Coalition wants NNPC to remain transparent, frowns at blackmailers

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By Yusuf Yunus

The Coalition for Good Governance and Open Leadership in Nigeria has urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to remain transparent and support President Bola Tinubu’s effort at repositioning the oil sector.


The Convener of the group, Mr Declan Ihekaire, at a news conference on Thursday in Lagos, frowned at an alleged premeditated plot to blackmail the NNPC management and the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Mr Mele Kyari.


Ihekaire alleged that a faction of defunct Conference of Nigeria Political Party (CNPP) was behind the plot, which he said, could undermine national security.


Ihekaire said that the coalition was committed to the cause of ensuring probity and transparency in governance, but believe that such must be devoid of political interference of unfounded claims.


According to him, over the past few weeks, there has been a sustained campaign of calumny, against the management and the group Chief Executive of the nation’s flagship oil company, the NNPC.


He said that this campaign coincided, with the time that the coalition was involved in independent investigation of the activities of the NNPC.


Ihekaire said that the coalition’s investigation also involved effort being made by the company, in respect of the removal of fuel subsidies, and the commitment of the NNPC, in delivering its mandate to Nigerians.


“We have since noticed, series of attempt, by some individuals, masquerading as crime investigators and civil society leaders, to exploit the series of questions that have been raised by Nigerians, in respect of the activities of the NNPC, in order to blackmail and extort the company.

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“After due diligence, we realised the blackmail was being sponsored by a self-acclaimed billionaire whistle blowers.


“We want transparency in government at all cost, but blackmailers and politicians must not make it an industry.


“We urge NNPC to remain transparent and support President Tinubu effort at repositioning the oil sector,” he said.


Emphasising the importance of transparency, accountability, and integrity in the functioning of public institutions, especially those as crucial as the NNPC, Ihekaire said that national security must not be jeopardised.


“We firmly believe that it is our duty as citizens and organisations committed to good governance to ensure that any allegations of wrongdoing are thoroughly investigated, and justice is served if needed.


“At the same time, we must also ensure that these allegations are not used as a political weapon to achieve ulterior motives that could jeopardise the stability and the progress of the NNPC.


“Allegations of corruption or misconduct should never be wielded as a political tool for the sole purpose of tarnishing reputations and creating chaos within the organisation,” he added.


Ihekaire said that the blackmailers were embarking on a campaign after their failure to get attention from the NNPC.


He said that the State Security Service had already concluded their investigation into the same subject matter and began prosecution of some of the blackmailers while their accomplices were also undergoing investigation.


“It is essential to maintain a fair and impartial approach to any allegation made against public officials, including those leading vital institutions like the NNPC.

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“Such matters should be addressed through appropriate channels, such as law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, to guarantee a just and objective process,” he said.


Ihekaire noted that the National Assembly, had conducted a diligent probe of some of these allegations by blackmailers and had cleared the air.


He said that the ultimate objective of the blackmailers was to seek the removal of the GCEO of NNPC, Kyari.


“We urge Nigerians to be mindful of the antics of these latter day anti-corruption crusaders, whose ultimate, is to blackmail unsuspecting Nigerians, for selfish gains,” the activist said.


Ihekaire encouraged all stakeholders to act responsibly, ethically, and with the best interests of Nigeria in mind.


“Any allegations of misconduct must be handled through appropriate legal channels to ensure a just and unbiased outcome,” he added.


Also speaking, Gbenga Soloki of the Campaign Against Impunity and Domestic Violence, said no one should cause tension that would affect the masses in the country, especially in the oil and gas sector.


Soloki said that anyone with factual allegations should approach relevant security agencies for investigation.


Other activists who spoke said that false alarm, especially in NNPC, could escalate issues in oil sector, saying there had been panic queues in petrol stations and panic buying.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the news conference was organised by the Campaign for Democracy, Centre for Transparency in Leadership and other allied civil society groups. (NAN)


Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa

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