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TI Report: Group Accuses Transparency International, Local NGOs Of Smear Campaign To Tarnish Buhari’s Image

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Transparency International (TI) has been fingered at the centre of a devilish alliance with disgruntled elements in the country, parading as non-governmental organisations, to tarnish President Muhammadu Buhari’s reputation.

The National Transparency Initiative (NTI) raised the alarm on Wednesday during a press conference in Abuja.

Addressing the media on behalf of the group, Secretary-General,
Elder Tony Odey said Transparency International’s poor rating of Nigeria in its latest corruption index is aimed to undermine President Buhari’s legacy on corruption.

He noted that this is orchestrated by certain Nigerians with foreign interests to undermine the country’s sovereignty and integrity.

Odey singled out Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa, former ministers, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Oby Ezekwesili to be chief drivers of this calumny campaign.

According to him, the trio and their cohorts portray the country and President Buhari in a bad light in the international community for their personal agenda.

He revealed that they begin the process by lining up respondents to provide responses that will skew the outcome of the survey in a manner that project Nigeria as a country that is exceptionally more corrupt than other nations.

The National Transparency Initiative, though, expressed concern at the implication of such a negative reputation for the nation as it relates to investors.

The group, however, advised TI to disambiguate its report for Nigeria and specifically show what states are responsible for the rating it is giving the country.

It also warned the disgruntled Nigerians to call off their offensive and focus on things that would truly advance the wellbeing of Nigerians.

Read the full statement below:

Transparency International (TI) recently published its Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for the year 2020, which placed Nigeria on the 149th position of the 180 countries it reportedly surveyed.  Because TI’s fixation of Nigeria on this slot is no longer news, its proxies in the country have resorted to dramatizing the survey by celebrating how Nigeria is now West Africa’s second most corrupt country.

The National Transparency Initiative (NTI) finds it odd that the purveyors of this demarketing report went to town to celebrate their achievement as if a negative rating is something to be proud of. As confounding as this macabre celebration of Nigeria’s corruption rating is, it is necessary to properly situate the reason for the joy being expressed by these detractors of Nigeria. These are people with long-running contracts with foreign interests to undermine the sovereignty and integrity of Nigeria and constantly framing the country as corrupt is one of the myriad strategies they have adopted to achieve this dark objective.

Without mincing words, NTI is specifically calling out Auwal Musa “Rafsanjani” who is the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Head of Transparency International Nigeria. It is pertinent to disclosed that Rafsanjani is on the board of Amnesty International (AI), another International NGO that has fully deployed to harass the Federal Government of Nigeria and government institutions to prevent them from doing their job. The deployment of Transparency International and Amnesty International is such that the former uses corruption as a basis to block Nigeria’s ability to procure critical military hardware to fight Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgency while the latter replicates the same tactic while citing human rights abuses on the part of security forces.

World Trade Organization hopeful, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is another of the disgruntled elements that stoke TI to undermine Nigeria. In her case, it is easy to see what she stands to gain. She finds it necessary to instigate conditions that exonerate the governments she served in the past from being properly branded as corrupt. Recall the double-faced character of this woman who as Obasanjo’s Finance Minister keened endlessly that Nigeria must pay off its debts to move forward only the same person as Goodluck Jonathan’s Finance Minister to come out say Nigeria cannot survive without borrowing. What was never revealed to Nigerians is that facilitating the repayment under Obasanjo attracted commissions on the transaction amount just the loans obtained under Jonathan had incentives for those who brokered them. She definitely knows about corruption.

We are not losing sight of Mrs Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili, the fanatical hater of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is fortunately awake to the fact that the likes of Oby should not be allowed anywhere near public office given the damage she can do to the country through the implementation of phantom reforms that do not endure the test of even one month of her being out of office. Like the unholy combo of TI and Amnesty international, Oby combines a dangerous mix of being an anti-corruption activist, human rights activist and security activist to hound the government at every turn. She actively suggests to the TI-AI circuit how best to undermine the government’s image and she does this without thoughts to the fact that she was once a member of the Federal Executive Council like Okonjo-Iweala and should be more circumspect where the wellbeing of the country is at stake.

