Looted Funds: Rivers APC Backs Buhari, Wants Wike's Tenure At Ministry Of Education Investigated
BEVERLY HILLS, June 28 (THEWILL) – The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has thrown its weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari in his bid to investigate and recover the billions of naira looted by the immediate past administration of. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
“We received with great joy news of the resolution by President Buhari to go after those who stole Nigeria blind and virtually grounded the country's economy. For six years we shouted ourselves hoarse that Jonathan's administration was the most corrupt in the history of this nation and sadly nobody believed us but the recent revelations have proved us right.
“If not by the grace of God and the resolve of Nigerians to vote out that visionless government, the ship of our nation would have been grounded by now,” Rivers APC Chairman, Dr. Davis Ibiamu Ikanya, said.
Ikanya in a statement issued on Sunday in Port Harcourt by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, described the impending recovery of stolen funds and stoppage of systemic leakages as the beginning of the journey towards building the ideal Nigerian nation.
Rivers APC appealed to President Buhari to pay particular attention to what it described as “one of the major pipes of corruption of the past administration, namely, Ministry of Education, under the watch of Barr Nyesom Wike as the Supervising Minister.”
It called for the Wike years at the Education Ministry to be thoroughly investigated in the following areas: 1. The N20 billion voted for the purchase of books for Federal Government institutions which was not duly executed as no book was purchased or distributed.
2. The Almajiri school scheme, the Universal Basic Education (UBEC) and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
3. The N87 billion approved for the Ministry but not utilised.
4. The whereabouts of the 15 UBEC Toyota Hilux buses that Chief Wike commandeered for his gubernatorial election campaign, which he has refused to return to the Federal Ministry of Education thereby hampering official activities in the Commission.
5. The over N180 Billion UBEC funds allegedly looted by Chief Wike and Dame Patience Jonathan through fraudulent contracts for the supply of textbooks to higher institutions. (The textbooks were never supplied.)
6. The recent fire that razed down only the Basic Education Section of the Ministry of Education building in Abuja containing relevant indicting documents about Wike's activities while he held sway as the Supervising Minister of Education.
The Rivers APC said: “We should unravel why the fire incident took place and why only this section should be burnt. Was it for the sole purpose of covering up the illegal transactions of the immediate past Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike? The burnt documents included the ones for the contracts Wike awarded to himself and his cronies as a conduit to siphon public funds. We want the Buhari Administration to, as a matter of urgency, look into this now that he wants to recover looted funds,”
The party declared that there should be no hiding place for people like Wike who as a minister allegedly hired private jets and wasted whopping sums running into billions of naira, living an opulent lifestyle far higher than his legitimate income, all at the expense of tax-paying Nigerians.
“Mr. President should investigate if the looted funds were part of the billions of naira used in purchasing arms given to Rivers State youths with which to kill innocent people in his desperation to capture the Rivers State Government House during the March 28 and April 11 general elections.
“In any case, we have heard that both the Education and Sports Ministries under the former President Jonathan have already submitted their audited reports to the appropriate authorities and the reports are indicting particularly the Tertiary Fund 2013 Tax which was siphoned through the Central Bank to the tune of N246bn,” Rivers APC said.
According to the party, Wike is the true face of corruption in Nigeria, saying if his issue is not addressed now, he will surely run aground the economy of Rivers State as he has allegedly ordered cartons of his breakfast favourite drink (Louis XIII) of which a bottle costs N1.5m.
“Although Wike has been unjustly declared Governor by Rivers INEC, his immunity does not prevent him from being investigated. In any case, he will soon lose the immunity when he is removed from office by the State Election Petition Tribunal. We, therefore, passionately appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to take necessary action to bring this man to book so as to serve as a deterrent to his type in government,” Rivers APC said in the statement.
The party however commended the governments of USA and Britain for supporting the APC Government in its efforts to recover Nigeria's looted funds stashed in foreign banks by those it described as agents of wickedness. It pleaded with Nigerians to see reason and support the administration of President Buhari in his efforts to clean the rot of the past administration and put the nation on a sound footing. “The next three months may be hard as predicted by Mr. President but we wish to assure our fellow countrymen and women that these are necessary steps and for the good of our dear country,” Rivers APC said.