Posted by Henry Nwabueze & Abubakar Ibrahim | 26 October 2013 | 3,436 times
We are concerned about the stability of our democracy and worried that the manner with which the opposition jumps to castigate and condemn personalities who have sacrificed their time, energy for the progress of this country is destructive and negates the doctrine of social engagement. The issue of the purchase of operational vehicles by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) forms the crux of the matter.
The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria and Youth Leaders condemn the outrage of some individuals on the issues regarding the purchase of NCAA operational vehicles and the approval given by Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah. The outcry seems antagonist and hasty, devoid of the primary essence of criticism, which is correction.
It is worrisome that the only instrument of check and balancing from some non-governmental organisations is destructive criticism, particularly the anti-Jonathan elements. What we need is constructive criticism if we must impact to the transformation of Nigeria. Wisdom predicates restraint and not haste.
It is also worrisome to note that the call for the sack of the minister is coming from the opposition. This approach to fight anybody considered to be a loyal to the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, is wrong. We condemn it and plead with Nigerians not to play politics with important issues.
If individuals could purchase same for reasons of insecurity and still deprive the public of the service of the Nigerian police who ride along them on any trip they make, consequently any condemnation on this proactive gesture lacks merit.
We condemn the call for the sack of the minister, stating that the claim that she will influence the work of the panel headed by Alhaji Isa Bello is unfounded and illogical.
The minister, from our investigation in the ministry, is considered by many as a very pragmatic and prudent person when it comes to spending. We therefore wonder what happened and must suspect foul play by some individuals who want to rubbish the achievements of the minister.
It is on the strength of these findings that we urge Nigerians to hold their peace and wait for the outcome of the investigation by the Isa Bello panel. We also appreciate the proactive resolve of the president towards tackling corruption.
The following issues have to be considered before hanging the minister:
•There have been no negative comments regarding the purchase of the operational vehicles by the NCAA •The process of the award of the contract •Whether the purchase of the operational vehicles was actually captured in the budget •What is the system/type of purchase or acquisition?
•Does the purchasing authority have the statutory power to do so? •Who are the said cars meant to service?
It is after these questions are answered or findings are made that Nigerians should pronounce judgment on the minister.
We call on Nigerians to imbibe the culture of praise and commendation for people who toil day and night to deliver on their responsibility in this wonderful country. We applaud the minister on her achievements so far; they are monumental and encouraging.
•Being the edited text of the joint press conference addressed by the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (COCSON) at Immaculate Hotel Abuja, on Friday, November25, 2013. Comrade Henry Nwabueze (shown in photo) is NYCN President while Abubakar Ibrahim is COCSON Secretary. Other groups represented at the press conference include the Anti Corruption Group Nigeria, Save Nigeria and Development Initiative, Transparency Network Africa, National Youth Leaders of Nigeria, Democratic Movement for Unity and Public Service Watch Group.
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