What Has Been Done, Can Be Undone | Independent Newspapers Limited
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What Has Been Done, Can Be Undone

Posted: May 4, 2015 at 12:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ebongabasi Ekpe-Juda

While it is possible that one can say one thing while meaning another thing entirely- the case of watch my lips and not my mouth; the recent comments of the President-elect is making some of us very uncomfortable. Uncomfortable because we expect a radical departure from the ugly past! However, two comments made by



Buhari so far seem not to inspire such expectation of a radical and clean break from the past. As I noted in my article – “Setting agenda for the new government”, Nigerians voted for Buhari as it were, because they are fed up with the current status quo, particularly as it affects the running of government especially as it affects money matters, and they desire a positive change, which happens to be the All Progressives Congress’ (APC’s) sing song or byword. At this point in time, it should have become obvious even to a casual observer what to expect from the incoming government of the retired but not tired general. But when statements like “What has been done cannot be undone”, a statement he made at the inauguration of the transition committee of the APC serving party and by extension serving government as the President- Elect wants us to see them, leaves too much to be desired. Does it then mean that the incoming government wants to continue with the status quo?

While we don’t expect the incoming government to go on wild goose chase, it must investigate the deeds of the past governments, if it wants to be taken seriously. A statement like, “Needless to repeat, that your Committee – and indeed our government – are not on a witch-hunt or engaged in fault-finding” is very misleading to the progressive minds that support and voted for you. It makes us feel you will not be different from them. You must investigate the past governments to see what made them to fail. You cannot afford to close your eyes to the sordid and very embarrassing but colossal failure in power sector. Mr. President-Elect you must probe past governments, otherwise it will be business as usual. How are you going to tackle the power situation if you don’t probe the spending in that sector and indeed punish those found to have stolen our common patrimony? How would you know what the impediments are?

While am not again setting an agenda, but Mr. President-Elect are you going to close your eyes to the fraud that was termed “Aviation Intervention Fund” in the Obasanjo and Jonathan’s government? Are you going to close your eyes to the fact that somebody was given Thirty-Two billion naira to reinvigorate the Air Nigeria and he collected the money and went and establish a bank in Ghana and Sao Tome while the airline business for which the money was meant for closed shop with unpaid salaries and unremitted pension contribution of the employees? No Mr. President-Elect you cannot close your eyes to such myriad of fraud. What has been done can be undone. That type of money can be refunded with interest, since it was not used for what it was meant for, but put into something that generated interest to the person. It is an economic crime and it must not go unpunished, because it is misappropriation of public fund. You will have to find out why that airline went under with such massive government support. That is what we mean by change. That is why we voted for you. Mr. President-Elect we voted for you simply because we expect that you will come and right the wrongs of past administrations. In fact, GMB, we expected that once you were announced the winner of the presidential election, that some Nigerians will relocate for the fear of you. But your body language is making them stay put. I don’t think they are staying put because they want to confront or thwart you, but more because they believe that you are not going to do anything adverse to them. Can you sincerely decide not to investigate the fiasco that was tagged “Immigration Recruitment Exercise” in which so many innocent Nigerians died needless death? Can you imagine the monumental fraud that happened therein? If not for any other reason Mr. President-Elect, for sake of the innocent Nigerians that died in the process, you must investigate and find out what happened both to serve as a deterrent and to stop further occurrence of such act.

All these things happen because people acted with impunity. If you don’t deal with perpetrators of the crime of impunity, you are not going to go too far. You need to note this is a civilian democratic regime. It is said that the way you make your bed is the way you will lie on it. The outgoing government told us and your VP-Elect collaborated it at one of the town hall meetings that four hundred barrels of crude oil are stolen every day, are you by implication saying that you will not probe such massive fraud? Is it possible for you to close your eyes to such massive bleeding of this country’s God given resources? Then Mr. President-Elect, you would not only have legalized bunkering (a thing you fought against very seriously when you were a military head of state), but would have covered up the most heinous crime against the nation state. In that case, you are not better than the outgoing government.

You are well aware that in the last sixteen years, the successive governments gave out contracts for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the majors roads, monies paid out to contractors who never did a thing. Are you also going to over look such criminal acts? Then why did we vote for you? Equally the same, you must have known that states government collected huge sums of money from the federation account, and have nothing other than abject poverty on the land and mounting debt profile to show for it. Will you also close your eyes against such massive fraud, in the guise that nothing can be done about it? No sir, something can be done about it and must be done about it. What should happen is that as people send you petition, you forward same to the relevant agencies of your government that you would have reinvigorated and given teeth to not only bark but to bite as well. This is so because you cannot know all, unless you have been religiously keeping accurate records of the happening in government since you were planning to rule this country.

Do you remember that there was the subsidy probe, and lawmakers were implicated in the scam, by demanding for and receiving bribe? Are you not going to do something about such disgraceful act? The question is have you changed so soon, or have you been sucked into their mold? What kind of governance are we to expect from you come May 29th?  Don’t let the people throw their hands up in despair; it would not be good for you. You are giving us the type of signal we do not want to see.

• Ekpe-Juda, a Medical Sociologist,wrote in via helpinghandsworldwide@yahoo.com