Posted by News Express | 14 August 2013 | 3,859 times
Nigerian NGO, Anti-Corruption Network, has scheduled protests on the streets of London, Britain, and New York in the United States of America. This was announced yesterday in a statement released from New York and sent via e-mail by the group’s Executive Secretary, Otunba Dino Melaye.
Justifying the planned protests, Melaye, a former House of Representatives member, said: “Corruption in Nigeria is endemic, systemic and becoming contagious. If we want to rescue our country, 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. We must do everything to rescue this country from the hands of these economic cankerworms and financial scavengers.
“So in essence, I was in London last week and now in New York. What we are doing is global networking to host an anti-corruption protest here in New York. We have served the government of America a letter to get their permission to organise a massive protest that will internationalise the corruption in Nigeria and also help in fighting corruption.
“We hope that by the end of this week, we will get approval from the US government to organise it. We are mobilising Nigerians from every part of the world to come for that global protest against corruption in Nigeria that will be hosted in New York and we are already networking, consulting and talking to people.
“We are inviting CNN, Al-Jazeera, BBC, Sky News and many others to internationalise the fight against corruption. We are drawing global attention to the fight against corruption in Nigeria to ensure that there is a global pressure on our President to do something meaningful about corruption in Nigeria.”
Melaye berated President Goodluck Jonathan for his unseriousness in combating corruption. According to him: “This particular government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is the most corrupt in the history of Nigeria. Corruption has graduated from the stealing of millions of money to billions and now trillions. 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.”
The politician-turned-activist accused the Jonathan administration of selective prosecution, describing the anti-graft crusade as deceptive. Hear him:
“According to him, the government has no reason to shield some public officers who were indicted alongside oil marketers in the fuel importation scam.
“He said: “This is selective prosecution; what I am saying in essence is that since the government is supposedly prosecuting the oil marketers, they also need to prosecute the bureaucrats, government officials, civil servants and Ministers particicipated in the deal.
“But that is not happening; as I speak, most of the Ministers that have been indicted in this mess are still sitting in government. We have evidence against them, we submitted petitions against them to the EFCC for over one year ago. But not even one of them have been invited for questioning.
“I have said it over and over again that a Minister who has been indicted by different reports have no business in government. We have the KPMG report, Senate Committee report on subsidy, Farouk Lawan report, NEITI report, Ribadu report, Aig Imoukhuede.
“She has been indicted by about six different reports. But after her six different indictments by government establishments, the woman is always adorned on the best attires and attends the Federal Executive Council meetings every Wednesday under the watchful eyes of an unperturbed President. We cannot continue like that as a nation and there is precedence to this.”
Melaye looked back with nostalgia to the days of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying:
“During his government, the man who nominated Obasanjo to be President and his senior at Baptist High School, Abeokuta, Chief Sunday Afolabi, was made a Minister of Internal Affairs. He was implicated in corruption saga and removed as Minister.
“Then, we have Prof. Fabian Osuji who was Minister of Education during Obasanjo’s administration. Immediately after his involvement in corruption saga, he was removed as Minister. We had the then Senate President, Adolphus Wabara. Immediately after his indictment for corruption, he was removed.
“Even under the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the Minister of Health, Prof. Adenine Grange, and Minister of State for Health, Prof. Gabriel Adukwu, were removed immediately they were indicted in a bribery scandal because the public policy in Nigeria is that once you have been indicted of corruption, you will automatically lose your office.
“But here we have Ministers under this government who have been indicted but still gluttoning their ill-gotten wealth all over. I am using this opportunity to call on Nigerians to know that it is now or never because we cannot continue to put the lives of unborn generations in danger.
“Nigerians must creep out of their cocoons and become change agents. We need to call a bloodless revolution that will transform this nation from the hands of these economic cankerworms and financial scavengers. Nigeria is not only sick but also suffering from a dreadful continental abnormality.
“In an unjust society, silence is a crime, this is the time in the history of Nigeria where silence is no longer golden. People must come out and speak because the day you stop eating is the day you start dying. Where dictatorship becomes legalised, revolution becomes a right.”
•Photo shows Dino Melaye.
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