The Nigerian presidency has berated the Trade Union Congress, TUC, over its plan to protest alleged widespread corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and some other government Agencies.
A statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), said that the planned nationwide protest is ill advised and totally uncalled for considering that there are ongoing investigations in the cases by both the Executive and Legislative arms of government.
Full text of the statement reads:
The reported plan by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on a nationwide protest over the alleged President Buhari’s “inaction over the high-level of corruption uncovered at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)” is ill advised and totally uncalled for, considering that there are ongoing investigations in the cases by both the Executive and Legislative arms of government.
These processes must be allowed to run their full courses.
It is against the norm in a democratic society as well as the natural laws of justice to seek “action,” meaning punishment against offenders before proper investigation, trial and conviction.
The President has made it clear that the allegations that have surfaced clearly “constitute a breach of trust” and as the investigations take hold and close out, all those found wanting will face the wrath of the law.
The TUC, as an enlightened group of labour Unionists, should indeed voice their indignation whenever such acts are being unearthed.
However the expectation will be for it to also raise the bar higher, in terms of the debate concerning the impact of such allegations on our ability, to create and retain employment, attract investment, improve the living conditions of its members and citizens, and how a preponderance of these heinous crimes decimates any gains being made in other spheres.
The world is confronted with a global public health crisis, decline in economic growth, and expanding areas of conflict by non-state actors.
All these ills in their singular or combined form are consuming every nation. Nigeria is no exception; we must hold the line and lock arms that way we rid ourselves of these existential issues whilst we grapple with those that are our own homegrown problems.
This administration is committed to doing just that, and organizations like the TUC should be extending a hand in supporting such a fight that is in our collective interest.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
August 3, 2020