Ijaw youths from the nine states of the Niger Delta have described as “a question mark” the shoddy handling of the face-off between the minister of state for petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Maikanti Baru over alleged $25billion contracts award running into billions of dollars without due process.
According to the youths, though President Muhamadu Buhari has warned the duo of Kachikwu and Baru against media war over the issue, the shoddy handling of the allegation is a big question mark on the anti-corruption campaign of President Muhhamadu Buhari.
The Ijaw youths, under the aegis of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide and led by the President, Barr. Eric Omare, in a statement issued at the weekend via email, stated that the way and manner President Buhari handled the allegation of contracts award running into billions of dollars without due process by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Baru amounts to cover up of top officials of his government involved in allegations of fraud.
According to the IYC, “It would be recalled that the Buhari administration came into power on the back of integrity and the desire to fight corruption of any form. We make bold to state that allegations of lack of due process in the award of contracts amounting to billions of dollars bother on corruption hence President Buhari ought to have thoroughly investigated the allegations before coming to a decision.
“We wish to state clearly that for President Buhari to direct the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu and the GMD of NNPC, Mr. Baru to work together to move the oil industry forward without more amounts to cover up of grievous allegations of breach of due process in the management of the affairs of Nigeria and thereby encouraging corruption.
“This is nothing more than the family affairs approach to the management of national affairs by previous government and not in tandem with the change mantra.
“The Buhari administration in this respect is not different from previous governments from Presidents Obasanjo to Jonathan that sometimes treated serious issues of serious national concern as family affairs to the detriment of Nigerians.
“The IYC states that if President Buhari’s administration wants to be taken serious in the anti-corruption war; then it must treat all allegations and cases of corruption in the same manner irrespective of whether top officials of his government are involved or not.
“The war against corruption must not only be for members of the opposition government but must be total for it to have the desired effect.
“This double standard is responsible for the inability of President Buhari to release the outcome of the investigation of allegations of corruption against the secretary to the government of the federation and Director General of the National Intelligence Agency.”