NANS threatens FG with mass action over Maina saga
* Issues seven-day ultimatum
* Stage set for APC implosion, says PDP Reps caucus
* Civil rights lawyers want AGF sacked
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend all government officials fingered in the controversy surrounding how Abdulrasheed Maina was returned to the civil service after almost five years of absenteeism.
NANS said the Head of Service of the Federation and the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission deserve immediate suspension from office and a probe for involvement in alleged professional misconduct.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, its National President, Chinonso Obasi, said: “The elevation of Mr. Maina from Deputy Director to a Director at the Interior Ministry with evidence of official exchange of correspondence among many proxies of government is nothing but an attempt to ridicule the public image and psyche of Nigerians and the civil service system.
Obasi also issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to act with the highest sense of sincerity. “Failure to do so, Nigerian students may be left with no option but organise a nationwide mass action against the perpetrators of this demeaning impunity against the people.”
Also, members of the People Democratic Party (PDP) caucus of the House of Representatives yesterday demanded immediate probe of the presidency over Maina’s reinstatement.
The Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Chukwuma Onyema, in a statement on behalf of the caucus, noted that the attempt to reinstate Maina underlines the fact that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was paying lip service to its anti-graft campaign.
The caucus noted: “The Mainagate scandal where someone being sought by Interpol was not only smuggled into power but given double promotion and mindboggling security in a country where many deserving civil servants are being passed over, is truly dumbfounding.
“The shocking re-emergence of wanted former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was sacked by the PDP government and declared a fugitive, says a lot about the dark undercurrents of the APC government.
“The involvement of part of the Presidency cabal in making funds and security details available to Maina deserves being further investigated while all those government officials implicated should either resign or get sacked now.
“We believe that Mainagate is not only a lethal blow to the APC government’s pretentious righteousness but it is also a firm signal from a flank of the Buhari cabal about their capability to bludgeon the dubious change and fake transparency as well as their party to death in installments before 2019.
“Our research indicates that the untouchable cabal that surreptitiously brought in Maina without fearing the threat of sack, has unconsciously guaranteed an implosion that would weaken and destroy the ruling party before the next general elections.”
Meanwhile, a coalition of civil rights lawyers under the aegis of Public Interest Defenders has demanded the immediate sack of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, for his alleged role in shielding Maina.
The group in a statement issued by its Chairman, Pelumi Olajengbesi, in Abuja, said: “We collectively denounce the reluctance and the lack of passion of the AGF to arrest and prosecute Maina immediately, in line with Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade.
“It is our firm belief that the AGF is currently acting contrary to our collective interest as a people, and it is high time he was removed from office and a more committed individual with public interest at heart be appointed.
“Letting such a man go without punishment is an insult on our collective sensibilities and a clear cut indication that the AGF is intent on sabotaging this anti-corruption administration.”
NANS President, Obasi, added: “A whooping sum of N100b was allegedly siphoned while all avenue to seek redress has been surreptitiously frustrated by same corrupt cabal that has continued to shield Maina from possible arrest and prosecution. We demand Maina’s summon by the police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to answer to these allegations and shed light on how and why he returned to the civil service he absconded from over four years ago.”
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