Press Statement by the Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC)
The Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC) has learnt with shock and utmost embarrassment the granting of Presidential pardon to convicted public treasury looter and fugitive from justice who jumped bail in the UK, the former Governor of Bayelsa state, Mr. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
The Presidential pardon which became public knowledge on Tuesday 12thMarch 2013 as a fallout of the National Council of State meeting held on the same day, to say the least has put paid to any pretense by the Jonathan administration and by extension the Nigerian ruling elite of any intention whatsoever to fight the cankerworm of corruption that has done untold damage to Nigeria and reduced her to a laughing stock in the comity of nations.
By the singular decision to grant state pardon to Alamieyeseigha who stole hundreds of millions of dollars from the treasury of Bayelsa State, the Nigerian ruling elite as represented by the National Council of State has shown without any iota of doubt that despite the monumental disaster that corruption has done to a potentially rich country like Nigeria, which today is home to the single largest population of poverty stricken people in Africa, that it cares very little about the future of the country called Nigeria.
The granting of state pardon to Alamieyeseigha represents a most dangerous precedent, and a setback for the fight against corruption in Nigeria as it marks the adoption of corruption as an official state policy.
Much more insulting and disrespectful to the long suffering Nigerian people who have had to on a daily basis bear the brunt of the mindless looting of public treasury is the statement credited to the Presidential Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Doyin Okupe that the President owes no one an apology for the misuse of presidential powers that the state pardon granted Alamieyeseigha represents.
For granting pardon to Alamieyeseigha, the president has in one fell swoop robbed himself and his administration of whatever credibility left as to its willingness and desire to fight corruption or tackle the cankerworm of treasury looting and has sent a strong signal to would-be treasury looters that no serious repercussions awaits them for looting the public treasury.
While other countries are punishing our nationals for abuse of public trust and looting public treasury in our country, the Jonathan administration finds it convenient to be cozy with public treasury looters while at the same time wants to be taken seriously on fighting corruption by other countries.
A President who finds no qualms in naming convicted felons and treasury looters as his closest allies and benefactors has lost all moral grounds to continue to lead the country and is in breach of the provisions of the Section 15(5) of the 1999 constitution which states that “The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power”.
By the state pardon granted Alamieyeseigha not only has the Jonathan administration encouraged corruption and abuse of power but has itself become guilty of abuse of power by deploying presidential powers to pardon someone he has publicly acknowledged as a benefactor.
The granting of Presidential pardon to Alamieyeseigha is also a flagrant violation of the Presidential oath of office as contained in the seventh schedule of the 1999 constitution which President Jonathan swore to on May 29, 2009 in which he swore/affirmed to be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; to discharge his duties always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; to strive to preserve the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not to allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct or my official decisions.
This oath of office, President Jonathan has clearly breached and should in a saner clime be a basis for him to now be preparing to be impeached!.
We call on the Nigerian people who have mistakenly wittingly or unwittingly invested their hopes in the various sections of the Nigerian ruling elite to note that they do not and cannot represent the interest of the ordinary Nigerian but rather their class interest and to gear up for the task of getting organized with aim of building a pro-people political alternative which alone can frontally tackle the menace of corruption in Nigeria.
National Secretary, ZCC
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