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Expose ‘419’ lawmakers now, AC tells NASS

Posted by By ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on 2008/01/28 | Views: 399 |

Expose ‘419’ lawmakers now, AC tells NASS


The Action Congress (AC) has asked the leadership of the National Assembly not to hesitate in exposing the fraudsters in the hallowed chambers of the federal legislature, saying anything short of fishing out such unscrupulous elements will tarnish the image of the respected chambers.

•Blasts Ezekwesili for defending Obasanjo

The Action Congress (AC) has asked the leadership of the National Assembly not to hesitate in exposing the fraudsters in the hallowed chambers of the federal legislature, saying anything short of fishing out such unscrupulous elements will tarnish the image of the respected chambers.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also called on the former Deputy Inspector General of Police, Senator Nuhu Aliyu, who made the allegation, to go the whole hog by identifying the ‘419’ lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives without delay.

It said any attempt by the assembly leadership to cover up this issue will backfire and portray the legislators as unfit to play a major role in restoring Nigeria’s battered image in the international community and putting Nigeria’s fledging democracy on a sound footing.

“Aliyu’s reputation is also on the line, and any failure by this man to put his money where his mouth is will expose him as a flippant and unserious person. “We believe he should know who among the National Assembly membership is a fraudster, because while in active service, he served in the Criminal Investigation Department of the police force and possibly investigated some of the alleged fraudsters now sitting comfortably in the chambers.

“In any case, Aliyu has nothing to fear by identifying the alleged fraudsters as he cannot suffer any legal consequences for his utterances on the floor of the Senate. He will also be doing our young democracy a great favour, considering the well known fact that moneybags with a dubious antecedent have hijacked our politics,’’ AC added.

The party hailed Speaker Dimeji Bankole, for the seriousness he has attached to the issue, especially his pronouncement that the issue will be dealt with in the public glare and that indeed, heads will roll over it.
It urged the Senate leadership to emulate that posture in order to show the whole world that Nigeria is indeed ready to fish out and subject to the dictates of the law those few bad eggs who have turned every Nigerian to a potential 419er in the eyes of foreigners.

‘’This is a historic moment, the type that comes once in a lifetime, and our lawmakers must rise to the occasion. We cannot afford to have those whose hands have been soiled by their fraudulent activities making laws for our country,’’ AC added.
Meanwhile, the party has criticised the statement credited to the World Bank Vice President for Africa, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, disputing President Yar’Adua’s disclosure that his predecessor spent $10 billion on the power sector in seven years without a commensurate benefit.

The party said the media report quoting Mrs. Ezekwesili as saying the amount was less than $4 billion was in bad taste, especially as it was made during her visit to Nigeria in her capacity as a World Bank official, rather than as a spokesperson for the last administration.
It said the party had no reason to doubt the authenticity of the figure given out by President Yar’Adua, whether or not the shocking revelation rankles some people were part of the deceit foisted on the country in the name of due process and budget monitoring during the Obasanjo years.

“We are compelled to ask: Is Mrs. Ezekwesili saying that the Nigerian President lied? Did she speak for the World Bank in contesting the figure? Was she defending her role or lack of it in the frittering away of such a huge amount of money without result? “We do not speak for this government. But we must warn against the increasing propensity by agents of some international agencies to talk down on the Nigerian people and dictate to the government, in what amounts to a total disregard for the country’s sovereignty.

“We recall the recent letter from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) asking the Nigerian government to clarify whether or not Nuhu Ribadu will return to the EFCC after his training at Kuru, which gives an impression that the UNODC-Nigeria relationship is that of a headmaster and his pupil.
“Worse still, UNODC, in a show of gross indiscretion, attempted to blackmail Nigeria over the issue by saying the decision to send Ribadu on course could affect the implementation of a $30 million EFCC assistance project “This growing attempt to trample on Nigeria’s sovereignty and treat the country and its people as an appendage of some international organisations is totally unacceptable to us in the AC, and we believe to all Nigerians, and must stop forthwith,’’ AC said.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.