Half Of Recovered Loot Should Be Shared Equally Among States – Akinola | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Half Of Recovered Loot Should Be Shared Equally Among States – Akinola

Posted: Jun 29, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Hon Gboyega Akinola is a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and one-time secretary of the party in Ekiti State. In this interview with Yaqoub Popoola in Ado- Ekiti, he spoke on national issues especially as it affects his state. Excerpts:

Few days ago, Governor Ayo Fayose raised the alarm on how the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission illegally blocked his accounts in some Banks. What do you have to say on  this development?

It is not only embarrassing,it is a shock that a Nigeria of 2016 is still behaving as if it was in the infancy of dark age.  I don’t know  how an agency of Federal Government could just bounce on a serving governor and have his accounts frozen ,without any consultation or interrogation. In fact, we read on the pages of newspapers that the reasons given by the anti- graft agency was that it was investigating the governor for certain alleged crimes .
We suspect that the Buhari-led government  is using the EFCC to embarrass the opposition ,most especially our governor, Ayo  Fayose. It appears that the government is using the EFCC to destabilise Ekiti State.It would be recalled that the same EFCC had bounced on Ekiti House of Assembly and whisked away one of its members for weeks without any trial .All its actions are against the Nigerian Constitution. In section 302, sub section B in particular gives immunity to certain political office holders and governors were among this category .And that is, as long as they in power or in office no case can be instituted against them; either Civil or Criminal case. So, I don’t know why the EFCC is flagrantly flouting the provisions of the constitution. The EFCC should go and learn or less it wants to behave like baboons in the dark age .It is the duty of the Federal Government and the President in particular to caution the EFCC.I am using this medium to call on President Buhari and the Senate President to team up against EFCC and give them the right education so that it does not throw Nigeria into the state of confusion, because what the EFCC did to the governor amounts to maladministration. It appears as if we are in the era of the military. All these abuses must be curbed.

Now that this has happened, what advice would give to governor Fayose ?

As far as I am concerned, this a different thing .I want to advise him as a politician and not as a PDP man. One, I would urge him to sustain opposition against the present government, because opposition is one of the beauties of democracy anywhere in the world and where there is no opposition, no government can do well. Opposition is more or less heating up the government in power. By his actions Governor Fayose is assisting the opposition parties in Nigeria and the down-trodden masses because the government is supposed to be criticised .I will also advise the governor to be constructive in his criticism and verify his facts before going to the press. I believe in constructive criticisms .The governor should be civilized in his approach to issues and give maximum respect to office and the personality of Mr President .

What is your take on the ongoing anti corruption war being championed by the Buhari’s administration?

For me, I think the anti- corruption war is extremely biased and targeted at the opposition .But notwithstanding, the Federal Government had claimed to have recovered certain assets from the looters. Why is it not disclosing the identities of those involved? .By not disclosing the identities of the looters, it appears the present government has something to hide. President Buhari should realise that there are many potential treasure looters in this cabinet. If you don’t publish the names of looters against their loot, there is no way Nigerians can ascertain the actual assets recovered from these people.

So, what do you suggest in practical terms ?

I am challenging the Federal Government  on behalf Nigerians that it should let us know the names of the looters . For example, if N1tr is recovered from a particular looter and somebody is telling us that it is just N100b, how would Nigerians know the truth.
Again, President Buhari must not repeat the mistake of 1983 about the recovered loots. If he does that, the President would have himself to blame.

Could you tell us the mistake made by Buhari as military Head of States in 1983?

I remembered this was the same he fought corruption as military leader and jailed many politicians ,Within a spate of two years or thereabout, millions of naira were recovered. And this was when naira had great value. He did not do anything with the loot until Babangida hijacked power from him and squandered it.
As we speak more than 27 out of the 36 states of the Federation are indebted and many of them cannot even pay salaries of their workers. So, if we don’t really want the system to collapse, the half of the recovered assets should be shared among the 36 states on equal basis. And Mr. President must give the affected states the order that the monies should be used to pay outstanding salaries and investment in projects that would shore up their Internally Generated Revenue( IGR). This to me, is a long and short- term solution to the lingering economic problem .But the short term is for government to give them unconditional bailouts

Do you still have confidence in the Federal System of Government currently in operation in Nigeria?

There is nothing wrong with the system but many things are wrong with the operators of the system. To start with, one thing I discovered is that the Federal Government is biting more than it could chew and that is why have a lot of waste. The Revenue Formula is wrong .Both the sharing and the percentage is wrong and must be reviewed. Why is the Federal Government taking about 52- 53 percent of the monthly allocation and given less that 40 percent to the states? We have to appeal to the two chambers of the National Assemblies to review it, because, if they fail to do this in about two years to come the federal system will collapse and we will all have ourselves to be blame . My own recommendation is that the Federal Government must not take above 42 percent of the allocation, the states, 40 percent and the remaining 18 to the Local Governments and other parastatals