The dust over the controversial reinstatement of the flamboyant Deputy Director and the fugitive Ex chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team Abdulrasheed Maina, who brags of recovering over two hundred and eighty two billion Naira pensioners money to the corpers of the government may be settling down, just like the reports of many high profile scandals, that are picking dust in government vaults and shelves un implemented across the country .
The saga will die down like many before it. We have seen the hype and frenzy generated by the millions of Dollars recovered at an apartment in Ikoyi, the millions impounded at Kaduna airport, the Babachir grass cutting scandal, and many allegations against the President’s men, the list goes on and on. But so far no one has been punished for the alleged crimes.
The import of this write up is not to find out who to blame for the reinstatement, the sacking of Maina from the civil service, this will be saved for another discourse when the report demanded by the President on issue is made public.
The purpose of this write up is to advice Maina to stand up and clear his name in the light of the claims of evidences he said he has regarding the activities of his committee.
In the ensuing debate a friend of mine scastically told us that if you want steal money in Nigeria, steal “BIG” the Police will send you a senior officer to investigate and in the process you could cut some deals and matter would go into lacuna forever. However if one wants to go to prison steal “SMALL” a junior police officer would be sent to harass your life and you would ultimately end up in prison.
As if this is not annoying enough, he further added that If you want eat and enjoy your loots in Nigeria make sure you become a conduit, steal for the bosses and accept to pick the crumbs from the table, you will be guaranteed protection by the “Big Men”
However, in the event the media stumble on the matter or a whistle blower decides to speel the beans since the bosses are involved a committee would be set up to investigate the matter and the report will never see the light of day.
Equally, the agencies who are responsible to deal with such issues will have their hands tied down and rendered prostate since “Oga at the top” is handling the matter. Consequently, the culprit is free the bosses are happy and life goes on.
One of such high profile cases that is still drawing the name of the country to the mud is the Malabu oil saga. The Vice President speaking at a conference organised by Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday, October 23.
Said “It is important to underscore the fact that opacity in one section of the globe undermines openness in the other. We need to break down this wall together as we are all at risk of the evil effects of opacity in business ownership.
To further underscore this statement he added that: “Nigeria is still grappling with the negative consequences of the use of opacity by senior members of government and their cronies between 1993 and 1998 awarding themselves juicy contracts in the extractive industry.”
The Malabu oil saga where the high and low in our society were involved is still a subject of litigation internationally, but the government is not keen in persuing the culprits because” Very important Persons” (VIP’s) were involved. The matter should therefore be put under the carpet at the expense of our collective National image and pride.
Maina a Deputy Director in the civil service with rising profile leaves un precedented flamboyant life style which even the Head of Service can not afford. He is the cause of his problems. He was too loud and upfront, this makes his bosses perhaps uncomfortable so he must be sacrificed quickly so that he does not speel the beans. The guy may need to read the 21 laws of power.
To know who is Maina one needs to look at the background of the officer. If it is true that Maina was just an Assistant Director in the civil service and could buy a house worth Two Million US dollar in Asokoro as is being alleged then something is definitely wrong somewhere.
Maina in his defence to the allegations labelled against him In a telephone conversation with presenter of “Radio Barekate”
He said, the committee recovered about N282billion pensioners money, established e-payment schemes for pensioners. He also claimed no body gave him any kobo, and that the committee had no account of it own. Then how come the Senate committee and EFCC are accusing him of embezzling billions of Naira?
In another interview with the press he said ” the Pension cabal was after his life. “I am fast losing confidence in the country called Nigeria. “Imagine, I have suddenly become a villain for saving the country billions of naira, being stolen daily by pension thieves.
“I’m saddened, demoralised by the whole mess. It is baffling that the hunter has become the hunted. It is simply ridiculous. How can one continue to fight for the country and the poor pensioners, when the system is so rotten to the effect that the thief catcher is being branded as the thief?” he lamented.
I think Maina needs to take some lessons from the EFCC Chairman on how corruption fights back.
If Maina’s claim to have, recovered N282 billion, blocked areas of leakages where pension funds are being siphoned, is true then he does not deserve the treatment he is getting, in fact he should be nominated for the National Merit Award.
The question to ask is why does Maina go into hiding each time the heat is on. With all the documents he claims he has that would exonerate him from all the charnges. why go under or even ran away from your home country and remain a fugitive forever. Good men never fear or hide they confront their problems head on, especially when they have the conviction they are right.
So far in all that Maina has said, he did not address the main issues the government is accusing of, rather he was just trying to generate sentiments so that he could be seen as a good man being innocently persecuted by the cabals and the agencies of the state.
My advice to Maina if wants to be taken seriously, he should as a matter of urgency willingly submit himself to the EFCC answer all the queries they would confront him with and clear himself of the allegations against him.
I know he is claiming of several attempts on his life but since he can suruptitiously enter the country and resume duty, nothing can stop him from paying a visit to the EFCC to answer their query. For how long would he remain under and a fugitive?
But if he still feels un safe he could take the bold step by authorising his lawyer to swear an affidavit and deposit all the documents he has in court and publish same in the National dailies for the records and put the whole matter in the public domain and allow the due process of the law to take its cause and exonerate him and his committee from blame.
Posterity is there to judge him in the event what he fears happens to him. These are part of the hazards of public life, so be bold and do the right thing.