There are a whole lot of these disgruntled persons with selfish interests that have been driving the campaign of calumny against Nigeria using Transparency International. They start this process by lining up respondents to provide responses that will skew the outcome of the survey in a manner that project Nigeria as a country that is exceptionally more corrupt than other nation. Whereas, if the process is conducted without being tainted with the animosity that the Rafsanjani crowd harbours against the government of the day the result will show significant improvement owing to the efforts that the government has made.

National Transparency Initiative is concerned at the consequences that this obsession with demonizing President Muhammadu Buhari is having on the overall perception of Nigeria. President Buhari will complete his tenure and leave office but the bad reputation that has been tagged on the country will remain. This has consequences for the confidence investors repose in Nigeria as a business destination and in the contemporary business environment that is highly globalized the implication is that the demarketing of Nigeria will starve the country of business opportunity, which will lead to unemployment that will then fuel desperation and lead to actual corruption.

Attacking the Federal Government with the blackmail of corruption each time CPI is published also distract attention from the exact spots Nigerians should focus on. The States. The bulk of the anecdotal incidences that TI uses to compile its index about Nigeria are at the state level, which means that the Federal Government is being made to take the fall for the wrongdoings committed at the state level, which the government at the centre cannot do anything about since this will amount to being dictatorial. TI and its cheerleaders are eager to push President Buhari into wielding the big stick, which he has no constitutional backing to wield, on state governors so that they can brand him a dictator.

TI and its circuit of liars must also situate the roles that individuals play in the instances of corruption being reported. It is not enough to cite how people reported giving a bribe as it is pertinent that the bribe givers should also be recognized and held accountable as enabler of corruption instead of being packaged as heroes by TI, Rafsanjani and company. They should look inwards and see how the bogus honoraria and allowances they pay participants at their brainwashing workshops and conferences are also a form of inducement that amount to corruption. The desperation of the beneficiaries of such payments to qualify for future payments is what leads them to fabricate lies about corruption, which in itself is corruption.

Our thoughts are that if TI is serious about reporting corruption then it should disambiguate its report for Nigeria and specifically show what states are responsible for the rating it is giving the country. Since it has consistently treated Nigeria as a county if interest this should not be difficult for it to achieve.

In the meantime, we urge the alliance of the disgruntled that is weaponizing the CPI to harass the government of President Buhari to call off their offensive and focus on things that would truly advance the wellbeing of Nigerians. Nigerians live in their own country and they can relate first-hand about how things have changed for the better in terms of how it is no longer easy for people to pocket government money and covert same to personal use. It will therefore take more than a jaundiced TI report to tarnish President Buhari’s legacy on the war against corruption.

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Group Chides Ayeni Over Calumny Campaign Against Okunbo

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A group, National Youth Alliance of Nigeria (NYAN), has berated businessman, Dr. Olatunde Ayeni, over what it called his “campaign of calumny” against the chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMS), Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo.

NYAN said Ayeni, a former director and shareholder of OMS, contacted the group for a hatchet job against the person and business interests of Capt. Okunbo, especially the OMS.

National President of NYAN, Lucky Igbamodi, told journalists at a press conference that the group was hired to launch scathing campaigns against Capt. Okunbo in order to malign him through fictitious petitions and peddling of outright falsehoods.

Igbamodi said NYAN subsequently carried out its own investigation and found out that all allegations against Capt. Okunbo and OMS were untrue as they were fabricated for sinister motives by Ayeni.

“Making our stand public becomes necessary now lest the unsuspecting members of the public be misled about the real issues. Dr. Olatunde Ayeni mistook our group for agents of destruction for hire and we listened to him and carried our own investigations to ascertain the truth.

