One Month after the damning petition written by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu to President Muhammadu Buhari against NNPC GMD Maikanti Baru, the presidency is still keeping sealed lips , as usual.
The letter seen by CHECKPOINTCHARLEY was dated 30th August 2017.
However, Kachikwu on Wednesday joined his colleagues for the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
It is gathered that the matter did not come up at the meeting presided over by Mr. Buhari.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina had also refused to comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate has set up a panel to probe the matter barely hours after it learnt of the petition by Mr. Kachikwu.
Many Nigerians accuse President Buhari of shielding his loyalists from facing the music.
As at time of filing this report, the president is yet to act on the recommendations of the Osinbajo led panel that investigated the allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke.
The panel had investigated the SGF and Ikoyigate scandals.
There is a widespread feeling in the country that the war being fought against corruption by Mr. Buhari is selective and vindictive. And his lack of action in cases of impropriety involving his loyalists tend to support such allegations.
How else could one explain the inaction of a president, who make so much noise about his war against corruption, one month after his minister of petroleum alerted him about the wrong doings by the head of the country’s most important industry?
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources had raised alarm in his leaked memo to Buhari over new decay in Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the award of $25billion contact by the Group Managing Director (GMD), Maikanti Baru without due process and how the GMD, in insubordination, has been sidelining him and other members of the NNPC board.
Reacting to the petition, anti-graft organizations and a lawyer urged Buhari to act and investigate the allegations against Baru.
Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN), SERAP and Campaign for Democracy (CD) asked Buhari to take “decisive action to address the indiscipline and high-handedness” revealed in Kachikwu’s letter.
Ali told the Punch, “This rift is symptomatic of a troubled system. It is an act of indiscipline. If two heads of agencies of government cannot resolve their internal problems, except they come public, it means both of them are short on delivering the services for which they were meant to.
“For me, the President will have to be decisive. He must take a firm decision because the buck stops on his table, and he cannot shy away.”
The CD President, Usman Abdul, on his part said, “I think the Buhari administration should be proactive in tackling these salient issues bedevilling his government. It is unconstitutional and unacceptable for projects to be carried out by the NNPC without the board’s consent.
“This tells us of the high-handedness and impunity going on in this administration. It will not augur well if the President doesn’t address this, because it is a setback to the war against corruption.”
Also the Executive Director, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Debo Adeniran, said the President should not gloss over the allegations of insubordination, administrative lapses and corruption as contained in the minister’s letter.
According to him, the allegations is “a representation of a dysfunctional system where things no longer worked,” noting that it was a sign that the system was opaque.
He condemned the alleged award of contracts and appointments without due process.
SERAP commended the minister for exposing the issues to the President, noting that it was up to Buhari to “right the wrong.”
In his view, SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said the reform being carried out by the government in the petroleum sector might not succeed if issues raised by Kachikwu were not thoroughly investigated.