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Corruption fight: PMB on track —Rep Gololo

Hon. Mohammed Gololo, House of Representatives member, representing Gamawa federal constituency of Bauchi state, in this interview with Peoples Daily Weekend, says President Buhari has appointed men and women of integrity, principle, competence, reliability and exemplary performance who have made their mark in their various fields of endeavour, amongst others. Excerpts:

How do you assess the performance of the 8thHouse of Representatives so far?

I believe the House of Representatives under the leadership of the Hon. Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has clearly set the ball rolling in terms of unveiling the legislative agenda of the House, which emphasises vigorous oversight of the Ministries, Department & Agencies (MDAs) and the crucial delivery of democratic dividends to the vast majority of the Nigerian people. 

Also crucially, the Speaker must also be commended for ensuring the speedy resolution of the leadership tussle which would have distracted us from urgent legislative business and procedure. 

As of now, the House is reconciled and we are one single, united entity ready to work for the interest of the people and we must appreciate the spirit of sportsmanship and teamspiritedness of the Speaker and other House leaders who saw the need for compromise, maturity and tolerance in the handling of those thorny issues that initially broke the House into several factions.

As the issues have been reconciled we can now forge ahead in the spiritof unity, co-operation, mutual dialogue and fraternity among the 360 members of the House, it is indeed a healthy sign for thenation’s democracy.

Read more: Corruption fight: PMB on track —Rep Gololo

‘We’re waiting for report to take Yuguda to EFCC’

Alhaji Ahmed Shuaibu is an APC chieftain in Bauchi State and former President Goodluck Jonathan’s coordinator. In this interview with Ahmed Kaigama, he contrasted the administration of Governor Isa Yuguda and the present administration in the state. 

The present governor is already 100 days in office what can you say are his achievements? 

Well, 100 days is just a number it doesn’t make much sense to me. Again it depends on what he met on ground. Bauchi state is one of the states that this set of governors took over and found a lot of mess on ground but that doesn’t means that you can’t look at the quick win situation that he tackle certain things and hit the ground running. I seriously share the views of those who are saying that we should have our commissioners in place that the state executive council, so that they can be up and doing. That way the people can know their commissioners and their character and qualities as well as whether they are the same with Yuuguda’s commissioners. He should succumb to pressure and be a man of integrity by appoInting people that have some thing to contribute to the development of the state. The moment he succumb to pressure that will be the beginning of his failure.

Read more: ‘We’re waiting for report to take Yuguda to EFCC’

ICAN should sanction A-G over audit report —NDDC Executive Director

Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Niger Delta Development Commission, Henry Ogiri, spoke to the media on the raging controversy surrounding the allegation by the Auditor-General that the NDDC failed to account for a princely N183.7billion. Excerpts.

You must have been shocked by recent headlines of corruption and the general impression that the NDDC is a cesspool of corruption. How would you react to this?

Thank you. First and foremost, it is important to state that the period covered by the Auditor General’s report is 2008-2012. The present executive management was inaugurated on December 2013. And so the period is clearly outside the purview of our administration. But government is a continuum and the NDDC is a going concern and so we will not say because we were not in office at the time when this report concerns, therefore we will not respond to the issues that have been raised. But I would say that the manner in which the Auditor-General provided this report to the public and then the National Assembly and granted interviews is not good. To me two things come to mind. Firstly, apart from the fact that the period was not covered under our tenure, there is this attitude of playing to the gallery in view of the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has taken the decision to fight corruption head-on, and then people are now like let me do this to play to the gallery. Secondly, the report did not conform to ethical practices in the accounting profession.

Read more: ICAN should sanction A-G over audit report —NDDC Executive Director

Buhari’s corruption war herculean - Kwande

Yahaya Kwande was a former Ambassador to Switzerland and currently a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview with journalists in Jos, he spoke on Buhari’s fight against corruption and other sundry issues. Ado Abubakar Musa was there.

