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Published On: Thu, Aug 7th, 2014

Between Diezani and Yakubu, who deserved the sack?

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By Timi Frank

The sack of the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engineer Andrew Yakubu at the weekend again raises critical questions about the readiness of Mr. President to right the wrongs bedeviling the management of our nation’s oil resources. Yakubu is the fourth GMD of NNPC to be removed from office during the tenure of the current Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke. Mohammed Barkindo, Shehu Ladan and Austin Oniwon were removed in similar fashion after they reportedly disagreed with Diezani.

Recall that the Group Executive Director (GED), Exploration and Production of the NNPC, Mr. Abiye Membere, who was sacked in the heat of reconciling oil revenues in March, unfortunately became the first casualty of the perennial fuel subsidy scam which later metamorphosed into thereported non-remittance of $20billion into the Federation Account by the NNPC. Yet the Oil Sector today is highly enmeshed in monumental corruption which has reduced our nation’s economy to shambles.

It is trite that if a football team is consistently failing, the Coach should be held responsible because players play according to his directives and for the team to be revived the coach necessarily has to go. Why continue to sack team members when the coach is the real problem?

I want to urge you Mr. President to sack Diezani with the same speed with which you sacked Yakubu because Diezani is the one accused of spending N10billion to hire private jets and not the GMD. She is the one that has not been able to account for $20billion missing oil revenue. She is the one responsible for spending the nation’s oil revenue on fuel and Kerosene subsidy without National Assembly approval. Why sack the GMD and leave the Minister whose table the buck stops.

Why is Diezani still being retained as minister when up to five committee reports have indicted her for mismanagement of the nation’s oil revenues? It is a pity that now that Mr. President felt it was time to act, his action again fell short of the genuine desires of Nigerians for a clean and transparent oil industry in Nigeria. It takes two to tangle, they say. No man can clap with one hand. If all the four GMDs that have been sacked were found to have fallen short of expectation, Diezani too must be vicariously liable as the team leader.

Mr. President, I want to plead with you not to make it look as if all the sacked GMDs are from the North, therefore they can be sacrificed. Diezani is from Bayelsa, therefore she must be retained and protected.Failure to touch Diezani who is the Chairman of the Board of the NNPC after the sack of four GMDs under her has given the lie to his so-called commitment to the war on corruption in political high places.

Nigerians are not only celebrating the sack of Yakubu but they want him prosecuted to determine his level of complicity or otherwise in the financial atrocities plaguing the nation’s oil industry.He must not be left out of the ongoing investigation into the N10billion used to hire private jets for Madam Minister by NNPC and the unremitted $20billion oil revenue to the Federation Account. Mr. President, I am still waiting for the day you will sack Diezani to enable me thank you for a job well done. The sack of Yakubu will not convince Nigerians that Mr. President now means well for the oil industry and by extension the economy of the nation until Diezani is sacked and prosecuted.

Therefore, I will not relent until you sack Diezani because her activities in the oil industry have brought untold shame and hardship to Nigerians both at home and abroad. I will not rest until Nigerians get justice and the missing $20billion is returned to the Federation’s coffers.

Can any top official of the NNPC do anything without the express approval of the minister? Why not clean the mess in the oil sector once and for all? Mr. President, are you not aware that the international community is watching everything that is happening? Mr. President, sack Diezani now and save our nation from international embarrassment. The time to act is now!

Comrade Timi Frank via 2014@speshsWorld


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