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$2.2BN ARMS SAGA | At last Goodluck Jonathan speaks, Absolves Dasuki

by on October 26, 2016
Former President Good­luck Jonathan has pro­vided some new insights into the lingering arms procurement fund saga involving the erstwhile Na­tional Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
Dr Jonathan observed that it was not possible for Dasuki to have stolen $2.2 billion as claimed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), given the fact that the government purchased a lot of weaponry and military equip­ment with the fund.
The former president stressed that his administra­tion fought corruption with­out making noise about it – un­like the current “exaggerated” methods being adopted for the anti-graft war.+
Jonathan bared his mind on Monday in Britain at the Ox­ford Union of the Universi­ty of Oxford. He spoke on the theme: “Promoting Youth En­trepreneurship”.
 Without any equivocation, Jonathan affirmed that it was “not just possible” for Dasuki to steal $2.2 billion after his administra­tion procured several equipment for the country’s armed forces.
His words: “They said the National Security Adviser stole $2.2 billion. I don’t believe some­body can just steal $2.2 billion. We bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weap­ons for the army and so on and so forth and you are still saying $2.2 billion. So, where did we get the money to buy all those things?”
Jonathan made this clari­fication while responding to a question about the alleged miss­ing arms procurement fund tagged ‘Dasukigate’ by the Nige­rian press. Although he candid­ly conceded that corruption was an issue during his tenure, he said some of the allegations have been “exaggerated”.
According to him, “Yes, there were some issues; yes, there are still corruption issues; but some of it were blown – I’d say exag­gerated, and they give a very bad impression about our nation. You cannot say the National Security Adviser stole $2.2 billion. It is not just possible.”
Jonathan pointed out, how­ever, that some of the corruption cases are still in court and that he would rather allow the legal pro­cesses to reveal the facts of the matter – since he doesn’t want to appear as challenging the incum­bent government.
His words: “One thing about the issue of corruption is that these matters are in court; let’s allow some of these process­es to end. Lately some judges’ (homes) were also invaded. There are so many things involved and we have to follow up these mat­ters to conclusion before we know the facts.
“I don’t want to be seen as a former president challenging what the sitting government is do­ing so I have decided to keep qui­et for the courts to look into them.
“We reformed the (anti-cor­ruption) institutions and intro­duced various mechanisms to stop the corruption problems in our country without publicity.”
He explained that govern­ments have been overthrown in the past because they were ac­cused of being corrupt only for the new administration itself to be pushed out of power by an­other military group singing the anti-corruption mantra.
“You will see that it has be­come a major topic whenever there is a change of government,” he said.
Jonathan further stated that corruption remains a global problem but that the perception of corruption is greater in Nige­ria due to the Nigerian press’ ob­session with reporting on cor­ruption.
According to him, “I am not saying there is no corruption in Nigeria, there is corruption. If you look at corruption there is almost no country that is free; the degree varies, the perception varies. Transparency Internation­al talks about the way corrup­tion is being perceived in differ­ent economies. Why do we talk about the way corruption is be­ing perceived?
It depends on the issues raised in the media every day.”
Dasuki, who has been in de­tention since December 1, 2015, was arrested by the security agen­cy in a raid on the orders of Pres­ident Muhammadu Buhari for alleged diversion of $2.2 billion meant to purchase equipment for the Nigerian armed forces in its battle against the Boko Haram.
It could be recalled that a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, last Friday grant­ed the application of the EFCC to consolidate the two separate cas­es against the former army Colo­nel. A statement by the anti-graft commission said Dasuki will be re-arraigned on November 16.
In a related development, using his Twitter handle, the for­mer president paid glowing trib­utes to Nigerian youths and said “any Nation that does not spend its wealth and resources to devel­op the capacity of its youth will be forced to use them to fight in­security.
“As a leader, you can decide through your policies to edu­cate the youths, or face the con­sequences of failing to do so,” he said.
He also said his administra­tion put in place some youth re­lated policies, which grew the Ni­gerian economy.
According to him, “Despite incredible challenges, Nigerian youths are achieving great things and placing Nigeria positively in the world map. They inspire us.”
He also revealed that his ad­ministration increased the allow­ances due to Youth Corps mem­bers by more than 100% in 2011, adding that the PDP adminis­tration he led “identified Nolly­wood as a sector that can employ many young people and provided a grant of $200 million to boost the industry.”
He further said that, “As a re­sult, Nollywood became a ma­jor contributor to our GDP and in 2014, the industry contribut­ed 1.4% to our GDP.
“We may not have been per­fect, but we did our best, and our best yielded an era of unprece­dented economic growth for Ni­geria. A growth that proved the truism that a nation’s wealth is not underneath the ground but between the ears of her people.
“Under my watch, Nigeria was projected by CNN Mon­ey to be the third fastest grow­ing economy in the world for the year 2015.
“While serving as president of Nigeria, I worked for the next generation and not for the next elections. I have no regrets for what I did.”
Jonathan also called on con­temporary African leaders to see youth entrepreneurship as a col­lective project transcending na­tional boundaries.

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  • gboyegaa
    October 26, 2016 at 9:08 am

    If Jonathan was and is comfortable with the state of corruption in Nigeria, Nigerians are not. We are not stupid and your comments only show how unaffected you are by the amount of money that was stolen under your nose. As it is being revealed now, it has got to your wife and it is definitely coming to you. This government has given you a lot of respect as former president but your comments here should be a reason for the government to release whatever they have found so far of what you have stolen.
    You are the worst president Nigeria ever had. With all the income of the nation under your watch, you still left her with nothing but dept.


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