From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently address Nigerians on the serial embarrassments to which his administration is subjecting the country in the comity of nations, after another seizure of $5.7 million of Nigerian arms money by the South African authorities.
In a statement, issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the issues surrounding the first seizure of $9.3 million have yet to be resolved before this latest scandal, wondering why the government would want to turn Nigeria to a rogue nation by taking ownership of money laundering and other acts of illegality, thus devaluing the currency of every Nigerian.
‘’Again, Mr. President, Nigerians are urging you to please come clean over these cash-for-arms scandals. They want you to answer critical questions on the legality of your administration’s repeated conduct. They want to know the identities of the two Nigerians who were arrested with an Israeli in South Africa over the first illegal deal, especially since the Israeli has been named.
‘’Nigerians want to know why the purported arms procurement for the government is done illegally between private companies that are neither known nor registered for dealing in arms. And why are the movements of monies not transparently documented for what they really are, if they are truly for legitimate purposes?
‘’They want to know whether indeed the weapons which the government is seeking so furiously to procure are for the battle against Boko Haram or for a sinister motive, considering the desperation of your administration to continue to rule at all cost and by any means possible. They want to know whether every Nigerian should begin to fear what will happen in the days and weeks leading to the forthcoming general elections, against the backdrop of your administration and party’s do-or-die politics.
The party also wondered whether the funds being ferried up and down by the administration were appropriated by the National Assembly, or whether they are part of the missing $20 billion oil money.
It reminded the Jonathan Administration that nowhere else does a government engage in illegal black market movement of money or arms – both signatures of terrorism worldwide, adding that only terrorists and pariah nations move money and procure arms in clandestine manners as the Jonathan Administration is doing.
‘’Even at a time when we were ruled by military dictators and our country was a pariah nation, we did not experience this repeated and embarrassing national disgrace and clandestine, terrorist groups’ approach to the purchase of arms. How can Nigeria truly be a respected member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) when our own government and its operatives are self-identified and self-confessed money launderers?’’ APC queried.