Senior Pastor of the Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to go after organisations and individuals who plundered “trillions of naira” for petrol subsidy.
Tinubu had in a national broadcast, said trillions of naira meant for petrol subsidy have over the years been “funnelled into the deep pockets and lavish bank accounts of a select group of individuals.”
But, Bakare in his state of the nation broadcast on Sunday, urged Tinubu to ensure that indicted private organisations and individuals are made to face the full wrath of justice for siphoning public funds.
The cleric said economic reforms planned to better the lives of the masses may amount to futility if there is no “economic justice.”
“I expect that President Tinubu has been well briefed on investigations that were conducted over the years as well as individuals and agencies and cooperate entities indicted. I sincerely hope that the president is poised to take the needed action, because whether he likes it or not, the honeymoon is over and Nigerians are asking questions
“Nigerians are not asking whether these alarming cases of corruption occurred during his administration or not. Nigerians are not exonerating him and blaming the past presidents who failed to do justice on these issues.
“Nigerians are asking why the poor have to suffer for the criminal activities of individuals and companies that are well known. We must realise as a nation that no economy can thrive on criminal impunity. There can be no successful economic reforms without economic justice.
“By imposing hardship on Nigeria without going after those individual, cooperations who have plundered Nigeria over the years, the president has picked the wrong fight.
“Mr President, if you are truly on the side of the poor; if you are serious about the welfare of the people; if you truly want the poor to breathe as you once said, then kill corruption and not Nigerians,” Bakare said.
On Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who is currently under the custody of the Department of Security Services (DSS), Bakare said Tinubu should desist from making him a scapegoat.
The cleric said the erstwhile CBN governor could not have embarked on some monetary policies without the authorisation of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Considering the reported claims by the DSS that Emefiele’s actions were in line with orders from above, the handling of his case has sent a signal to the world that the current president’s disposition to the war against corruption is primarily motivated by clampdown of perceived political adversaries, while various other enemies of Nigeria remain untouched.
“Godwin Emefiele may have made the wrong judgment calls in the management of Nigeria’s monetary policies, but he should not be made a scapegoat, there is every possibility that the erstwhile central bank governor did not act without presidential authorisation. If he is found liable of any crime, he should be prosecuted,” the cleric added.