The National Working Committee of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday rose from its meeting, held in Kaduna, with a call on the National Assembly to as a matter of urgency, set up a high level panel of inquiry to investigate the alleged $9.3million scandal, involving the private jet of President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.
ACF said the alleged shoddy arms deal contravened established due process procedure of arms and weapons procurement and also a breach of the laws of Nigeria, South Africa and the United Nations.
A statement issued at the end of the meeting and signed by the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, stated further that, laid down procedure of arms procurement must be followed to avoid illegal arms importation into the country.
According to the statement, “the meeting examined the alleged $9.3million scandal, which an aircraft belonging to the CAN President, was used to ferry this huge amount of money in cash out of Nigeria to South Africa, for the purpose of purchasing arms and ammunitions on the orders of the Federal Government.
“This shoddy arms deal contravened established due process procedure of arms and weapons procurement and also a breach of the laws of Nigeria, South Africa and the United Nations.
“While ACF appreciates the effort of Government to contain the insurgency in the Northeast and other parts of Nigeria, laid down procedure of arms procurement must be followed to avoid illegal arms importation into the Country especially now, that we are faced with many security challenges of insurgency and unnecessary killing of innocent persons.
“ACF calls on the National Assembly to institute a high panel of inquiry to investigate this scandal especially the involvement of the CAN President, the Israelites and the Government officials and bring the culprits to book no matter their positions, to serve as deterrent to others and equally protect the integrity of Nigeria”, It read.
On the security situation, the statement said, “The Forum deliberated extensively on the current security challenges in the country and in particular the recent attacks on the students of Federal College of Education, Kano, some villages of Sanga LGA of Kaduna state and in Shinkafi and Maradu villages of Zamfara states, where many innocent lives and property. The Forum resolved to issue the following statement;
“In reviewing the general security situation, the meeting while appreciating the efforts of Government, the security and intelligence agencies in combating the insurgency in the Northeast region, however condemns in strong terms the continued attacks and killing of innocent people by unknown gunmen and suspected cattle rustlers without counter action from the security agencies.
“Furthermore, suspected sponsors and financiers of such atrocities have continued to enjoy Government protection and cover, while innocent Nigerians are being killed. This situation is unacceptable as it erodes people’s confidence in Government and its cherished security institutions.
“The meeting noted the various comments and views expressed by individuals and groups on the ACF open letter to Mr. President on the Security situation in the Country. ACF wishes to reiterate its position that it is not only the recognized voice of the North but also a rallying point for Northerners to broadly consult on issues of common interest that affects the region and its people, especially security matters, unity, peace and development.
“ACF will therefore continue to express concern and speak out on the inadequacies of government, regarding security and the need for Government to protect Nigerians and their property”, It read.
On the Independent National Electoral Commission’s plan to create additional 30,000 Polling Units nationwide, the forum called on the Attahiru Jega-led commission to do justice to all by ensuring that the best known practices and standards based on scientific and statistical data are used in creating the new Pus, which have now become a source of controversy between the North and South.
“The issue of landmass and distance should also be considered and states that do not qualify for new additional polling units based on INEC criteria should not unjustifiably be favored against the Northern states”, Said ACF.