Following the undertaking by the Trustees of King’s College; St. Gregory’s College; Barewa College; and Igbobi College to alert their schools to the raging controversy over the shabby treatment meted out by the Government to the Randle family over the J.K. Randle Centre, which is under construction at Onikan, Lagos, more schools have insisted on getting involved as part of their civics education.
The girls’ schools – Queen’s College, Yaba; Holy Child College, Obalende; Methodist Girls’ High School, Yaba; Reagan Memorial College, Yaba and many others all over the country -St. Anne’s College, Ibadan; St. Louis College, Bompai, Kano; St. Theresa’s College, Ibadan; St. Louis College, Jos; St. Louis College, Kakuru, Kaduna; etc have been protesting vigorously about being excluded from what is rapidly emerging as a salutary lesson and traumatic event.
Not unexpectedly, more and more boys’ colleges – CMS Grammar School, Bariga; Government College, Ibadan; St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka, Yaba; Government College, Umuahia; Government College, Onitsha; Government College, Owerri, Imo State; Government Secondary School, Sokoto; Junior Secondary School, Runjin, Sambo, Sokoto etc have hooked their wagon to the tidal wave of consternation, indignation and bewilderment. The Unity Schools in all the thirty-six States of the Federation have quickly joined the protest against “BojuBoju”. Other are the boys’ schools – Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha; Our Lady of Fatima College, Auchi; Christ School, Ado Ekiti; Government College, Kaduna; Stella Mari’s College, Port Harcourt; Hope Waddell Institute, Calabar; St. Brendan’s Secondary School, Ogoja; Government Secondary School, Umuahia; Christ the King’s College, Onitsha etc.
As if determined to ensure gender parity, the girls schools insisted on not being left out. Hence, the Trustees of Queen of the Rosary College, Onitsha; St. Catherine’s Secondary School, Nkwere; Holy Child Secondary School, Abakaliki; Cornelia Cornelly College, Uyo; etc. had no choice but to join the crusade.
The recurring question is: “What has the J.K. Randle family done to incur the wrath of the government?”
It is only the government itself that can provide the answer.
From Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America, Lagosians have launched:
#BoJuBoJu @ Lagos. If you do not know what “BojuBoju” means then you are not a Lagosian!! The global response has been swift and phenomenal. Mr. Anthonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has already declared his concern over allegation of abuse of human rights. The British Government, which has been accused of participating in the project has issued a statement to the effect that nothing has been concluded yet. Indeed, as a matter of routine, the British Government would carry out a robust Due Diligence (to be carried out by J.K. Randle Professional Services!!) before making any commitment.
Here is a quote from the official statement of the British government:
“The J.K. Randle family has had strong ties with Britain for several generations. Some of them have British passports. Indeed, some of them are resident in the Borough of Chelsea and Westminster. Therefore, they are at liberty to petition their Member of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Greg Hands to raise the matter in Parliament during the Prime Minister’s question time.”
What has been most fascinating is the statement issued by Chief Sunday Igboho (who is currently under arrest in Cotonou, Benin Republic) and his fellow freedom fighter Chief Gani Adams who both insist that they are law abiding citizens. Therefore, they demand that the matter must be tabled before the Nigerian National Assembly (The Senate and the House of Representatives) and it is when all other options have been exhausted that they would enter the fray. The reason they are being ultra cautious is that they are not ready (after being nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace) to jeopardise their claim to glory and international recognition.
For all we know we are dealing with a case of vindictiveness, vendetta or duplicitousness
In the meantime, the Niger Delta Avengers have decided to join the cause of the J.K. Randle family by declaring: “Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”
As for the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), he has clarified matters by declaring that as a matter of routine, FIRS, could not but beam its searchlight on the J.K. Randle Centre which is within shouting distance (about 300 metres) from its Lagos Office on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi – just to check that the contractors have remitted WHT (Withholding Tax); VAT (Value Added Tax); and other taxes along with the submission of accounts audited by J.K. Randle Professional Services !!
As for the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), he has insisted that the CAC could not but as matter of routine send out its task force to ensure that all the companies involved with the J.K. Randle Centre have been properly registered and that their Annual Returns are up to date.
In a joint Statement both the new Chairman of EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission] and the Chairman of ICPC [Independent Corrupt Practices Commission] emphatically declared:
“We are only doing our work. Corruption is not just about money. It is about morality and ethical conduct by those who hold political office. Public trust and confidence are at the lowest ebb. What is being advertised as “BojuBoju” – is what we call sleeze or “Monafiki”; “jibiti”; “Magomago”; “Wuruwuru”; “Abosi“; “One Chance”; “Jamba” or “Mesujamba” in local parlance. This is both a case study (as defined by Harvard Business School and the Said School of Business, Oxford University) and a test case of our professionalism. We are going to get to the bottom of this. We have our check-list:
(i) Was the selection of the Architects and Quantity Surveyors as well as the contractors advertised ?;
(ii) Was the Budget approved by the State Assembly?
(iii) Was the procurement in compliance with extant rules and regulations ?
(iv) Was the selection of the contractors and others carried out by the Tenders Board without undue interference ?
For all we know we are dealing with a case of vindictiveness, vendetta or duplicitousness.
As for the Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, he wasted no time in wading into the controversy.
“This is not a military government. We are committed to the Rule of Law.