The Guardian
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Northern coalition urges Buhari to recover stolen monies for campaign promises




AGAINST the backdrop of declining revenue base owing to slump in global oil price, the Convener of the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, Junaid Muhammed weekend advised the President-elect that he must recover stolen monies to enable him raise enough funds to fulfill his campaign promises.

Junaid in a telephone interview with The Guardian pointed out that it was no longer moonlight tales that trillions of naira has been allegedly stolen from the Nigerian people within the last 16 years, maintaining that each and every individual in government and their cohorts have all allegedly stolen money.

“It is no secret that these monies may be somewhere in foreign banks in the Middle East, in Europe and somewhere in the Far East. These monies must be brought back so that the job of the people must be done, this is absolutely important.”

Junaid said the President-elect must bear in mind that after 15 years of corruption-ridden governments there must be a careful plan for a change in the frame of mind of those elected to lead.

He expressed satisfaction Buhari’s pledge that his government was not going to be business as usual: that people are going to be held accountable for their deeds.

On the need to probe past corrupt leaders, he said though he had taken note of the fact that Buhari was not ready to go on witch-hunting his predecessors because he wants to draw a line somewhere and he doesn’t want to go beyond that line to investigate people. “But Buhari would soon realize sooner than later that he would not be able to actualize any of the promises he made unless there is money.

“Unfortunately his coming to power this time around is coinciding with the global economic downturn, which means there would be no money for the country. Oil that was selling at about $120 per barrel is now hovering around $54 to $57 per barrel. With that there is nothing the President-elect can do.

“So all his noble promises as regards education, infrastructure, power and water resources in particular, all the promises as regards health services delivery to the people and even the promises as regards security itself and dealing with corruption would not be realisable until there is money, however, unfortunately time is not on his side.

“So one thing that has to be done and with speed is that money has to be recovered from any and all sources.”

Muhammed insisted that Buhari, must as a matter of principle ensures that the stolen money is returned so that the work for the people should be done if not all the four years would be wasted just as the six years of Jonathan has been wasted and squandered.

Muhammed said it is important that those who transgressed the law are going to be dealt with in accordance with the law.

He pointed out that the problem of persisting insecurity has its roots in corruption. “For instance trillions of naira had been set aside yearly in the name of votes for defence for the past six years but most of the money have been stolen mainly by the service chiefs and some of the top Generals particularly in the army, and to a certain extent by the Air Force and the Navy.

“What stands to reason is this; that the money which has been allocated in the name of security but siphoned must be brought back so that we can provide arm and ammunition to arm the real soldiers who will go and fight the Boko Haram so that the country will survive with genuine peace and security in the country”?

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