Enugu State And The EFCC: Our Stand


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Enugu State And The EFCC: Our Stand



October 1, 2006



The Enugu State government and people woke up Saturday morning to confront a piece of curious, ingenuously creative, yet unsigned publication purported to be a finding of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Enugu State, which curiously found a lone residence in a national newspaper publication of September 30, 2006.
It would be recalled that on Wednesday, September 27, 2006, the EFCC had made a sweeping, unfounded and very ambitious cache of allegations dressed in the garb of a conclusive judgement, on the administration of Governor Chimaroke Nnamani and 30 other helmsmen of states in the country.
As creatively absurd as this publication was, as emotionally arresting as it looked, the Enugu State government would have ignored it, as it is wont to do since the opposition in the state began making a profession of reeling out fertile-minded allegations about its activities to the public.
The Enugu State Government, however, elects to state as follows:
1. We reject in its totality the wild allegations and insinuations contained in that publication as well as the entire charade associated with this event since it broke out on the floor of the Senate on September 27, 2006;
2. The publication conclusively affirmed, without any logical foundation or rational calculus, that the helmsman of Enugu State is worth a mind-boggling N50 billion ($400 million), an amount that is a direct clone of a long-standing vindictive allegation of the Enugu opposition against the governor of the state;
3. The publication did not supply anything new from the familiar journey of spurious allegations linking government to the ownership of some laudable private investments in Enugu State. The State government had said, time and time again, that it welcomes the presence of these investments in the state but had vehemently denied their linkage to the person of the governor;
4. The publication also made some incongruous, even though ambitious, linkage of the government to some alleged sharp practices in the local government account which we find very incoherent and highly surreal as evidence before us shows that local government allocations in Enugu State are released to them as and when due;
5. We patiently read through the entire publication in the hope of seeing one mention of the foreign mansions and foreign accounts of the governor of Enugu State;
6. The publication laboriously tried to either put down or deny (for example, to its author, the highly applauded First Underground Tunnel in Nigeria, built by the state government, is “so-called”!) the severally and largely commended development projects of the Enugu State government but paradoxically confirmed that the agents of the EFCC toured twenty of the twenty four projects of the administration built from 2003 to date, in three days! In its words, of these, twelve of the inspected projects were roads while the other twelve were various building undertakings;
7. What is more amusing and amazing at the same time is that the publication, purportedly emanating from the EFCC, bears no logo, no official imprimatur of the investigative agency, not the least, the assent of any of its officials.
The State Government also wishes to state that Nigerians are too sophisticated and experienced about the nuances of power to jump on the boat of a prepared mindset. We wish these authors knew that this public lynching of a government that had spent its all, at the expense of its individual convenience, in bringing about imperishable legacies unparalleled in the history of its people, cannot willingly subject itself to such serial public rape.
We, however, believe that this publication was obviously not talking about the same government, Enugu State government, that has been adjudged first as the flagbearer of governance reforms by such development partners and donor agencies as DFID, UNICEF, World Bank, UNDP, among others. Nor could it be referring to the same state that President Olusegun Obasanjo, an army engineer himself, visited and upon trips to its myriad project sites, pleasantly gave kudos to the minds that conceived and implemented them. Nor the same state ranked Number One by the benchmarking exercise of the National Planning Commission under its National Economic and Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) programme in the areas of service delivery, communication and transparency. Could the publication also be referring to a state unanimously adjudged the best in this dispensation by 14 visiting European Union Ambassadors?
We are also amused that an investigation by the agency that has spanned about ten months, with the detention of some of the state government top functionaries for upwards of 7 – 10 weeks, could only produce this unsigned piece full of innuendos and insinuations that would collapse at the feet of the rigor of facts.
Finally, the State Government wishes to enjoin its teeming people, friends and well wishers that we have together traveled this same spurious route many times, with our traducers as guide and have come out stronger on each occasion.
We believe this too shall pass. To God be the glory.

Festus Adedayo
Special Adviser (Media Matters) to Governor Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State




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