• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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Jonathan promises full investigation into alleged NNPC missing oil billions

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After months of claims and counter claims about alleged missing billions of dollars from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) the head of the federal government of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan, finally broke his silence last night, when he assured Nigerians that all allegations pertaining to the money would be thoroughly investigated.

“Nigerians should watch out”, he said, adding,“that is a lot of money and I can’t preside over this nation and watch even one kobo go missing from the government treasury.

“I don’t even know the figure to believe as the missing money, whether it is $49.8billion, $10 or $20 billion. But whatever, even if it is one kobo or one dollar, we will find out. That I guarantee you. But while doing that, we must follow due process,” he promised.

Jonathan further assured Nigerians that Sanusi’s suspension was not connected to whistle blowing over the alleged missing money, but was predicated on allegations of financial queries of CBN’s accounts, noting that the CBN governor was suspended to remove him from the system temporarily, so as to allow for unhindered investigations.

The president said: “Sanusi is still the CBN governor until the allegations are established or otherwise”.

He added that the issue with suspension started last February. “It is not that the suspension came now because Sanusi spoke about missing money” Jonathan said.

The president was speaking at the Presidential Villa in Abuja during his periodic ‘Presidential Media Chat.’

Jonathan insisted that the suspension of Sanusi would not affect the Nigerian economy and added that the “CBN is not a different country.The President of Nigeria has the power to suspend CBN governor.”

He added that the announcement of the appointment of a new CBN governor was to ensure that the suspension of Sanusi does not create a run on the markets. “Sanusi is a Nigerian and must have his friends. The markets were just sensitive to the news”.

He said that as the chairman of the CBN board, it would not augur well for Sanusi to remain, while the board which he chairs is being investigated.

On the controversial kerosene subsidy which the NNPC is alleged to be operating against a presidential directive by late president Umar Yar’Adua, Jonathan said kerosene subsidy was not removed by the late president Yar’Adua .

On whether he would contest elections come 2015 the president was non-committal. He said as a sitting president, it would be diversionary to respond to the question.

Jonathan, who also expressed deep sadness over the continued massacre of innocent citizens in parts of the North by members of the Boko Haram insurgents, said, however, that government was recording huge success in the fight against terrorism.

“Everybody is worried about what is happening. That we hear about killings all the time in large numbers is worrisome. No government can tolerate such a thing. Surely, we’ll get over it. We are recording successes in the fight against the insurgents and we are not relenting,” he said.

On the insinuation that weak intelligence gathering might be the major hindrance to ending the insurgency, he said intelligence agencies were all involved and doing their best. According to him, “we must appreciate that all over the world, terrorism is not easy to wipe off.”

Particularly irked by the recent observation of Kashim Shetima, Borno State governor, that the military was not doing enough, Jonathan said: “I find the comment of Borno State governor very unfortunate. If I withdraw the military for a month, the Borno State governor will not be comfortable even as governor in that place.”

Daniel Obi, Iheanyi Nwachukwu, Chuka Uroko, Patrick Atuanya, Odinaka Anudu, Bala Augie, Femi Asu, Zebulom Agunmuo