A NONAGENARIAN poet, Gabriel Okara, and a former lawmaker, Nasiru Garba Dantiye, have canvassed the prosecution and punishment of former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on probe of subsidy regime, Farouk Lawan and others involved in the bribery scandal.
Dantiye, former member of the House of Representatives from Babaura/Buji Federal Constituency of Jigawa State, said that if Farouk Lawan was found culpable in the bribery scandal rocking the House of Representatives then there was no hope for the country.
“I am saying that if it is true that Farouk Lawan took the money, the God I believe in would never allow him to go unpunished. I feel saddened and the question is where is the hope?”
Okara, who described the allegation against the Lawan-led committee as shocking, urged the Presidency and the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly to ensure that all those involved in the bribery scandal were punished according to the laws of the land.
He stated in Port Harcourt that the allegation against Lawan just showed that those who were supposed to be role models in the country, particularly in the National Assembly and the private sector were not role models at all. Rather, he described them as role models in the worship of corruption.
His words: “Those in government like the President, supporting ministers and so forth, and in fact the Senate and House of Representatives, should come out very strongly and those who will be found guilty be punished according to the law. There should be no one above the law. No matter how high he may be like Farouk, either in government or private sector. They must be brought out and punish according to the law.
“What is happening in the National Assembly is to me a huge shock. So who are we going to trust? Those who are supposed to fight are just going through the motion because they themselves are the enemies of the government and the people through their corrupt practices, embezzlement, money laundering in billions. It’s shocking. I am really very sorry, but I hope that the country will survive this.”
He compared corruption to a worm that has eaten deep into a tree called the Nigerian government. And to save the tree, he said vigorous efforts must be made to rid the tree of the dangerous worm that is threatening its existence.
Okara suggested total value reorientation of Nigerians by the government and the various families in the country.
On the issue of the Niger Delta, he urged the Federal Government to adhere to the recommendations of the Technical Committee on Niger Delta, which advocated the amnesty programme.
“I think that was a very good programme, the amnesty programme and I think the government should implement it with all its might and vigour to convince not only the young militants but the general public that the government means business, it means what it has said that the amnesty will be an arm of development programme for Niger Delta youths,” he said.