…Nigerians losing faith in Buhari – Akin Oyebode
The family of the embattled former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform, Abdulrasheed Maina has described their son as a messiah who was begged by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to join the Change Agenda, with the assurance of security protection even as Maina has reportedly fled to Niamey in the Niger Republic.
Spokesman for the family Aliyu Maina who disclosed this at a press conference in Kaduna on Wednesday, also accused a “cabal” in the Aso Rock Presidential Villa of being behind the travails of their son insisting that his brother is not a fraudster but a messiah who brought reforms into the Nigerian Pension Scheme.
Also on Wednesday, a Professor of Law and former Vice Chancellor of Ekiti State University Akin Oyebode said Nigerians are fast losing faith in the President Buhari-led government following several allegations of corruption against some of its key members.President Buhari had recently ordered the sack of Maina who had been on wanted list of the EFCC for alleged fraud.But at a news conference on Wednesday in Kaduna, spokesman of the Maina family, AliyuMaina ccused a “cabal” for blackmailing their son and for using the EFCC to seal off their property in Kaduna. He said based on his Maina’s “sterling record” during his tenure at the pension scheme that the government of President Buhari appealed to Maina to key into the “Change Agenda”.
The family statement reads in part: “You must have noticed the recent attempt by some cabal to ridicule and tarnish the image of the Maina family in both the social and electronic and print media where our brother, father, and uncle have been blackmailed as a fraudster. The cabals have gone to the extent of marking our house red paints with the inscription of ‘EFCC under investigation’.
“The entire family of Abdullahi Maina is hereby categorically stating that our son is not in any way a fraudster, rather he is a messiah who brought remarkable reforms into the Nigerian Pension Scheme, whose efforts saw the disappearance of pensioners roaming the streets of FCT Abuja and other state capitals.
“It is on record that Abdulrasheed Maina’s reform put to a stop the fraudulent withdrawal of huge sums from both the Nigerian Pension Board, the Nigerian Police Pension Board, etc. Perhaps it is his noble efforts that made him enviable to the present administration when they came into power to convince him to come back and assist in its ‘Change’ Agenda.”All the same, we have contacted our solicitors, Messrs Mamman Nasir & Co and instructed them to act appropriately.We equally know that Abdulrasheed Maina is in possession of so many facts that is against the cabal and interesting to the Nigerian populace, which he will disclose soonest. One must ask whether it is an offence for somebody to serve his father land faithfully”.Reacting to the sealing off Maina’s property in Kaduna by the EFCC, the family said that Maina inherited those houses from his late father who was a weather man with landed property in Kaduna and Abuja.
Aliyu noted that the EFCC had even ordered the family members to vacate their residence in Kaduna even as he claimed that the family does not know Maina’s whereabouts.When asked about Maina’s whereabouts, Aliyu said: “As you know Abdulrasheed Maina had been a target of in the past, so experience is the best teacher. But when his security is guaranteed, he will surface from wherever he is and tell Nigerians the truth. I believe the President was not properly informed, there could be some cabals actually controlling the affairs of state.
“Abdulrasheed was in fact invited by this administration and he was promised security to come and clean up the mess and generate more revenue to government by blocking leakages. He succumbed to the present administration and came back to Nigeria. He has been working with the DSS for quite some time and he was given necessary security.”As you are aware, he has a court injunction restraining any security agency from ordering his arrest. He has a court order from the Federal High Court ordering his reinstatement..”There is a letter from the Attorney General of the Federation where he gave his own legal opinion regarding the court verdict which was submitted to the Civil Service Commission and the Head of Service respectively…..”So one will wonder why all the various agencies and various individuals responsible are denying that they did not actually bring him.”
Aliyu wondered why government officials were now denying his brother, especially when the Department of State Services (DSS) provided security for him. Meanwhile, Oyebode made the assertion on Wednesday at the fourth and final edition of the Policy Monitoring Dialogue Series organised at the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy Democracy and Development (SCDDD), Lagos.Speaking with journalists at the occasion, against the backdrop of the controversy surrounding the recall of Abdulrasheed Maina who was declared wanted over allegation of corrupt practices by the federal government, he said President Buhari needed to work hard on the fight against corruption and monitor closely those working with him.He said: “Nigerians are beginning to lose faith in the president. He needs to act fast to regain the confidence Nigerians had in him.The Maina issue is a litmus test for the president. How he handles the situation is critical. The president must be assisted by his agents, his servants and his friends.
“He can’t fight corruption on his own. All the corruption allegations under this administration have raised serious doubts in the minds of Nigerians about President Muhammadu Buhari’s war on corruption.”Speaking on the topic, “The rule law and human rights as cornerstone for sustainable democracy in Nigeria,” the Professor of International Law at the University of Lagos, said there was need to abide by the law and avoid impunity.“Perhaps nothing constitutes a grave threat to stability, peace and good governance than impunity and reckless behaviour by government and its security agencies. Failure by the state and its security apparatus to abide by the tenets of rule of law is a sword of Damocles on democracy.
“Very often, the security arm has to be compelled to act in a manner conformable with the rule of law. This is most notable in the developing world where political and social institutions are not altogether well developed,” he posited.Professor Oyebode also spoke on the need for judiciary officers to be men of integrity who should be clean at all times.“While emphasizing the overarching role of the judiciary in the scheme of things, we should endeavour to answer Juvenal’s question: Quis custodiet ipso custodies? (Who would guard the guards themselves?).“Nothing is as devastating and corrosive as a corrupt or morally challenged judicial officer. As people say, if gold rusts, what should iron do? Consequently, the anti-dote to corruption and other malfeasance in the polity is an independent, impartial and uncorrupt judiciary. The onus lies on a truly democratic state to do all possible in order to realize this laudable objective.”
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