The former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has urged the United States , United Kingdom and German governments to expose the real treasury looters in Nigeria whom he said are known by the super powers.
He has also called on federal government to institute a process where famous auditing firms will audit all public office holders to ascertain their source of wealth .
The Forbes billionaire made the remarks yesterday in United States while delivering a speech on Democratic process in African Countries in the War College, Washington DC.
Kalu whose speech cut across many issues affecting Nigeria lamented many abnormalities in Nigeria.
According to him, “US,UK,Germany know those who have stacked millions of dollars, transferred directly from Nigeria to western countries without working for it.”
The former governor said the looters acquired the wealth with no trace of evidence of business transactions , services or contracts.
He also said Nigeria need three basic things he named as Justice, obeisance to the rule of law, and accountability to move forward.
The former presidential candidate described Nigeria as an interesting country buried in tribalism and religion ,adding that in Nigeria, people do not see good in those who wish the country well.
According to him,” People see no good in other people’s job. The leaders and the governed have become so greedy that they forget the ethics of a nation. A nation is supposed to be a committed area that must have the interest of the citizens as priority. It is only in Nigeria, that a form is clearly specified to identify tribe, state, local government and religion. That means that the government of Nigeria since 1960 have been in support of tribalism. There is no country in Nigeria that wants to move forward and still have such specifications in a form. Corruption is the greatest problem in Nigeria. Those past leaders who claimed to be fighting corruption were only accumulating wealth. Most of them came to be leaders of our community with only twenty thousand naira and below, and they make no pretense in showing their wealth and affluence in their different communities
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“I was governor for eight years. And in that eight years, I never knew somebody can take public fund as his own. I never knew somebody aside security vote can take away people’s money. People who had nothing came into office and turned to multi billionaires and nobody asks questions about how the money was made. I call on the government to restore a process whereby the KPMG, PWC, Deloitte and others be given opportunity to audit all our past leaders. You can not just make someone a Governor today and next, he buys a house in Victoria Island without stating how he got the money. Likewise a minister and he is already buying houses in Maitama or Asokoro. Sometimes, possibly someone you know before .” He said
Further speaking, Kalu recalled that “among the people who supported political movement in Nigeria in 1998, few of us are being tried. I had mentioned this in most forums I have been. The former president Obasanjo wrote to your President, George Bush Jnr, requesting that I should be arrested in United States . But your President after investigation said no. They equally wrote to the British prime minister, but he disagreed after investigation. But I am being tried in Nigeria for a law I do not know where it comes from. But I cannot dwell on this since it’s in the Court of competent jurisdiction.
“Last time I spoke in Washington DC during a dinner, I repeated the same thing. Nigeria is a beautiful country where given the appropriate rule of law; if everyone is made to obey the rule of the land and respect the law ;If all our people are made to subject themselves to the laws of the land, Nigeria will be a beautiful place to live.”
kalu’s visit to War college ,Washington DC makes it the third time he will be visiting the college in three years.
The former governor while recounting his relationship with the Institute told the audience that the college during his eight years reign as Abia state governor had sent 50 man delegation to Abia state during their visit to Nigeria .He expressed his appreciation to the college which according to him, has always granted him permission to use the Institute for research whenever he is in Washington DC.
Speaking on the Nigerian economy and the orientation of the leaders and the led, the former governor said, “We need people who will see Nigeria as Nigeria. People who will not attach any religious or tribal sentiments about the country. We need people that will call a spade a spade. Last week, I urged President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the economy the way he tackled Boko Haram. In all honesty and being factual, I still suggest that President Buhari as a matter of urgency should declare economic emergency.
The economy is in very bad shape and the citizens are not happy,
“What we also need Nigerians to do is to come out and support civil democracy. Civil democracy is the only way interests of others can be protected. People blame politicians and everybody but themselves. They do not blame those who rig the elections to put illegitimate and unfit leaders in powerful. Leaders who do not think well about our society; leaders who think that the best way of living is to steal public funds. Those who think that the only thing they are elected for is to make themselves comfortable.” He said
Kalu also appealled to the staff, the diplomats and senior military officers present in the occasion to urge the US government to assist Nigeria in fishing out those that have stolen Nigerian common wealth.
“I am sure they know them. The government of United States and Britain know those that have stolen our money. Why hid them? When ex President Obasanjo wrote to British government telling them that I stole money to buy a house in London. They investigated and found out that I bought it in 1991 and that is the only house I have in Britain. “He recalled.
While stating his optimism in coming out victorious in the corruption charges levelled against him by the Nigerian anti graft agency, the 2017 eight rated Forbes billionaire blamed Nigerians for what he referred to as being gullible and believing anything.
“I believe history will exonerate us. My greatest challenge is that our people are very naive, they are as naive as anything. They are very gullible, and consume every lie told to them by people in authority. I was governor for eight years, for five years of that governorship, I was committed in asking the Federal Government to do the right thing. I want to reassure you people that judiciary in Nigeria are not as bad as they are portrayed to be. When I was governor, we went to court against Federal government of Nigeria 15 times and we won 13 times. Those in charge of judiciary only need to fix it, in such a way that one could get justice.
In addition, he said ” I believe the judiciary should be totally allowed to operate independently. I am more impressed with the court system here in United States and also in United Kingdom. I am also praying that the leaders of our judiciary will continue to improve our legal system. No matter the kind of system of government practiced in a country, the judiciary remains the bedrock of survival of that nation. Our judiciary are trying very well and I believe that if we get our judiciary right and well constituted, that will be the beginning and turn around of our democratic process.”
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