Liberal Mind

Buhari: What happened at the PTF?

By Adetunji Ayobrown

Justice delay is justice denied. And the delay of justice can be dangerous, that is the case of Nigeria under the leadership of Buhari.

Inaugurated in March 1995, Buhari headed the PTF, established to manage the fund accruable from the increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol, from N3.25 to N11. The PTF was scrapped by Obasanjo on assumption of the Presidency in 1999. The ex-President also set up a committee to investigate the accounts of the PTF following allegations of N25bn fraud in the agency.

With available records, Muhammadu Buharis is one the beneficiaries of many good things of Nigeria nation. hitherto, he was said to have been everything in Nigeria. A governor, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Head of State, President and in his second term, but he should remember that accountability is key and time will tell of his culpability.

N25billion naira is quite an expensive corruption introduction, too huge to be ignored. And before he starts to give his thanks over corruption allegations, many Nigerians are asking for his clean bill of health given over the alleged N25 billion-fraud that took place in the administration of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) by Buhari as Executive Chairman.

Buhari presided as Executive Chairman of PTF for a number of years while General Sani Abacha was in power. And as the chief executive officer of PTF at the time, Buhari and no one else could be held responsible for this act.

It is rather surprising but not funny that Buhari openly dare to say that nobody can accuse him of corruption. Perhaps, there is truly the need to reminded ourselves including one of the main actors of some past but not forgotten issues about petroleum and corruption in Nigeria.

Referencing the findings of the Dr Haroun Adamu-led Interim Management Committee that probed PTF under Buhari. The final report exposed nothing but monumental sleaze and the most pervasive and insidious type of corruption through its findings, it was concluded in the report that under Buhari and his entire team, explanations in the circumstances in which N25,758,532,448:00 disappeared and could not be accounted for.

Reported to have vanished into the thin air as if N25billion is capable of instantly growing wings and fly away under the leadership of someone like Buhari. True explanations are requested from the president in order for Nigeria to believe in his corruption fight.

But the fact that the recommendation of the Dr Haroun Adamu-led Interim Management Committee was never acted upon by the Olusegun Obasanjo government is rather unfortunate, and now a serious national issue and a  cause for many concerns.

Where many things are still amiss in the financial transactions in the PTF, many said some people are trying to cover up Buhari’s past but to forget that one of the cardinal principles of democracy, good governance and decency.

Radiating confidence about this is seen as unnecessary arrogance without allowing it to open the probe. Or rather to set the record straight, let people know the truth. Nothing ought to be hidden, the records of public office of you is more relevant and Nigerians ask that it must be subjected to scrutiny and public debate, if truly you are without any blemishes.

For facts are sacred, many say he could forget only because he was allowed to by not tried under the law so he boasts around of not being convicted.

Many see Buhari’s anti-corruption fight to be sectional, lacked in goodwill and no needed seriousness that is capable of winning the war.

Buhari should please as matter of public importance allow the trial of his past at the PTF. Else all his holier than thou attitude of fighting corruption may not hold any water.

Except for truism that aren’t true, corruption fight should start with Buhari, because there is no degree difference between corruption and stealing.

No second chance in making first impression. Now to be claiming that he can’t be accused of any corruption is corruption in itself only if he allowed open probe of his administration at the PTF.

The truth is that not only has the PTF report put a lie to the suggestion that Buhari is ‘Mr. Clean’ but it has also indicated that he has a case to answer

Given the fact that Buhari was so badly indicted by the report is worrisome given the fact that he has consistently and unnecessarily parade himself as Mr. Integrity while this blemishes and stains are noticeable.  And consistently accusing others of monumental corruption is absurd.

*Ayobrown is a Senior System Analyst, National Pilot Newspaper, writes via e-mail:

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