Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State on Tuesday, October 6, spoke on the arrest in London of ex Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who was arrested on Friday, October 2 over alleged money laundering offence.
The governor who was very vocal against money laundering in immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and was under attack for his stance, says he is now vindcated.
Oshiomole, who spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, said Alison-Madueke’s arrest was a tip of the iceberg.
He said: “For me, I don’t think anybody should be surprised because the most favorable commentator on the Nigerian condition, both the economy, the polity and society, everybody agree that our economy was badly mismanaged over the past several years.
“I have not seen one commentator that disagrees. Even when they talk about rebasing and so what. Have you rebased the level of poverty? Have you rebased prosperity? Have you rebased unemployment? Have you rebased homelessness? Have you rebased hunger?
“So I have not seen anyone that says Nigerian people are doing better. This was never my issue. I was only a spokesman of National Economic Council. But, in this country, when you speak out, all the arrows should be fashioned to attack. But one of the things I learnt in life at the age of 17 when I got into the leadership of labour, is that the truth does not require supporters club. It can stand on its feet anyday. You can hit it. You can kick it. You can bomb it, but you can’t destroy it.
“The truth is that a lot of money was stolen and what you are seeing is just a tip of the iceberg, because when you imagine what accrues to Nigeria, consistently from 140 dollars averaging 108 dollars over a long period of time and yet your treasury is empty and you were running a budget deficit, you were devoting 85 percent of your budget for four consecutive years on recurrent, you were borrowing and you drew the entire pensions fund…yesterday I saw a lot of analysis of how pension funds should be invested on infrastructure.
“You challenge Pencom and Ministry of Finance, you will discover that over N3.5 trillion was drawn down by the previous government from pension funds to support recurrent expenditure, not to support infrastructure. Even the media here, I wonder why you want to hear it from me because some of the issues we parrot flow from what we have read from your electronic media and print media, arising from what you have observed.
“There have been probes, there have been revelations , where whistle blowers have been removed from office; they became guilty for speaking out. I believe time will tell how much was taken and who was involved.
“I think what you are hearing now is like appetizer. Its sickening. It used to come from America, now its Britain.”he said.