Nigeria Is Drifting Under APC – As SERAP Drags Okorocha To ICPC Over N1bn Statues -Amb Aminu Wali

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A former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Aminu Wali has said that going by the indices of situation in the country, it is clear that the nation is drifting.
This is even as the former Nigerian Permanent Representative to the United Nations said that former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, was right in saying that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would dazzle President Muhammadu Buhari come 2019.
Recall that Lamido had asserted in an earlier interview with newsmen that the PDP would daze the President in the 2019 presidential election.
Speaking with newsmen, Amb. Wali said talks about 2019 could not be said to be premature at this stage, noting that “in politics, nothing is too early, and nothing is too far.”
Wali added that the PDP was hoping that from the performances of the APC on ground, it was obvious that there is every possibility that the PDP would send Buhari parking in 2019.
“Certainly, we are hoping that from the performances of the APC on ground, obviously, there is every possibility that it can happen because, after all, we will allow the people to judge.
“What is on ground is nothing to go by in terms of the campaign promises. They shouldn’t listen to anybody anymore. They should see that the difference is now clear.
“Economically, it is not yet clear that anybody can say whether we are moving in the right direction. Before now, we have been trekking, we have been retrogressing.
“But the government has not really been able to grasp the economic situation, the economic management proper. So long as they don’t get it right, then, we are going to keep drifting,” Wali said.
In view of the 2019 presidency, Wali said Nigerians should judge the current administration with the past administration regardless of whatever propaganda that was dished out against the last administration.
Wali urged Nigerians to juxtapose what is currently on ground with the propaganda and the campaign promises that was made by the APC while gunning for the office in 2015.
“I appeal to people to look at what was there before and what is there now in spite of all the talk about corruption
Meanwhile, a human rights advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, says it has submitted a petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) against the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.
The group said it wants Okorocha probed for abuse of office on account of his erecting statues of the South African and Liberian Presidents, Jacob Zuma and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, respectively, in his state.
SERAP said both statues might have cost N1billion, adding that it was concerned that they might have been funded with public funds.
The group particularly questioned the legality of Okorocha’s involvement in his Rochas Okorocha Foundation, while holding public office as Imo State Governor.
Its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni said the group’s petition, dated November 10, 2017, seeking Okorocha’s probe, was copied to the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
SERAP wondered whether spending N1bn to erect Zuma and Johnson-Sirleaf’s statues was in the public interest, especially at a time that Imo State owed its teachers and pensioners.
It maintained that Okorocha must be jointly probed by the three anti-graft agencies, “to minimise the risks of bad government by public officials.”
SERAP said, “the spending on statues and apparent misuse of public resources may have violated constitutional provisions and international standards on code of conduct for public officers.
“The initiatives cannot be justified under any circumstances whatsoever, especially at a time when Imo state is unable or unwilling to pay teachers’ salaries and pensioners’ entitlements.
“Inviting Zuma and Johnson-Sirleaf to attend the opening of his foundation and then ‘honouring’ them with statues suggests abuse of office and apparent conflict of interest situation, as such acts were undertaken by Governor Okorocha in the exercise of his public functions to presumably promote and advance the commercial and other interests of the foundation.
“SERAP believes that rather than serving the common interest of the public, spending over N1bn, possibly of public funds, on Zuma and Johnson-Sirleaf in the context of their participation in the opening of the Rochas Okorocha Foundation would seem to put Governor Okorocha in a conflict of interest situation.
“SERAP notes that the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) and the United Nations Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party prohibit conflict of interests and set ethical standards for public officers. Indeed, both the constitution and the convention require public officers to abstain from all acts that may compromise the exercise of their public office and functions, or are inconsistent with their entrusted positions.”

 Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo (right), with  CTC Chairman, Degema LGA, Hon. (Mrs) Okorite Karie Adiele and CTC Chairman of Asari-Toru LGA, Hon. Waite Harry (left), during the 2017 Annual Adult Harvest Thanksgiving Service at St. Alban's Anglican Church, Obuama, yesterday.
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo (right), with CTC Chairman, Degema LGA, Hon. (Mrs) Okorite Karie Adiele and CTC Chairman of Asari-Toru LGA, Hon. Waite Harry (left), during the 2017 Annual Adult Harvest Thanksgiving Service at St. Alban’s Anglican Church, Obuama, yesterday.