2011: PLACE EFCC, ICPC ON ALERT TO CHECKMATE TREASURY LOOTING – CNPP
As the 2011 elections approach, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to place the anti-corruption agencies on the alert to track the movement of tax payers' money within the government circle, especially at the state level.
General Secretary of the conference, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said in Abuja that his group had uncovered moves by some government officials to divert money meant for development of their area to electioneering campaign.
According to him, the call by the CNPP was, therefore, to check the use of public funds to prosecute election, adding that the CNPP has reports of government functionaries now making efforts to misapply government funds for their election in 2011.
He said in a statement, issued at the weekend, that reports available to CNPP indicated that functionaries such as governors seeking second term had begun moves to stash public funds for the purpose of their re-election in the next general elections. Chief Ezugwu pointed out that it is important that President Goodluck Jonathan immediately place all the nation's anti-corruption agencies on alert to track the movement of tax payers' money as this would also tally with the demand from the president that the cost of doing government business in Nigeria must be significantly reduced.
The CNPP scribe said since President Jonathan is making this commendable move at the national level, it is important to ensure that government officials do not have a field day stealing public money to have undue advantage over other political parties.' The statement reads: 'It is important for Mr. President to put a stop to the practice where governors, ministers, federal and state lawmakers increase their looting spree ahead of elections because they are desperate to stay on in public offices at any cost and in whatever capacity.
'The token progress made in reforming the electoral process in Nigeria will be lost if these set of people are allowed to steal more money that they have already done. I am very aware of those perfecting such plans to embezzle public money to prosecute their ambitions in the 2011 polls and will unmask such fellows at the appropriate time. It is, however, crucial that these greedy people are not allowed to damage the economies of their states and that of the country before they are stopped.
'We also aware that several interest groups are in the process of collating the funds, which some state governors are diverting into their election war chest, just in case the anti-graft agencies take no action. This may yet be the saving grace for the poor and unfortunate people presided over by these governors.
'Already, there in nothing to show for the time most of these governors have spent in office to justify a second term or election or appointment into any other public office.' The statement noted prompt action on this matter by President Jonathan would be giving the needed backing to the new Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, who had promised his party and by extension Nigerians, that the era of 'Ghana Must Go' politics is over.