“We found out several things which point to a documented fact and established truth – that Dr. Olatunde Ayeni has since 2018 left the Board of OMS and as well sold his shares to Capt. Idahosa Wells Okunbo but only returns to launch a campaign of calumny against the latter just because Capt. Okunbo has a health challenge.

“Nigerians and non-governmental organisations should be wary of Dr. Olatunde Ayeni’s antics, which are all in bad faith and unbecoming of a businessman he claims to be,” Igbamodi added.

While wishing Capt. Okunbo quick recovery, the group admonished the Board of OMS to continue to support Okunbo and always stand by the truth as it has demonstrated so far.

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Abia: Time For Adeyemi To Quit, Pro-Democracy Group Demands Senator’s Resignation

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Following what it describes as “unguarded utterances” about Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, the National Democratic Front (NDF) has called on the lawmaker representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi, to quit the National Assembly.

Condemning Adeyemi’s outburst, the group said the Senate is a hallowed place of lawmaking and must be protected from misfits such as Smart Adeyemi .

Recall that the Kogi West Senator, in a scathing attack during plenary last week, described Ikpeazu and other leaders from Abia State as a drunkard.

And in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Dr Bolaji Abdulkadir , on Monday, the NDF labelled Adeyemi’s comment as reprehensive, utterly misplaced and gross abuse of the office that he holds.

By this, the group said  Smart Adeyemi  may be chasing shadow by his futile attempt to cast aspersions on a performing Governor which at best is attracting hate on his person from the public.

According to Abdulkadir , the Abia governor is a serious performer whose efforts to develop Abia State in the last 5 years cannot be wished away by a man out to please his political godfathers in Kogi State.

It further described Governor Ikpeazu as an infrastructure giant, a colossus and peacemaker per excellence and should be allowed to concentrate good governance to his people .

The group, however, advised the lawmaker to channel his energy on his legislative functions and avoid attention-seeking.

It further warned that Adeyemi’s failure to resign will draw the anger of the over 30 groups that are signatories to the NDF.

Read the full statement below:

It has become compelling to issue this statement following the unguarded utterances of a supposed Distinguished Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC), Kogi West on the floor of the Senate of the National Assembly.

The Senate Chamber is a hallowed place of highest lawmaking in Nigeria and should be protected from misfits, who see it as an opportunity to get at those that are beyond them in deeds and character.

The National Democratic Front condemns in the strongest terms, the uncomplimentary comment made by Smart Adeyemi about the Governor of Abia State Okezie Ikpeazu. We state, unequivocally, that the utterances of Adeyemi are a clear case of abuse of power and disrespect for both the office of the Governor of Abia State and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

For crying out loud, the Senate Chamber is not a village square whereby even people with known cases of dementia, drug addicts and people who speak before thinking have the opportunity to vomit thrash when important matters are under discourse.

We find Adeyemi’s comment as reprehensive, utterly, abuse of the office that he holds and above all, the desecration of the hallowed chamber of the Senate and must be condemned by all lovers of democracy and its tenets.

Even if the Abia State Governor His Excellency Okezie Ikpeazu and Adeyemi were engaged in an argument, resorting to gutter language by the Senator is a clear case of one who is losing in a debate. Adeyemi should be concerned about facts on the ground and not resort to unsubstantiated claims. Or could it be that as a drunk himself, Adeyemi was only playing like other drunks who would simply open their mouth wide to call those who have not even tasted alcohol as drunkards?

If not for the institution of the National Assembly, we would not have been surprised about the comments of Adeyemi. After all, it is said: Like father, like son. If Adeyemi is the father of a known drug addict, no one needs a soothsayer to say that the son learned the act from his bloodthirsty father.

For the avoidance of doubt, Ikpeazu is a strong advocate of peace and forgiveness and has over the years resisted provocation and confrontation. Adeyemi may be chasing shadow, by his futile attempt which at best is attracting hate on his person from the public.

