12 new ministers: Group faults Jonathan, threatens to march on Senate if confirmed •Also faults Tukur’s appointment as NRC Chair

Posted by News Express | 22 January 2014 | 4,066 times

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The Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) has faulted the nomination of 12 politicians for consideration as ministers by the Senate, saying that most of them have either been indicted for alleged corruption or are presently facing charges by the anti-graft agencies.

ACN in a statement issued this afternoon in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, threatened to “march on the Senate and embark on aggressive protest to bring sanity into the Nigerian system” if the list read out to Senators yesterday by Senate President David Jonathan is approved.

The statement signed by the Executive Secretary of ACN – former member of the House of Representatives, Otunba Dino Melaye – called on the Senate to reject any ministerial nominee of questionable character.

It said: “The nomination by the President Goodluck Jonathan to the Senate of people averagely between the ages of 60 and 80 clearly shows that Mr. President is buttressing generational apathy. What hope for Nigerian youths and my own generation? (Ambassador Aminu) Wali and (rtd Gen. Aliyu) Gusau can give birth to Jonathan.

According to ACN, it was appalling that the President has further “demonstrated his love for corruption and corrupt persons” by the nomination of a former Governor of Adamawa State, Mr. Boni Haruna, a man currently facing corruption charges with the EFCC as a Minister.

Melaye said: “We call on the Senate President and the Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to reject any ministerial nominee of questionable character, particularly those indicted or facing criminal or corruption charges with any of the anti-graft agencies. Mr. President owes the Nigerian people a lucid explanation why he is nominating corrupt characters as ministers.

“This romance of corruption by Mr. President juxtaposes the continuous stay in office of the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah despite the N255 million bullet-proof car scandal; Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke; Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs, Elder Godson Orubebe and many others elucidates why indicted Ministers sin his government are not being punished.

“We will stop at nothing if the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria proceeds in clearing corrupt nominees for Ministerial appointment. We will march on the Senate and embark on aggressive protest to bring sanity into the system.”

While describing corruption in Nigeria as endemic, systemic and becoming contagious, the ACN boss said that for Nigeria to be rescued, “we should stand up without fear or favour, the fear of consequences and fight corruption headlong because we don’t have any other country we call our own apart from Nigeria.”

Continuing, he said: “We must do everything to rescue this country from the hands of these economic cankerworm. I am bold to say that in this government, since Jonathan’s assumption of office, not one political office holder has been prosecuted and jailed.

“The fight against corruption in Nigeria is a herculean one because there is a popular saying that when you fight corruption, corruption fights you. There is intimidation, incessant arrests, threats and assassination attempts on my life. But for me, I am resolute because the battle to deliver this country from economic cankerworms, financial vultures and inept leadership as I have repeatedly said is a battle of no retreat, no surrender.”

ACN also slammed President Jonathan over the appointment of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, barely two days after being sacked as Chairman of the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the new Board Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation. According to the group, the appointment “when his eldest son is approaching 50 years is, to say the least, laughable” and raises the question: “What hope for young people in this country?”

•Photo shows Otunba Dino Melaye.

Source: News Express

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