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Stop These Executive Recklessness -Broom Initiative Tells Jonathan

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

Press Release:

The Broom initiative, a think-tank group of professionals has expressed grave concern over what it called the unabated executive lawlessness of the President Goodluck Jonathan led government, urging him to stop or Nigeria will sink further.

A statement signed by the group leaders, Hon. Micheal Ighoma and Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed in Abuja faulted President Jonathan’s handling of the allegations by the suspended Central Bank Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, that $20 Billion Dollar oil revenue was unremitted to the federation account and the issue of security in the northeast region.

The group said rather than address squarely the hard questions posed by the evident sleaze at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC, the government has employed arm-twist tactics to portray the accuser as the accused, devised alternative narratives to discredit the accuser and keep undignified silence on the weighty and damaging allegations.

“We have watched with keen interest the various missteps and outright assaults targeted at our collective intelligence as a people, especially the handling of the Police Commissioner Mbu saga in Rivers, the unremitted $20 Billion oil revenue which in fact has opened another can of worm regarding the impunity at NNPC and the wanton destruction of lives and property of innocent Nigerians in Borno and Adamawa, all owing to government’s ineptitude.

Not only has these diminished our rating as a people; it has made us a laughing stock in the comity of nations.

“When faced with weighty and damaging allegations, an embattled government can choose to counter them in different ways. It can discredit the accuser (Argumentum ad hominem); it can draw out the accuser with an alternative narrative (Argumentum ad nauseam); it can argue from personal incredulity (that the allegations are so outrageous that they have to be false). Further more, it can remain silent (argumentum e silentio – where the conclusion is based on the absence of evidence, rather than the existence of evidence); or, it can simply do the honourable thing and address the allegations without employing an informal fallacy. The Presidency has done all of the above but one – address the allegations,” the statement said.

Adding that, “To think that the Presidency would stoop to tactics that can be shown to be clearly unconstitutional, tactics straight out of Idi Amin’s playbook, tactics aimed at discrediting the messenger, rather than address the issue of missing (or unaccounted for) billions; the evident stench of corruption at the NNPC and its supervising Ministry – Petroleum Resources, is nothing short of mind boggling.

“Lest we descend to the depths in which this administration now occupies, we shall address this issue by asking, rationally, the key questions that arise from the actions of the Presidency.

“The suspension of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is perhaps the most incredible act of recklessness so far carried out by this government. Never mind the fact that this action is unconstitutional, never mind that it calls into question the so called fight against corruption, never mind that it reeks of the most petty of machinations, the removal of a patriotic officer for bringing to the nation’s attention, a matter of such significance as missing oil money, is just plain immoral.”

Again, we asked, “How sincere is a government that allocates ₦2 billion to the existential fight against the Boko Haram insurgency, whereas ₦70 billion was allocated to the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme. Jonathan’s financial commitment to security challenges in the northeast pale into insignificant considering what is being spent on the Niger Delta militants.

“It seems to us like the infamous Roman Emperor Nero, President Jonathan is fiddling with the centenary celebration while a part of Nigeria is burning. The government’s conviction in the battle against Boko Haram is justifiably being called into question. The Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima has openly declared that the enemy is better equipped and motivated than our military. The US government has expressed grave concern about the situation in the Northeast.”

“But the Jonathan administration has once again demonstrated to us where its priorities lie, pouring N70 billion down the amnesty drainpipe, while ignoring the immediacy of the problem in the Northeast by sending ill equipped under motivated service men to their death and abandoning helpless civilians to a life of uncertainty and fear.”

“In spite of overwhelming evidence of partisanship by CP Mbu, notwithstanding a resolution by the National Assembly demanding his redeployment from Rivers State, and in disregard of a highly politicized stint as Rivers State Commissioner of Police that resulted in several deaths, CP Mbu was moved to the Federal Capital of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, an implicit promotion by the Jonathan administration for service rendered, with the proverbial pat on the back to boot.”

“Ours might not be Ukraine, Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, or any other Country where the anger and frustration of the citizenry becomes uncontrollable that it overflows to the streets of the major cities. But make no mistake, Nigerians are not fools, Nigerians are not docile, and Nigerians are not hapless. We are a proud and defiant people, and one day we will surprise those who confuse our civility for timidity. We will one day scream those words that are so dreaded by oppressors the world over – Enough is enough- and embark on peaceful civil disobedience.”

“As Nigerians, we must never make the mistake of attributing to malice, that which can be easily explained by incompetence. We must remain resolutely vigilant in the face of impunity and underhand tactics. We must use the most powerful tool available to us come 2015 – our vote.

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”


            Honourable MICHEAL Ighoma and Honourable Ibrahim Mohammed
            Chieftains of the Group, Broom Initiative


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