Today, we made an appeal to the British PM to support the war against corruption President Buhari has started. We were once described as ‘fantastically corrupt’ by the former British PM, David Cameron, the more reason this drive by President Buhari should be applauded and supported by the British establishment.
Here’s the full text of the appeal…..
We are compelled to write you this letter in light of the recent statement credited to the envoys of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the European Union election monitoring group (EU EOM) in Nigeria regarding the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen. Prime Minister Theresa May, may wish to note that Nigeria is experiencing a very difficult time in the fight against corruption that has been initiated by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Since 2015, when the present administration came into office and declared her determination to stop grand corruption in the affairs of government business in Nigeria, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has faced tremendous pressures, from both within and outside government, driven, for the most part, by the opposition political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) . It is a well-known fact that the UK acknowledges the damaging impact of corruption on Nigeria as evidenced by the quoted statement of former Prime Minister David Cameron, who was heard admitting that he considered Nigeria to be “fantastically corrupt” in May 2016.
President Muhammadu Buhari, since becoming Nigeria’s President in 2015, has never hidden his resolve to frontally confront and/or initiate action/policies aimed at reducing corrupt practices in the conduct of government business at all levels.
This effort has yielded positive results to the admiration of the majority of Nigerians and the consternation of a select few who have benefitted and, indeed, usually benefit, from our system’s rotten anti-progressive mind-set. Undeterred, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has carried on with determination to see that structural defects are fixed to block financial leakages in the system.
We are clear and agree with the statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari, that unless “Nigerians kill Corruption, Corruption will kill Nigeria”. Indeed because of the reduction in massive financial looting by the ruling elite, more resources have been freed up to invest in infrastructural development, increased investment in agriculture and Social welfare programmes across the country. We believe Britain wishes to see a prosperous and developmentally progressive Nigeria; this is good for both countries and we therefore implore the United Kingdom to, not only applaud, but also to continue to actively support every initiative to wipe out financial corruption in Nigeria.
Madam Prime Minister may also wish to note that the root cause of underdevelopment in Nigeria is the lukewarm attitude or non-commitment of previous governments to wage an all out war against corruption in Nigeria. This has led to the wanton disregard for accountability and transparency in the conduct of government businesses and, by extension, governance in Nigeria.
Since 2015, when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came into power, this narrative has changed. Nigeria has recorded tremendous progress in project delivery across the country and ordinary Nigerians are beginning to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
Your Excellency Ma’am, the present administration has encountered numerous challenges from individuals and organisations that subvert the system through unwholesome means all in an attempt to portray the Muhammadu Buhari administration in poor light so as to pitch the people against the government for the purpose of fulfilling their personal agenda of causing unrest and disaffection in the country.
The recent case of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen who violated the law in not fully declaring his assets as stipulated by the law clearly shows the level of rot in the system. The Chief Justice of Nigeria as the number one judicial officer in the country for inexplicable reasons did not declare a part of his assets before the Code of Conduct Bureau in Nigeria.
The CJN cited “forgetfulness and mistake” as the reasons for the non-declaration. The amounts involved in various international currencies (US Dollar, British pounds and Euros, and well as Nigeria Naira) and numerous houses all amount to millions of dollars. The question then is how much is the Chief Justice’s salary? As the number one judicial officer in the country, such an excuse is not only wholly untenable, unless for deliberate reasons, but also calls into question the standard of justice he has been dispensing.
We note that a particular segment of the Nigerian society has cried wolf where none exists and painted a picture of political persecution and non-compliance with due process, forgetting that Nigeria was on the brinks of imminent collapse due the activities of a few who were benefitting from the corruption ridden system of the past.
Your Excellency Ma’am, as concerned people of Nigerian descent we are, through this medium, calling on you and the British government to stand with Nigeria and support her government in the war against grand corruption as initiated by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Minimising corruption in Nigeria can only be good for Nigeria and her friends and ally, especially the United Kingdom.
Your Excellency may be aware that political jobbers and ethnic champions have been working hard to paint the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria as an ethnic or religious action, or even a slide towards dictatorship, when in reality, it was a timely intervention aimed at saving the judicial arm of government in Nigeria further embarrassment and decay as a result of the unethical conduct of the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
This letter is an ‘SOS’, as well as a reminder to your Excellency that Nigeria would slide more likely to a state instability and uncertainty if steps, just like this, are not taken to arrest the cankerworm of corruption that has eaten deep into the fabric of governance in Nigeria, and which is being systematically tackled by the current government.
It is our considered opinion that the United Kingdom as an ally of Nigeria cannot afford to watch Nigeria pushed to the brink of possible turmoil by a greedy few, whose only interest has been, and remains, an appetite for unbridled accumulation of money/material by any means necessary from public sources.
This is the time to stand with Nigeria. Britain must be unequivocal in declaring looters of the Nigerian state resources as enemies of the Nigeria people and must render the needed assistance to the government of Nigeria to continue to make inroads in the fight against corruption. We have the honour to be, your Excellency’s, humble and obedient servant.
Dr Philip Idaewor Chairman & Mr. Charles Eze COO, Arisenrigeria
*This statement is also endorsed by coordinators of Arisenigeria worldwide:*
1. Prof Adesugun Labinjo (USA) 2. Mr Ayoola Lawal (Sweden) 3. Chief Balogun (France) 4. Dr Chima Ibezim (Italy) 5. Mr Adeayo Tella (Spain) 6. Mr Bola Babarinde (South Africa) 7. Mr Hammed Adefioye (Republic of Ireland) 8. Mr Martins Sadoh (Holland) 9. Mr Ogunwede Lombrado (Germany) 10. Mr Niyi Agbelese (Switzerland) 11. Mr Charles Michelleti (Ghana) 12. Mr Philip Agbese (Nigeria) 13. Mr David Onmeje (Nigeria) 14. Mr Eric Ayoola (UK) 15. Mr Ikem Chinedu (UK) 16. Mr David Abraham (South Korea)