16 June 2014, Abuja – A civil rights organisation, under the aegis of Gatekeeper Foundation, has insisted that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, must be relieved of her position in order to ensure non-interference with the forensic audit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The group also attributed the rejection of Madueke as the President of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries as a result of its protest in Vienna, Austria.
The audit was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan towards investigating the alleged non-remittance of $20bn by the NNPC into the Federation Account.
The Executive Director of Gatekeepers Foundation, Mr. Blessing Agbomhere, who led the anti-Diezani protest, told journalists on Saturday in Abuja at the Federal Capital Territory council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists that it would not be right for a government that claimed to be fighting graft to allow the minister to preside over her own case.
According to him, Madueke is not bigger than Nigeria and “should stop running away from the National Assembly if she has nothing to hide.”
Agbomhere said, “She must bring our money and I am ready to go to court over this issue. What is good for (Sanusi Lamido) Sanusi is good for Diezani. She must step aside for the forensic audit to be carried out.
“The President should sack Madueke now to allow the forensic audit to take place. She is not bigger than Nigeria. She is not bigger than the National Assembly. Why is she afraid to appear before the Senate if she had nothing to hide?”
The activist also replied his critics who believed that protesting in Vienna was not a patriotic venture for Nigeria, saying, “I went to Vienna to protect the image of Nigeria and not to soil it.
“I am a Nigerian and a taxpayer in this country. There is no way the action or inaction of the government won’t affect me and my unborn generation. We have a right to ask her about our money and she must bring the money. I have no special personal interest in the matter.”
– The Punch