Presidency attacks ACN on Ribadu Report

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The
Presidency has expressed its dismay with the opposition Action Congress of
Nigeria (ACN) for accusing it of causing the open dissension among members of
the Ribadu Committee on Petroleum Revenue.
An open disagreement between
members of the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Special Taskforce over the
process leading to the compilation of the report of the committee almost marred
the presentation of the report to President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday.

The ACN, through its Publicity
Secretary, Lai Mohammed, issued a statement in which it accused the federal
government of having an ulterior motive in setting up the Petroleum Revenue
Task Force, headed by former anti-graft czar, Nuhu Ribadu, and also, of
“deliberately sabotaging” the taskforce.

Reacting, Reuben Abati, the Senior
Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, however, dismissed the
ACN accusation, describing it as the party’s familiar pattern “aimed at
rubbishing the good image of President Jonathan”.
“The ACN statement falls into a
familiar pattern by the party to seek every opportunity to insult
President Goodluck Jonathan, as they write glibly about what they call ‘the
president’s efforts to downplay the whole disagreement and give the dissenters
a soft landing’ and the president’s innermost thoughts on this issue,” he
said. “The drama that has been generated around the Petroleum Revenue Taskforce
Report, one of three reports that were submitted to President Jonathan on
Friday, November 2, says a lot about the attempt by others to politicise
everything possible and seek cheap advantages where they need not do so.
For the avoidance of doubt and for the
benefit of the naysayers, the committees were set up as fact-finding and
advisory bodies to generate ideas and recommendations about how best to
strengthen the oil and gas sector and to further pursue the objectives of
institutional integrity, transparency and accountability.”
Abati said the president is committed
to the war against corruption and every step his administration has taken has
been in this direction.
“The ACN claims that Steve Oronsaye
and Bernard Otti’s membership of the NNPC while serving on the Ribadu committee
compromises their position,” stated Abati. “It is important to note that this
committee and other committees had government officials and ex-staff as
members.”
“If Lai Mohammed had done his
home work, he would have discovered that there were serving government
officials on the Petroleum Industry Bill Taskforce, chaired by Sen. Udo
Udoma, which submitted its report in June. Its technical committee
was chaired by Osten Olorunsola of the Directorate of Petroleum Resources
(DPR).”
Source: Daily Times

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