Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has expressed his joy at the arrest of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Maduekwe, in the United Kingdom.
Oshiomhole who spoke with State House correspondents on Tuesday after a meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, explained that Diezani was just the beginning in the exposure of numerous graft cases in the former administration.
“For me, I don’t think anybody should be surprised (about the former minister’s travails) because the most favourable commentator on the Nigerian condition, both the economy, the polity and society, everybody agrees that our economy was badly managed over the past several years. I have not seen one commentator that disagrees,” he said.
Furthermore, he added, “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 the National Economic Council.
“But in this country, when you speak out, all the arrows would 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 any day. 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 accrued to Nigeria consistently from $140 (per barrel) averaging $108 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 N3.5tn was drawn by the previous government from pension funds to support recurrent expenditure, not to support infrastructure.