Why anti-graft war hits opposition, by Lai Mohammed

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture

Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government should not be castigated for its anti-corruption crusades against perceived members of the opposition group.

He said the probe at present was about those linked with the alleged diverted funds meant for prosecuting wars against the insurgents.Mohammed, who spoke with journalists yesterday at his Oro residence in Irepodun Council of Kwara State, said the alleged embezzled huge sum put at about $2.1 billion did not only allow the insurgents to be in control of 14 out of 20 local councils of some northeastern states, but led to incalculable loss of lives of many innocent Nigerians and degraded the nation’s armed forces.

The minister said the recent anti-corruption searchbeam on Dame Patience, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was allegedly initiated by the former First Lady when she stepped into the investigations by the EFCC involving some of her or her husband’s aides.

According to him: “Those being prosecuted today are being prosecuted for what reason? The answer is obvious. It is about what happened to the funds allocated to fight Boko Haram.

“We were all wondering what could be happening to our gallant military men who had excelled outside the country helping others but could not defend our territorial boundaries.”

Urging Nigerians to be patient with the Federal Government over the state of the nation’s economy, the minister blamed successive administrations for allegedly ignoring the needs for massive investments in infrastructure and reserves.

He added: “We salute the courage and perseverance of Nigerians. We know what they are going through. It is not about trading blames; it is about those who used this or that. For long, the economy centred around one commodity. Our dependence on oil formed over 60 per cent of our Gross Domestic Products (GDP). When the oil price crashed, we have no reserves to cushion the effects. We did not invest in infrastructure. From records, a government spent N18 billion on roads but spent N65 billion on estacodes.

“We have spent about N70 billion on road this year. Between 2012 and 2015 when oil was selling for $100 per barrel, they didn’t pay contractors. But now, we brought back Julius Berger to site paying N30 billion. Although people said we should stop talking about the past, we believe that proper accounts must be made. We are hampered by the Niger/Delta instability and we have in the process lost about $1billion. But despite all these, major state capitals will be linked with effective rail system very soon.”

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Alhaji Lai Mohammed
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