In her 192-page book titled Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines, former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy under Goodluck Jonathan administration, Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, mentioned names of notable “corrupt” politicians who opposed her economic ideas, but are now serving in the APC government. PAUL OKAH speaks with Nigerians on whether the book is an attempt to discredit the politicians and the APC government.
Like PDP, like APC
Politicians are all the same, whether in PDP or APC. The sharing of money by political leaders, to the detriment of the rest of Nigerians, did not start today, so I am not surprised that the politicians Okonjo Iweala mentioned in her book insisted that the money that should be used to better the lot of Nigerians should be shared among the states they were representing. It would have been a good thing if they had good, honest intentions, but you and I know that all politicians in the country are only after filling the lining of their pockets. Even this Buhari’s government that claims to be fighting against corruption is not free of corruption, because it is largely made up of the same PDP members of that Ngozi Okonjo Iweala talked about. They can harangue and intimidate anyone just to have their ways at all times, so government is not for the lilly-livered.
Ogbonnia Nwachi, political scientist& public affairs commentator.
Thugs in government
Nigeria will never be an envy of the global community because of our political representatives that are bent on disgracing themselves. They are many political thugs in government who have no reason being in government. Adams Oshiomhole, for instance, is a known motor park tout who is fortunate to find himself in government. His NLC days are still marked with controversies on financial greediness. It’s little wonder that he and Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, opposed Okonjo-Iweala’s economic policies and insisted on sharing proceeds from oil during Jonathan’s tenure. Nigeria still have a long way to go before we can get it right in this country. But as long as political thugs like Oshiomhole, Dino Melaye, Fayose and Aregbesola are in government, the economy will continue to suffer. Mark my words, the APC government will leave far less than $2.3 billion in the Excess Crude Account at the end of their tenure.
Isiaka Michael, trader.
APC Ministers corrupt
When the APC government was trying to come into power, the Change mantra they prophesied looked too good to be true, but we are all suffering the effects of the political miscalculations. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, then governor of Rivers State and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum(NGF) was rewarded with the Minister for Transportation portfolio because of his contributions in unseating Jonathan, but we are not faring any better now. Lagos State’s Babatunde Raji Fashola may be enjoying now as Minister for Power Works and Housing, but the corruption in the APC government has not seen to the improvement of any infrastructure since he assumed duties. APC government is replete with corruption, even more than PDP administration. They opposition of the Jonathan’s plan to move funds in the Excess Crude Account to the Sovereign Wealth Fund for the rainy day speaks volumes of what may be going on in the present administration without anyone talking about it. So much for Buhari and his antics of fighting corruption.
Mbrey Chimaobi, tailor.
Jonathan’s tenure was corrupt
Okonjo-Iweala can say whatever she likes, the truth of the matter remains that it was the PDP government that have kept us in the economic hardship we are undergoing now. It will take a very long time for us to recover from the misrule of the past administration. Buhari is trying his best, but repairing the evils of 16 years misrule is definitely going to take longer than we expect. Okonjo Iweala saying that her insistence on savings was backed by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo is just trying to defend the former leaders, but she is lame in her excuse because the administration simply lost they credibility with the corruption they perpetrated with the award of contracts, especially to the Vice President’s company as an architect. Questions should be asked about the Second Naija bridge and other projects during Jonathan’s administration.
Beatrice Ozioma, teacher.
Iweala, Peter Obi no saint
I will question the authenticity of Okonjo-Iweala’s statement while trying to defend Peter Obi. Even though I have not read the book, from what I have read about it on the media, she tried to paint Peter Obi as a saint during the weekly National Economic Council (NEC) sessions, but he is not. The former governor of Anambra State is just as corrupt as the other politicians who served in Jonathan’s government. There was no single commendable project in Anambra State to account for the billions he siphoned on behalf of the state. Even Okonjo-Iweala herself was not all that corrupt-free if we are to investigate her activities while in government. In fact, she could not serve in Buhari’s government because she knows that Buhari does not tolerate corruption and wouldn’t have taken it kindly with her if she attempted to perpetrate the same economic evils that thrived under in the government where she served. Fiscal losses, theft of crude oil, fall in oil prices and vandalism of pipeline are all laughable excuse the PDP offered until they left office with money the money that kept us in the situation we are today.
Rosemary Mbe, graduate.
Iweala is right on corruption
As the 2019 general elections draw close, expect to see more revelations about corrupt practices by those we elected to be our representatives in government. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a woman of incorruptible character and I have no doubt about the rightness of her claims. Having held an enviable executive position in the World Bank, she is not a woman to make false claims. The bitter truth is that politicians in this country would prefer to deplete the resources of this country, because they refer to it as the national cake, rather than think of how to make life easier and better for their citizens. Her constant vilification at the National Economic Council meetings by the governors during Jonathan’s government is a pointer to the fact that politicians are not interested in saving the economy, but to further plunge it into recession. Many of them are now enjoying positions as governors and Senators in the present dispensation, so the loot goes on.
Mohammed Sani, civil servant.
Oshiomhole should be prosecuted
It is a well known fact that this country is in a mess if the politicians mentioned by Ngozi Iweala are allowed to continue to be in government. With the evidence against him in Iwealas book, what is the morality behind Oshiomhole’s quest to be the National Chairman of APC? He has no locus standi if it were to be in another clime, because the evidence against him are just too overwhelming to be ignored. For a government that claims to be fighting corruption, this revelation of Mrs Iweala should be taken seriously and investigated, because members of the PDP in Johnathan’s tenure have formed a formidable part of the ruling party that is supposedly fighting corruption. It calls to question the moral compass employed by the party in fighting corruption, when the members are themselves corrupt.
Sani Daniel, legal practitioner.
Obasanjo, others should be probed
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s book brings to fore the task being faced by government in each dispensation. When Buhari said that Obasanjo spent 16 billion dollars in a white elephant power project, many Nigerians doubted him, but we can glean from Iweala’s book that it might actually have happened, because she equally served in his government. The money was probably shared between political associates of Obasanjo. Buhari should just do the needful and redeem the images of the politicians serving in his government by probing them, as he has threatened to do with Obasanjo. They should be no selected prosecution in his administration. This present government have been criticised for witch-hunting, so it’s time for Buhari to prove his critics wrong by probing everyone fingered by Madam Iweala.
Chiedu Joy, seamstress.
Okonjo-Iweala should be investigated
I doubt the authenticity and reliability of Iweala’s information. She said in her book that Jonathan lacked the
political will to fight corruption, so why is she trying to whip up sentiments with her name callings? When they were enjoying political booties, did she consider it worthy enough to name names? This is simply a calculated blackmail attempt to ridicule APC stalwarts, because she was overtly selective. Her claim that the PDP government left a huge amount of money in the government coffers when they were sacked in 2015 is a blatant lie, because the APC government inherited a lot of debt. She should be grateful that she is not in prison because she was smart enough not to hoard money in her apartment when it was raided, following a tip off by well-meaning Nigerians. However, she should just shut up because she may not be a second time lucky.
Michael David, a motorcyclist.