Fuel subsidy probe lacks credibility – Jonathan’s aide

Ben Agande

03 May 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA — THE presidency said on Wednesday that the probe of the fuel subsidy regime by the House of Representatives which exposed massive fraud in the oil sector lacked credibility as “it looks like the probe is targeted at some individuals”.

Political Adviser to the president, Alhaji Ali Gullack, said though the president is committed to clearing the Augean stable in the petroleum sector, he was yet to receive any report from members of the House of Representatives on the petroleum subsidy probe.

His comment is, however, in sharp contrast with those of the Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Joy Emordi who had stated that the president was on the same page with the National Assembly on the subsidy probe.

The Presidential Aide who spoke with State House Correspondents in Abuja, Wednesday, added that the manner of invitations of persons that appeared before the committee further lend credence to the belief that the probe was meant to advance the political ambition of some individuals.

“Why did they not invite Rilwanu Lukman? He was the Minister of Petroleum Resources during the period of the probe? Where is Mohammed Barkindo who was the Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at the time?

“Where are the other key actors who were at the vanguard of the subsidy regime? The House of Representatives must probe these individuals before we can truly say they are doing the right thing, otherwise the report will lack credibility. What is worth doing at all is worth doing well”, he said.

The presidential Adviser warned that “people should not allow themselves to be used to promote the political agenda of some selfish individuals”.

Defending the President, Alhaji Gullack said: “President Jonathan is one person that wants things done and done correctly. He is the only president in the history of this country that has embarked on the cleansing of the oil and gas sector. He is the only president that has embarked on fighting corruption in the sector and for anybody to say that Mr. President is sitting on any report is unfair and a calculated attempt to tarnish the good name of the president”.

He said: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been given the mandate to go into the matter and you will also recall that not too long ago, Mr. President approved appointment of Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, former EFCC chairman to help sanitise the oil and gas sector. The president is determined to do more if he is given the necessary support by Nigerians,”

He acknowledged that “money has been stolen in NNPC and we have to get to the root but in doing that, we must go back to when it all started. “At what point did things go bad? Mr. President is even the one that is saying no more stealing with the subsidy regime and that it must stop, how can he then turn around and sit on something that will help him sanitise the sector”, he queried.

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