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SOVEREIGN WEALTH WAHALA (2)

By NBF News
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For the first time since this column began its run six years ago in October 2005,one has never felt as unenthusiastic to continue with a series of column articles as one does now,with regard to the current one on the sovereign wealth fund begun here,last Monday.

And that is not just because the matter is now before the courts of law and a judge may may subjectively decide that you are guilty of a contempt of his own court.No.It is already well -established that under certain circumstances,judges can agree and understand that there is room for fair and enlightened comment on court deliberations over specific issues,once bias,malice and mischief against the journalist are not on the judge's table.

In other words,illumination initiatives by the writer can justify commentaries like the on-going ones on that fund,even if already a matter for judicial adjudication.Any attempt to deny the vibrant media and their market or public access to such information as they may wish to peddle,has become rather unacceptable…a controversial terrain on which all judges with basic respect for international law and fundamental human rights, would not desire to be found wanting.

Actually,this early winding-up notice on this particular series has been necessitated by some other pertinent considerations:There are other issues competing for attention and this wealth matter already seems to be developing k-legs already,with some of the gubernatorial litigants singing different songs now.

For example,what makes the legislators at the House of Representatives think they have the right and power to remove EFCC Chairman,Mrs.Farida Waziri,from office, by tampering clandestinely with the constitution, at a time people are debating the merit of this amend-as-you please strategy adopted by the Reps. ,to suit their power game plans?

Who said a law made in 2011 shall apply to someone who took office about two years earlier?Do and must you ever make a law with a particular person in mind,when you are not part of a military junta?And from where did the legislators receive the wisdom that a retired or even active judge,can do a better job fighting economic and financial crimes,than Waziri or Ribadu before her?

The illogicality of their position is accentuated by the fact that they are not talking of applying the law they are b usy cooking up to other specialized federal agencies like NAFDAC or the NDLEA.May be it would have been better to have had a judge in place of Prof.Dora Akunyili at NAFDAC….is that what they are telling us now at the House?How parochial and partisan, politicians can become,when it comes to defending and perpetuating personal gains or evils, like corruption,for instance!!!

Do they think people do not read between the lines and through them,being so transparent in thir attempts to defend the immoral and unethical actions of their fellow politicians?If a judge heads the EFCC,who will judge the cases in court….a reverend genleman,an Imam,or law professors from our universities?

I must therefore suggest here that politicians and those in government should never imagine that they are dealing with fools when they 'plan' and do what they do…..people have become more enlightened and will resist any attempt to be treated as idiots by those already irritating them with their selfishness,conspicuous consumption habits and palpable disrespect for order,truth,justice and the rule of law,as this unwarranted attempt to remove Waziri(I don't know her from Eve),confirms.

It should be stated that the initial interest interest in this topic arose from the bizzare situation in which many,most or all the governors???chose to go to court, after the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority Authoirity(NSIA),had become a legal reality six months back.What were they doing before now, and why must law-making and governance be reduced to this sort of pencil-and-eraser affair?Just imagine how much States yet to receive certificates of fitness on the minimum wage matter,now have to spend on litigation!!!

As stated last week,it is instructive and remarkable that monies for sovereign wealth funds do not have to come from Oil alone….other countries have drawn them from non-commodities;gas,diamonds,gold and other minerals and phosphates. Nigeria can profitably boost incomes from its suppressed oil and gas projects by patriotically getting the refineries to work optimally and I reckon nobody can do a better job in this generation on that score,than our our power-shy President,the God-given President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan.

And there is also this issue of trust and lack of it, perhaps,which dissenting gevernors have strategically chosen not to mention.How did government and its principal figures with authority to withdraw or spend money on our behalf, utilize funds in our foreign exchange reserves between 1999 and now?On what did funds from that source get spent?What about the looted funds….where are they lodged now….in the Central Bank or private vaults?On what were the sums from foreign debts now almost $40billion, utilized?Do they want the people to demonstrate before setting the records straight?

I suspect the dissent of some governors had to do with all these questions and issues:If our foreign reserves are drying up without explanations and debts are mounting without anything to show for it other than the coinage of the phrase 'spent in transit'(with whose approval?),what is the guarantee that our so-called Sovereign Wealth Fund will not be subjected to the whims,caprices and tastes of the high and mighty?These are issues of trust,accountability,transparency and integrity which are not best resolved in courts of law,but in attitudinal changes and character re-orientations.Ssome day,the people will have the final say on these ideological issues…..Some day!!!!

Mail Bag
Re:Security threats,yesterday and today
In last week's rejoinder on this topic,the contributor was unnamed and unsolicited question marks added to the unconcluded write-up.The concluding part and author are hereby included,with a request that the question marks…products of a technological virus…be totally deleted from your records.

If in reality there were any such people from the Northern part of the country who wanted to destabilize Obasanjo's government as claimed by Lt. Gen. Aliyu Gusau (retired National Security Adviser) and of course return power to their Region, I have a hunch that Gen. Gusau was the last person to be expected to reveal that to Obasanjo. Were such people (military officers and civilians) ever rounded up and charged for treason? At this juncture, we recall that it was precisely to return power to the North (confirmed by Gen.

Gowon in his inaugural broadcast on 1st of August, 1966) that General Ironsi was brutally murdered together with his host, Lt. Col. Francis Adekunle Fajuyi. And it is the suspicion that for similar reason, Chief M.K.O. Abiola (the late acclaimed winner of the June 12th 1993 presidential election) died mysteriously in detention. And also for similar reason, constitutional crisis was made to brew when it came to handing over power to Dr. Jonathan when President Yar' Adua was critically ill and did not transfer power as required by the constitution. And yet for similar reason, some people from the North openly boasted that they will make Nigeria ungovernable for the president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.?

In the absence of any classified information, theories are then woven to explain all security matters. One must not be a rocket scientist; or receive tutorials from the CIA or the KGB to know that. For that reason, the following theories possibly explain the aims of the security report submitted to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo by Gen. Gusau: •    To make Obasanjo a beleaguered president;

•    To get Obasanjo to limit himself to one term in office and return power to the North; •    To get Obasanjo to aggressively pursue the policy of appeasement of the North; •    To get Obasanjo to remove some military officers and Service Chiefs who are not from the core North and pave way for some officers from the core North to come to key positions in the military; thereby leaving him with a false sense of confidence of his security.?

As we ponder our precarious and therefore unenviable security situation, let's bear in mind that the way to the future is found in the past. That calls for going back to the cradle of this nation-building enterprise to confront the threat posed by its in