elusive. Investors (especially-foreign) are leaving in their numbers to saner climes.
At the International Space, Nigeria’s image (no matter how we paint it) has been tainted. Reports from Transport International (TI) and Amnesty International (AI) about Nigeria on Human Rights abuses, corruption and insecurity has pushed the giant of Africa down the ladder at a jet velocity, keeping the people in perpetual agony:
Being a humane and altruistic Nigerian, Mr Olanrewaju Suraj, who lamented over the poor state of the economy, says, “Nigeria is suffering from ‘Resource Curse’, given the enormous human and material resources endowed in Nigeria. Nigerians ought not to suffer, not even basic needs, like three square meals per day, potable water, electricity, good roads, basic education, sound health care system and others.
He continued, “There are many cases involving billions and trillions of naira and dollars littered in EFCC table misappropriated by Nigerian elected and appointed figures. In Adoke- OPL 245 Malabu deal, this money would have been used to provide the aforementioned basic needs even to fix other necessities like the soft Infrastructure, facilities and other enablers of businesses which undoubtedly boost economic growth, development and sustenance. Unfortunately all these have remained a story for the gods,” he bemoaned.
The trouble with Nigeria according to the literary giant, Professor Chinua Achebe, is leadership. His assertion can be substantiated with the adage which states, “The Fish Starts to rot from its head”. If this be the case, why are Nigeria Political leaders claiming ignorance and Innocent of citizens’ pains and anguish? More worrisome is, they have vehemently refused to admit that they have run out of ideas and solutions to myriads of challenges bedeviling the country.
“If the federal government was ready to name sponsors of separatists /agitators, why have the same FG not name the sponsors of Boko Haram, bandits, Kidnappers, herderkillers and other humanoids causing sorrows in the Land?
“In the fight against corruption, some persons/ corporate are deploying diverse means to intimidate us, but we can assure them that we are not daunted. We must fight to the end- for the course of Nigerians. No matter how powerful the forces are, we come with clean hands.
“For the records, we are duly a registered Civil Society Organization, with a physical office address. Thus, all harassments and falsehoods peddled about our legality are all balderdash. By the way, section 40 of 1999 constitution (Freedom of Association) does not prohibit a persons /group of persons from pursuing a ‘just course’ whether registered/ incorporated or not. We are standing in for the common man and we must see it to the end,” Mr. Arigbabu added.
As Senator Dino Melaye put, “In an unjust society, silence is a crime,” Be that as it may, all concerned and Patriotic Nigerians are enjoined to synergies with HEDA and other anti -graft CSOs to stamp out this hydra-headed monster from the body polity of Nigeria.
The media is expected to discharge its statutory responsibilities without fear or favour of any kind. One admonished us thus, “Stand for what is right, do what is right, say what is right, even if you are standing alone”. We must also remember that whatever we do in life, the chickens must come home to roost one day. Nigeria is blessed, but humans have turned it to something else, the evidences are glaring. Martin Luther King Jr, said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people, while Edmund Burke asserted, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.
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By Henry Uche Following the scorching economic hardship in the country, the Human and Environmental Development Agenda…
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