Diezani’s arrest didn’t surprise me – Oshiomhole
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, on
Tuesday said he was not surprised by the current travails of
a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani
Alison-Madueke, in the United Kingdom given that the
nation’s economy had been badly managed over the years.
Oshiomhole said no average Nigerian fared better under the
ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration despite
the media hype over a reported rebasing of the economy.
The Edo governor spoke with State House correspondents
after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the
Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said, “For me, I don’t think anybody should be surprised
(about Alison-Madueke’s trial in the UK) because even the
most favourable commentator on the Nigerian condition, the
economy, the polity and the society, agrees that our
economy was badly mismanaged over the years.
seen one commentator that disagrees.
“Even when they talk about rebasing, and so what? Have
you rebased the level of poverty? Have you rebased
prosperity? Have you rebased unemployment? Have you
rebased homelessness? Have you rebased hunger?
“So, I have not seen anyone that says Nigerian people are
doing better. This was never my issue. I was only a
spokesman for the National Economic Council.
“But in this country, when you speak out, all the arrows
would be fashioned to attack you. But one of the things I
learnt in life at the age of 17 when I got into the leadership
of labour is that the truth does not require supporters’ club.
it. You can bomb it, but you can’t destroy it.”
Oshiomhole said the truth had been that a lot of money was
stolen under Jonathan’s watch.
He said the ongoing travails of Alison-Madueke could only
be described as a tip of the iceberg.
The governor said, “The truth is that a lot of money was
stolen and what you are seeing is just a tip of the iceberg
because when you imagine what accrued to Nigeria
consistently from $140 (per barrel) averaging $108 over a
long period of time and yet your treasury is empty and you
were running a budget deficit.
“You were devoting 85 per cent of your budget for four
consecutive years to recurrent; you were borrowing and you
drew the entire pensions fund.
“Yesterday, I saw a lot of analysis of how pension fund
should be invested on infrastructure.
“You challenge PenCom and the Ministry of Finance, you will
discover that over N3.5tn was drawn down by the previous
government from the pension fund to support recurrent
expenditure, not to support infrastructure.
“I wonder why you want to hear it from me because some of
the issues we parrot flow from what we have read from
your electronic media and print media arising from what you
“There have been probes, there have been revelations where
whistleblowers have been removed from office, and they
became guilty for speaking out.
“I believe that time will tell how much was taken and who
was involved. I think what you are hearing now is like
appetiser. It is sickening. It used to come from America,
now it’s from Britain.”
When asked if the Federal Government had a hand in the
former minister’s ordeal, Oshiomhole said, “It is not about
who has a hand in what. I think it’s about law and order. In
other climes, institutions do their work. They are not at the
beck and call of the political authority. They have their
mandate and the law specifies this and it is scrupulously
He said he was the happiest person concerning the current
developments because he had been in government for seven
years without being in power.
He said his happiness was not because of personal benefit
alone but also because of the changes he was seeing.
He said, “I am the happiest person because I have been in
government for seven years without being in power. I was in
government; I could not call a commissioner of police and
talk as a chief security officer.
“I was haunted by all manners of persons. You kill a snake
in Edo, they will put the snake on life support in Abuja and
they keep harassing us.
“Now, all that venom is dead and buried. For the first time, I
am excited and happy not just for personal benefit but for
the changes I am beginning to see.
“They have not started scrutinising, just blocking the holes;
it’s no longer flowing like before and so the propensity to
indulge in those conspicuous habit already curbing
“People are regaining sanity, human rationality is returning
and the idle class that makes money without office or
business address, whose only address is an iPad and cell
phone with appropriate phone numbers is lamenting and not
sure of tomorrow.”