Popular Lagos-based blunt preacher and the Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly (LRA), Pastor Tunde Bakare has hinted that if indeed President Muhammed Buhari wants to do a thorough job in the war against graft, he must relieve governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele of his position.
Pastor Bakare who dropped the hint in his 2016 edition of his annual State-Of-The-Nation address, wondered why Mr Emefiele is still allowed to remain in office after his indictment in the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal.
According to him, the resources in the custody of the CBN belongs to the people of Nigeria, not the Governor and staff of the bank, therefore the nation must not condone any act by anybody to waste such wealth on political and unaccountable misadventures.
The Lawyer-turned-pastor said: “the CBN has become a conduit for politicians to drain the nation. Otherwise, how can a letter of barely two paragraphs addressed to the current CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, by the then National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), become the Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) leading to cash flow of $47 million (US dollars) and several millions of euros?
“In decent climes, the CBN Governor cannot continue in office while the NSA is accounting for his alleged misdeeds.”
Speaking on the rumoured plan of some state governors to cut down the minimum wage from N18,000, Pastor Bakare warned that the action is capable of creating a big crises. He said the politicians should rather think of a downward review of their own salaries.
In his words, “…care must be taken not to provoke the rage of poorly paid civil servants by reducing the minimum wage of already impoverished workers.
“What they should do is devise a reasonable policy direction that will lead to a reduction in the salaries of politicians and political appointees, reduce security votes, significantly trim the size and cost of governance, and then embark on vigorous revenue mobilization strategies.”
The Preacher also bared his mind on the plan to finally remove subsidy on fuel importation, while clarifying his intention for leading the 2012 protest in Ojota Lagos.
“It has become needful to pre-empt or respond to those who might be wondering if our January 2012 protests were organized in error. Let me reiterate that the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) did not mobilize the people of this country to the Gani Fawehinmi Park at Ojota merely to protest the removal of the fuel subsidy but to challenge the corruption that defined the fuel subsidy regime.
“Even at that time, we recognized the unsustainability of the subsidy regime but maintained that corrupt politicians, in collusion with certain private interests, had plundered the national treasury through fictitious fuel subsidy claims and were merely hiking the fuel price to mobilize funds to cover up the negative effects of their actions on the economy.” He said
He reminded the crowded congregants of the group’s demands in 2012. “We demanded the prosecution of those indicted in the damning report of the Farouk Lawan Committee, a phenomenon we referred to as “Kleptocracy Unlimited”, where, for instance, 999 million naira was reportedly paid 129 times, totalling 127,827 billion naira, to some companies, by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
“Four years later, those indicted persons have not been prosecuted. Do we still need to wonder why corruption is so endemic and very pervasive in our nation today?”