So far, Ikpeazu’s tenure as Governor has attracted peace and relative tranquillity all thanks to his milk of human kindness, which transcends petty human considerations. His impact on education, infrastructure, agriculture, health, trade, commerce and other spheres of the economy of his state are legendary.

Indeed, Governor Ikpeazu is one of the shining lights in terms of leadership and a patriot to the core whose leadership models should be copied and emulated by all Nigerians.

In case Adeyemi is unaware, Abia State is today enjoying peace because it has a leader that is humble, tolerant, with a deep understanding of the dynamics of power and human relationship. Therefore, the unwarranted attempt by the Kogi West senator to soil the name and reputation of Ikpeazu is at best a demonstration of someone who has lost touch with reality. Adeyemi should channel his energy on his legislative functions and avoid attention-seeking.

The National Democratic Front, therefore, resolved that Smart Adeyemi should quit the Senate with immediate effect. Failure to adhere to this will draw the anger of the over 30 groups that are signatories to the NDF.

A word is enough for the wise.

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Drunkard Comment: Coalition Knocks Smart Adeyemi, Says Lawmaker Must Apologise To Ikpeazu

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The Coalition for Good Governance and Rule of Law (CGGRL) has advised Senator Smart Adeyemi to apologise to Chief Okezie Ikpeazu over his recent attacks targeted at the Abia State Governor.

The coalition described Sen. Adeyemi as an extremely and suitably opportunist in the Senate, tumbling with verbal diarrhea.

Recall that the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District had, on Tuesday, during a plenary session described Ikpeazu as a drunkard.

However, the CGGRL at a press conference on Saturday in Abuja by its leader, Chief Isaac Ikpa, said Adeyemi and his state governor, Yahaya Bello are no match for Ikpeazu.

Chief Ikpa noted that Adeyemi has no known legacy in his constituency to showcase for his three tenures in the National Assembly to commensurate with the billions of naira he has received.

Ikpeazu, on the other hand, according to the group is one of the shining lights of modern leadership in Nigeria today.

Instead of look the way of Ikpeazu who has excelled in developmental projects, the group charged Adeyemi to criticise Yahaya Bello for his indebtedness of salaries and pensions in Kogi state.

The coalition, therefore, warned the lawmaker that failure to publicly apologise would “compel us to take further steps to test the liberty of freedom of speech in the Nigerian parliament in the judiciary”.

Read full statement below:

Let us specially welcome you to this unique Press Conference in the name of Almighty God, our guardian and protector.  Nigeria and all of us are protected by His unalloyed grace!

Its unique in the sense that this is the first time the Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Good Governance and Rule of Law (CSOGGGRL) would come out and rise unanimously to caution the irreligious mouthing of a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the National Assembly (NASS), identified as Sen. Smart Adeyemi. We pardon him, if he ever grew up in some slums. But he should not export such ghettoish mentality or desecrate our parliament.

We were dismayed that this Senator threw decency to the dogs in our hallowed chambers to puke nonsensically at Gov. Ikpeazu, defying the sanctity of the hollowed chambers and its operative regulations on the executive Governor of Abia state, His Excellency, Chief Okazie Ikpeazu.

CSGs has never imagined that the Senate Chambers of Nigeria by today is a meeting ground for hooligans and miscreants with borrowed political garbs, to abuse the plenary session or NASS complex’s immunity by insulting other leaders as done by Sen. Adeyemi.

We interpret Sen. Adeyemi’s comments, tarnishing and libeling Gov. Ikpeazu as a “drunk” very uncomplimentary and derogatory.  But we have no reason to blame Sen. Adeyemi, because in life, he believes it’s all about the “cut and join” certificates he has paraded over the years to become the National President, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the Obasanjo Presidency.

So, it’s understandable that Sen. Adeyemi has no secured self-personality or public clout outside his small world of fakes. Adeyemi is perpetually threatened when formidable leaders are concerned and its perpetual with him over the years.

