The Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA), on Monday, May 23, 2016, advocated special amnesty for owners of Nigeria’s stolen money, stashed in the various banks all over the World in order to generate enough forex to drive the nation’s economy.
According to the reports currently trending on social media, Senator Bassey Akpan who is representing Uyo senatorial district in the Senate, stated this in his office while addressing journalists. The report further noted that the senator explained that the country currently have hundreds of billions of dollars stashed in various banks abroad and the countries where they were kept, are using them to drive their own economy while Nigerians are suffering.
Well, as a Nigerian, I agree that my friend and brother, the distinguished senator whom I hold in high esteem, has every right to hold and express his opinion on any issue including this one. But, albeit, I have cause to disagree with his line of thought on this, especially when he advocated for amnesty for people who have criminally looted our common patrimony dry.
I disagree with his advocacy, coming at a time when the nation’s image abroad has been so bastardised by these treasury looters.
I disagree with him because his advocacy would not have been made if former President Goodluck Jonathan had secured a second term in the March 28, 2015 Presidential poll.
I disagree with him because Nigerians including my good-self supported the #ChangeMantra because of the promise of President Muhammadu Buhari to fight corruption and recover if not all, a sufficient amount of our stolen wealth and prosecute the looters according to the Laws of the land.
I disagree with OBA because I do not think the Buhari’s administration should treat corruption with kid gloves seeing the state of our current economic situation brought about by these looters.
I disagree with OBA because granting amnesty to criminals whose criminal looting and diversion of our resources to personal use have sent several innocent Nigerians including soldiers fighting the Boko Haram insurgents in the North to their early graves due to insufficient arms.
I disagree with OBA because granting amnesty to treasury looters under any guise will be tantamount to Buhari instituting a bad culture of “STEALING IS NOT CORRUPTION” – apologies to former President Jonathan.
Finally, I laud the anti-corruption posture of the Buhari led administration and I plead with all Nigerians including our National Assembly members to encourage him to success in his many efforts at recovering our looted funds abroad; ensure these loots are repatriated to Nigeria, and put to use for the betterment of our economy.
#I oppose Amnesty for Looters!
- Franklyn Isong is a Public Affairs Commentator, writes in from Uyo.