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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

CCB and Seyi Makinde’s N48b ‘Chiken Change’ | Adeola Soetan



Why did it take Gov. Seyi Makinde’s voluntary public declaration of his N48b assets before CCB rose from their slumber and promise to verify his claim? This suggests that CCB does not verify declared assets of high profile political office holders as a routine, except, perhaps, when there is a game of political ambush to expose and ridicule any disobedient member of the nation’s ruling looting class.
Seyi’s N48b may even  be ‘shinkini chicken change’ when compared with former and incumbent heads of state, presidents, VPs, Senate Presidents, and governors with their ever lucky wives whose assets may make  Makinde looks like a billionaire beggar. Yet their assets passed through their padlocked  dark cupboard unverified and they did not allow interested organizations / individuals to verify even when such requests were made with FOI.
I laughed when many people were unnecessarily jolted by Makinde’s assets. If only they were sobered and reflective enough, then they would have known that Seyi’s N48b may after all  be ‘shinkinni’ a mere chicken change of what many past and present public holders especially presidents and governors with their ‘divinely blessed’ wives had acquired either by direct or indirect looting of national / state purse, sleepless hardwork or by ‘divine intervention’ by the Nigerian God.
Have we forgotten that one jumbo credit alert from Gen. Sanni Abacha (the ‘incorruptible one’ ) is worth more than all Seyi worked for before he became Oyo State governor? Patience Jonathan recently ‘donated’ as directed by court almost N10b worth of assets, from  her late mother’s savings and other savings from the sweat of her hardwork.
Tinubu partially and  ‘publicly declared’ his assets before election when he announced that he was richer than Osun State,  after that declaration, bullion vans that were driven to his mansion kept the mouth of any doubting Thomas about his richness and the audacity to display it shut.
Gov. Ganduje literally  has a whole Kano State economy in dollar and naira denominations in his broad babanriga pockets as he prowls the country. Oshiomole’s eight years in Edo State and the stupendous assets he was alleged to have acquired by one Bishop Osadolor who has been chasing Oshibobo up and down for the past two years now with list of properties corruptly acquired. While the guy, an unaccredited whistle blower sworn to an affidavit, even went to court to compel EFCC to investigate Oshiomole, the comrade ex – governor is taking refuge under the technicalities of law. A simple assets declaration by Oshiomole would have put his tormentors (now including his Godson, Gov. Obaseki) to shame if has nothing to hide.
Track back a bit, all this Siemens and other bribery allegations against Obasanjo and Atiku, ran into several millions of dollar. Buhari was a military pensioner and a medium scale  herdsman with a ranch of 150 cows in 2015, but was able to run a multi – billion naira campaign sponsored by the ‘Big Boys’ Nigeria  incorporated led by Atiku, Tinubu, Saraki, Amechi. (Don’t forget that in Nigeria, corruption money no dey smell during election – campaigns). Baba also did in 2019 as a ‘poorer president’ who couldn’t afford his party’s nomination form before good Samaritans came to his financial aid. But Strangely, a poorer Buhari is now too ashamed to declare his assets publicly as he promised. (Allah Akbair)
Some of your leaders you want to break your heads to defend as not corrupt  because you are in the same political ranches with them and  because  of sessonal crumbs, are sponsors of many candidates for different  offices including  governorship. And those elections  cost billions of Naira to execute.
May be you wrongly  thought  all these their private jets, farms everywhere, media houses, hotels, mansions and estates in Nigeria and all over the world including  their deposits in banks are worth  just millions of naira, then you must be a joker.
Many of these people (Looters or Divinely favored) were marginally rich in 1999 before politics. Hence the reason they will never declare their assets publicly beyond their coded declaration which they shielded from public scrutiny notwithstanding your request to verify using FOI.
Yes, Makinde is very rich by all standard according to his declared assets which must be verified, but I won’t be surprised if he is not among the first hundred big time political players whose main source of wealth is government headed by them by the time they are courageous enough to declare their publicly beyond the routine ‘boju boju’ declarations which CCB  always refuse to be verified by interested organizations.
No law is breached if public officers voluntarily declare their assets publicly like Seyi Makinde did. It is an issue of public morality.
A living organization did not need to be jump – started into action by the action of one man who broke the record against the ‘boju boju oloro nbo’ (close eye secret) routine declarations by his colleagues (ex & incumbents) over the years. It should have been the norm with CCB without any media ceremony if the organisation really worth its objective.
It is good that CCB wants to verify Makinde. It should however extend such scrutiny to others (past & present) governors, presidents, senate presidents, CJs (technical & non technical). CCB also should accede without delay to the request of curious organizations / individuals armed with FOI application that want to verify such secretly declared assets as it willingly obliged the organisation that exposed the mouth watering assets of the  retired  ex – CJN who recently retired ignomiously.
By not giving equal access to requesting organizations to verify any public officer’s assets, from president to councilor, will ridicule and reduce CCB to an ambushing organization used for selective  attacks by government in power.
Let all be verified if they are not ready to declare their assets publicly. That is a sure pro – active way to fight corruption timely.

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