Adeyemi’s only delight is castigating and maligning those he perceives as enemies like he has done to the solid personage of a leader like Gov. Ikpeazu, who properly brought up himself, as a biochemical pharmacologist with an academic doctorate degree. But we don’t fault Sen. Adeyemi because his upbringing is clearly defective.

If Sen. Adeyemi has to pair up himself with Gov. Ikpeazu today, would Smart be telling Nigerians that he never went to a known primary or secondary school, but catapulted first to a post-graduate diploma in Public Relations, diploma in Law, advanced diploma in Mass Communication, and master’s degree in Public Administration from Federal University of Technology, Owerri, when he became a Senator, probably from a satellite campus?  People like him would never respect talents as embodied by Gov. Ikpeazu.

Thus, Smart, as he prides his name, became a journalist (or broadcaster) and jiggled his way into Journalism, rising through his crooked ways to become NUJ National President.  He left NUJ in the worse posture as we find it today, by leading journalists on what he termed nation-wide tour and verification of  “democracy dividends,” in the Obasanjo Presidency.

Sen. Adeyemi amassed a lot of wealth for himself and when his tenure expired as NUJ national President, he pushed the illicit monies acquired on the field into contesting Kogi West Senatorial district in 2007. Like Sen. Dino Melaye, like Sen. Smart Adeyemi, the constituents’ of Kogi West senatorial districts are unfortunate to always have wayward Senators representing them at NASS.

As we speak today, Sen. Adeyemi has no known legacy in his constituency to showcase for his three tenures in NASS commensurate with the billions of naira,  he has received as constituency funds;  just like his predecessor, popularly known as “Dino.” The idea of leadership known to these fellows is personal enrichment against the people and expect every one to become a cheer-clapper in the crowd of sycophants around them.

Therefore, when genuine leaders like Gov. Ikpeazu deliver leadership to their people, its natural that the likes of Sen. Adeyemi would get offended and classify them “drunkards.”  The mindset of Adeyemi is that every leader of the people in Nigerian today should be deceptive like him and he finds Gov. Ikpeazu an automatic enemy for trying to transform Abia state. Only God Almighty knows when Sen. Adeyemi would become Governor of his home state of Kogi.

We now understand why Sen. Smart supports his state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who is variously and consistently rated by Nigerians as Nigeria’s worse Governor after Benue’s Gov. Samuel Ortom.  But we wish to appeal to Sen. Adeyemi that no one is at war with him at the moment.

So, he should discard his penchant for uncomplimentary comments about the Governor of Abia State and other leaders in that state or elsewhere in Nigeria. Sen. Smart Adeyemi is a three-tenured Senator in NASS and still serving, but no bills to his pride. We challenge him to disprove us. We cannot silently accept his descent into barbarism, animalism and insults on the concept of parliamentary sovereignty all over the world; much less on Gov. Ikpeazu.

In our considered and vetted opinions, we perceive the Governor of Abia state, Chief Ikpeazu as one of the shining lights of modern leadership in Nigeria today. It’s expected that anti-progress adversaries like Sen. Adeyemi must hate him. But Gov. Ikpeazu is a true patriot and servant-leader of his people to the core, whose leadership model should be copied and emulated by all Nigerians.

We advise Sen. Adeyemi to speak to his Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to clear his indebtedness of salaries and pensions in Kogi state before he looks the direction of Abia state, where Gov. Ikpeazu has excelled in developmental projects. It’s not about salaries or pensions, we are talking about now. It’s about the people’s development!

Finally, CSGs demand an immediate apology from Sen. Adeyemi to Gov. Ikpeazu. Failure to publicly apologize would compel us to take further steps to test the liberty of freedom of speech in the Nigerian parliament in the judiciary. Only after the court’s verdict, we shall know whether parliamentary immunity includes the sort of hogwash or defamation, Sen. Adeyemi hurled at Gov.  Ikpeazu.

We thank you for your audience and journey mercies.

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