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Published On: Tue, Feb 25th, 2014

GEJ, SLS, NNPC and rest of us

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Jonathan-and-SanusiGUEST COLUMNIST by Chiechefulam Ikebuiro

Anyone who still thinks Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s suspension as the CBN governor, was because of “a clear display of incompetence, nonchalance, fraud, wastefulness, and abuse of due process etc”, is either not abreast of happenings in Nigeria in the past months or is simply being ignorant. This is not exonerating him from the allegations, but whatever it is he has been accused of, is not the reason he was suspended. The federal government knows we know.

We hear SLS was issued a query by the president in 2012 over the CBN’s financial statement of the same year. Not satisfied with his response, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria ‘ indicted’ him. The question now is, why did it have to take this long for us to know about this? Why has he not been suspended or removed since last year when he was ‘indicted’ since even the CBN act clearly state that a CBN governor can be relieved of his duties if he “is guilty of a serious misconduct in relation to his duties”? Did it have to coincide with the same period SLS was releasing his bombshell? Did the presidency have this ‘damning report’ on SLS all the while, hoping he shuts up about the NNPC in exchange for his walking away unscathed? These are questions we may never get answers to.

SLS was sacked because he blew the whistle on the billions of dollars that is yet to be accounted for by the NNPC ,period! I still am wondering what the haste to flush him out is, when he leaves in a few months.

I think the suspension is ill timed. I have heard people say the president was right in suspending him citing insubordination ala employee going against the employer and all. And my question since then has been, should Sanusi have kept quiet knowing that Nigerians (the oga patapata of both him and GEJ) are being gang raped? Ha s everybody all of a sudden forgotten about the issue he raised? Do we ever think of posterity? Thank God the man does and boy would posterity judge him kindly.

The man said he had sent a memo earlier to the president, letting him know about the monumental fraud going on in the NNPC and he was ignored. You have to be tempted to believe him because at no time did the presidency ever come out to deny the fact that he did send one. The FG must have thought him the same as the rest, who get to keep quiet in the face of ignominy. Well, the Mallam was not buying any of that, hence his whistle blowing.

I like the fact that he has gone to court to challenge his suspension, not for himself, but for the office of the CBN. The Central bank of Nigeria does not have to be the play thing of anybody.

I think Nigerians owe SLS one, for letting us know the monumental petro-kero fraud that has been going on for years in the NNPC.The racketeering and rip off of all of us, while the populace suffers. They had us by the balls all along. How else would you describe a situation where the NNPC gets to buy kerosene at 150 Naira per litre, sells to the marketers at 50 Naira per litre and you and I get to buy it at between 150-170 Naira per litre? On top of this monumental rip off, the NNPC still makes subsidy deductions(illegally, as this had been ordered to stop by late president Yar’Adua) running into billions of Naira while you and I pay through our noses for something that we should have bought at a subsidized rate. How else my brother would you describe the fact that the NNPC refines way less than the barrels of crude we give them per day? The remaining is either wasted or somebody is lounging on it. My Sister do you know that there have been claims that the NNPC does not remit (all) funds to the federal account and there are three (3) reports backing this? One report can be wrong, but three? Something truly is not right and we need to know.

The good thing is that the wind has blown and the romp of the chicken has been revealed. NNPC has been made and I think it has accepted that fact.

SLS as far as I am concerned did well at the helm of the CBN for the period of time he was there. He brought sanity to our banking industry amongst others and credit should go to him. That, however does not give him the right to engage in activities it is alleged he has committed. Mallam SLS may have (or may have not) done most of the things they now claim he has done. The only way we can find out is for him to be investigated properly (not witch hunted) and if found guilty, be made to face the music. While this is going on however, there needs to be a massive investigation of the billions of dollars yet to be accounted for at the NNPC. This is most important to Nigerians as we are worst hit. This is the bigger allegation. We cannot stay and just watch our money go unaccounted for, when we know how long 10, 20 (even if it is 1) billion dollars can go in changing our situation in this country. It is impossible that we will stay and watch a very few of us eat our future away. I also think it is time we started working on making our refineries better again.

We demand to know how our money was spent and if there is no proper account, the next thing we want to hear is prison numbers of everybody involved in this heist. Over to you, Mr president.

Chiechefulam Ikebuiro via thalynxis@yahoo.ca

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