Questions begging for answers as beggars beg for alms

PRESIDENT BUHARI LAUNCH ERGP. 3. President Muhammadu Buhari addressing the participant during the Formal Launch of the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan 2017-2020 (ERGP) LABS held Banquet Hall State House, Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. MAR 13 2018

Some decades ago — when I was in primary school, in the ancient and beautiful city of Ibadan, there was a notably tall beggar who used to daily beg for alms. He was always shouting on top of his lungs, asking people to give him some coins, so he could live to tell the tale. As a sharp-eyed lad in those days, I was always in awe of him — because he was always indefatigable, begging for alms. Also, in the Bible, I read about a man, whose life was very ugly, but (to survive) was always sitting at a beautiful place, begging for alms. Today, there are too many questions in Nigeria, begging for answers as beggars would beg for alms to survive.

The first question, begging for the alms of an answer from the administration of President Buhari is on how far he’s been able to go about those legal luminaries, who were publicly harassed in the halcyon days of PMB? In one pounce, the DSS raided the homes of justices Walter Onnoghen and Sylvanus Agwuta of the supreme court as well as the homes of Justices Adebiyi Ademola, Muazu Pindiga—and Nnamdi Dingba of the federal high court. DSS agents spent time breaking down the gate of Justice Dinga’s house with a sledgehammer before beating his brother to mash—when they could not find him. At this time, Justices Ademola and Pindiga have been arrested and detained. For the umpteenth time, what has become of those cases?

Two, how far has Mr. President gone about Mr. Andrew Yakubu’s money? On the 10th of February, 2017, a special operation was said to be conducted by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the 3rd of February on a building belonging to a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, in Kaduna, was said to have yielded the recovery of $9,772,800 cash. The huge cash was hidden in a fireproof safe.

It was said that one Bitrus Yakubu, Mr. Yakubu’s younger brother disclosed that both the house and the safe belong to his elder brother—Mr. Andrew. On the 8th of February, 2017, Mr. Yakubu reported to the commission’s zonal office in Kano and made statement wherein he admitted ownership of the recovered money, claiming it was a gift from unnamed persons. This is June 2018 and Mr. President’s tenure is about going to bed, but we are yet to hear anything corporal about the whistle blower’s identity, those who gave Mr. Andrew those billion of naira and we do not know whether Mr. Andrew is behind bars or walking freely as men who have done his kind of ‘exploit.’ And where is the cash that was recovered from him? Re-looted?

Three, Mr. President, how have you gone about Mr. Usman who was reinstated by you? About four months ago, President Buhari overruled health minister, re-establishing and restoring the suspended executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Usman Yusuf. He was suspended by the minister of health, Isaac Adewole in June 2017, following allegations of gross misconduct. He was later found guilty of alleged offences that ranged from nepotism to theft of public funds, but only Mr. President did know why he reinstated him. I guess his relationship with Mr. President has washed him clean and he has probably become as white as snow.

Four, how far about Ikoyi money? About 365days ago, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), found 38million dollars, 27,000pounds and 23 million naira in a private residence on Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, acting on a tip-off by a whistleblower who was said to have been paid 421 million naira. However, what government paid, in line with the Whistle-blower Policy, which recommended 2-5% of any amount recovered for a whistleblower, was not the total amount due to the Ikoyi whistle-blower. The question is: when is the next tranche going to be paid by the current whistle-blowing administration? Also, what has become of the money and the person who ‘kept’ it in that expensive-private residence?

Five, who brought Mr. Maina back to Nigeria? Seven months after Maina was furtively and clandestinely brought into the country and promoted, nothing is yet to be done about it. The ruling APC asked PMB, seven months ago not to spare anyone found to have been involved in facilitating reinstatement into service of escapee of interior Assistant Director in the Ministry of Interior, Abdulrasheed Maina, describing the development as a discomfiture. Till today, nothing has been done about the discreditable act. The current President is yet to do anything about what Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi described as a huge embarrassment to the party that rode to power on the mantra of “change.”

Instead of Nigerians to ask intelligent questions and equally back them up with peaceful protests that would last for days, months and years, they are fond of ignorantly committing everything into the hand of God, as if that’s how the nations of the earth are built. The truth is, God will not come down to help you hold accountable those you voted into power some years ago. It is your call! Nothing will truly change in Nigeria until you begin to vehemently demand everything that belongs to you constitutionally. It is wrong to call your President a fool, but it is right to ask him questions and consistently demand for those questions to be answered.

Lastly, on the condition that all the questions begging for the alms of answers (as beggars) are not attended to, then I am strongly of the opinion that the current administration of Buhari has defrauded me and all other well-meaning Nigerians.