President Muhammadu Buhari has currently embarked on anti-corruption war in the country and many Nigerians have expressed divergent views on it. What is your take on this?

Well let me tell you, we knew that somebody must come in one day to correct Nigeria. As the president said, if we are not careful, if we don’t kill corruption, it will kill Nigeria. It has been here for the past 25 years and instead of reducing, it has been growing to an extent that it is now a normal practice in Nigeria. We knew a particular time in Nigeria that the giver and the receiver were afraid as well. Now nobody cares, and that is why the whole thing has grown bigger. 

My take on the question of corruption in Nigeria is that it has been planned from time immemorial and it has eaten into the minds of Nigerians. If you go to an office today asking for your file, you would be told that it is missing and it is an ordinary messenger that will steal your file and hide it somewhere. I have repeated it severally that even the structure of government was being dismantled.

Even a section of the ministry as of then, nobody will take money out without it being examined and internally audited. Your voucher will not go through, and despite all that, you are expecting an auditor to audit all transactions and so it is even cumbersome to still or manipulate things for surreptitious objectives not to talk of sending the anti-graft commission to a public office holder.

However, the deterrent effect is no more; you cannot stop corruption unless you stop the beginning of it. But if you allow the system to be investigated by a third party, you are making a mistake.

What I would like President Buhari to do is he should go down to the level of an ordinary man and stop it. There must be a way of telling people that corruption is evil and believe me some of us don’t understand its magnitude. The police should stop collecting bribe, stop messengers from hiding files, make civil servants to sit up and receive people at will it is their responsibility and let them respect the ordinary man. 

At the moment, the ordinary Nigerian has no confidence in the country, the only confidence is that Buhari is in the saddle to salvage him. So my take on corruption in Nigeria is that it has become so enormous that I pity the president with his ambition to fight against it. 

Read more: Buhari’s corruption war herculean - Kwande

2015: How Jonathan’s kitchen cabinet worked against him – Abiola

Akib Abiola is a frontline activist and a protege of Moshood Abiola, the winner of the annulled 1993 Presidential Election. He was one of the founding members of the defunct National Democratic Coalition, NADECO. In this abridged interview, Abiola told PREMIUM TIMES how Jonathan’s re-election campaign was torpedoed by those closest to him and how, at a point during the campaign, he trusted no one except his wife.  He also spoke about how Tinubu allegedly betrayed members of NADECO and US-Nigeria relations.

As a foremost activist based the US what do you think the Nigeria needs to do to secure more assistance and strengthen bilateral relationship with the US?

There is a long history of great relationship between the USand Nigeria. The U.S. government has always been interested in the security and development of Nigeria. The mutual respect and bilateral interests can be traced back to the period following our independence. In fact, our first Prime Minister Alhaji Tafawa Balewa was one of the first world leaders to be invited to the US and given the honour to address the joint session of the US Congress. This was an honour bestowed on our country and our leaders because of our promises, potential and resources way before that honour was extended to Sadat of Egypt, Netanyahu of Israel or Blair of UK.

I was very excited to see the level of respect accorded President Buhari during his visit. We have not seen such treatment of our President since Obasanjo left office. For whatever reason, President Jonathan never nourished the good relationship that President Obasanjo built with the American government and the American people. Some of the development in Atlanta Georgia and the successes of some of our fellow Nigerians in Atlanta and other cities can be attributed to the great relationship that Obasanjo built with the US government and the Americans.

As the world leader on war against terror, there is absolutely no reason for US not to support Nigeria in our war against Boko Haram. President Buhari said all the right things while visiting the US except the speech where he blamed the Leahy’s Act for our failure in the war against Boko Haram. However, with the New Service Chiefs and the restructuring of the Security agencies and the mutual respect between the two countries, I believe the US will soon remove its arms embargo on Nigeria. It is in the US interest and the interest of the world that Nigeria is victorious over Boko Haram.

Read more: 2015: How Jonathan’s kitchen cabinet worked against him – Abiola