June, 8th, 2012
By Tony Akowe, Kaduna; TheNationOnline
Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Nasir el-Rufai yesterday accused the Federal Government of being partly responsible for the spate of bombings in parts of the North and Abuja.
The alleged government’s involvement, according to him, was a diversionary measure.
Special Assistant on Political Matters to the President, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak dismissed the allegation as callous and unreasonable.
The former FCT minister and now a top member of the opposition party, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) claimed in a BBC interview monitored in Kaduna that government resorted to exploding bombs whenever controversial issues arose in the country.
He cited the probe of the fuel subsidy by the House of Representatives.
“We have to start accusing the government because anytime we are in this problem, like when the Farouk committee in the House of Representatives came out with its report on the fuel subsidy scam, at that time they started coming out with bombs all over,” he said.
“Therefore….we keep on asking the government : ‘ why is it whenever they have problem, that is when those they call Boko Haram will start bombing. Or are they working together?
“They are yet to give us an answer; there are many other things which up till now, there is no explanation. Every Nigerian knows that two years ago, there was rest of mind and he could sleep well at home. But today, there is no rest of mind, things have deteriorated.
“The economy has deteriorated; salaries are delayed in the Federal Civil Service. Since I left Abuja last week, April salary was not paid. That of March was paid in May, even the monthly allocation to states, they were unable to pay. We don’t know where the money is going so the economy is in trouble”.
He also accused the government of amassing loans, drawing about $1 billion every month. He challenged Nigerians to verify his claims from the website of the Debt Management Office (DMO).
“We calculated and I wrote on it in the paper, nobody came out to say it is not true. Every month since Jonathan became the President, on the average, every month he takes $1 billion loan. The Debt Management Office published it, it is a government office. So, I am not just saying it. Even last month, the Federal Government sold bond,” he said.
But reacting, the political adviser to the President asked Nigerians not to take the allegations of the former minister seriously as they were baseless and not true.
He described the allegations as “just an outburst from the opposition camp which cannot hold water. It is the figment of his imagination, it is not true. Every right thinking person will not listen to that and will never agree with what El-Rufa’i is saying. This is because they are so extreme in their opposition. For example, ministers came out some days ago and they reeled out all the achievements and successes of governments.
“In the next two months, you will see trains shuttling between Lagos and Northern Nigeria, God willing. Everybody knows that road construction is on. Is that not so? Look at the education sector, we have gone far.
“Mallam Nasiru El-Rufa’I’s remarks, I m really baffled. He is one of the leaders in this country and in the North, and for him to start accusing the government that they are responsible for the spate of bombings, is not fair for big leaders to be making such statements that cannot be substantiated.
“It’s very unfair, the Presidency has mandated the EFCC to make sure that those indicted in the scam face the law. But you cannot punish anybody until he is found guilty.
“Thanks be to Allah, what I will say now is that all thanks be to Almighty Allah. It is now one year that President Goodluck Jonathan was elected and sworn in as President of this country, and people are saying that he did nothing; I think perhaps it is either their brain is blocked or they are blind. This is because the various things this government has done, and is still doing, they are yet to see.
“Just recently the President was in Sokoto where he inaugurated the Almajiri school for our kids, about nine and a half million of them that were on the streets begging. Now they will be admitted in schools built by the government. Fourthly, if we look at the aviation sector, look at all our airports, intense work is in progress. Anybody that visits our airports will attest to that. I am just telling you work that is done,” he said.