EFCC after me for refusing to share Police Fund with powerful persons – Martins


Corruption has pervaded every sector of the economy and the level of corruption has reached an alarming level and it keeps increasing, but it seems nothing is being done to arrest the situation, it got to a stage that some felt the anti corruption agencies are only used to harass those not in the good books of the government in power, what is your feeling about this?

I have been on the receiving end of this corruption issue, I would have said I am not the best to talk about it, but I am the best to talk about corruption in Nigeria. The greatest problems Nigeria has are not with the leaders, but also the followership, we are all guilty on this issue.

Our system encourages, enhances and celebrates corruption, the media, politicians and their followers, and those that hold public office. If you gave somebody N1 billion, why should it not be used for the purpose for which the money was meant? Take for example when I headed the police equipment fund committee, some people asked me why I wanted to buy 1,000 vehicles for N5 billion for the police, they insisted that rather than do that the money should be shared, but because I refused they went to the media to make noise, I knew why I wanted to give them (police) as much as that number of vehicles, but if I had shared the money with them and didn’t buy those vehicles, the police would have been deprived as they have not gotten that number of vehicles since then.

All the allegations made against me then were not true, the court also confirmed it, no N300 billion was raised, only N8 billion was raised, but because of the kind of leaders we have in this country, politicians, traditional and various sort of leaning, who insisted they must share the money, that I should not use it for what is meant for, they queried why should the police be given so much. They queried why we should build such decent houses for the police that they don’t live in those kinds of houses.
Why I am saying this is that when you talk about corruption, it is not enough to keep shouting corruption. The issue is you and me, and the leaders we have, so we should blame ourselves.

The issues lies with politicians and their followers, who will harass a person with genuine intention to serve to go and bring money before he or she is voted for, the politician will be forced to go and borrow money, and when a politician does that, he will look for means of recouping his money when he gets to public office.
Corruption cannot be tackled until there is national reorientation and rebirth. I think this corruption issue also requires solution.

Corruption is not even the issue, the major issue is selfishness, people are complaining about President Goodluck Jonathan, what has he done that they say they want to hang him? What has other good leaders done that they say they should hang them? Is it that there should not be good men in Nigeria? Why is it that we want to pull down every leader and we say every leader is bad? When our mind is preconditioned to say we want the worst of the people that is what we get. Let us give good people a chance, let us encourage people with sterling quality to lead the country. Let us encourage such people and vote for them, the day we vote in true leader because of the qualities they posses and not by inducement, then we have started the fight against corruption. 

Democracy is the answer to corruption. Voting in the right people, who goes into office and do the right thing, is.
I give this challenge to journalists that whenever they see an innocent person being hounded, they should be bold enough to investigate him and know if what he is being punished for is true or false. Let me tell you, no good person wants to participate in politics, they prefer to remain in their profession than go into politics, they feel they will be destroyed. Why should we destroy our leaders? Tackling corruption requires collective effort. We need God’ assistance and we need to believe in ourselves and choose the best people to go into positions of authority.

How have you resolved the case with the EFCC on the police equipment fund?

Nothing has happened. There is no case. That is why I am speaking now. We have relationship with the police, the Inspector General of Police, we are doing things for the police, we have people from the police, they have apologised on behalf of the leadership that caused all these problems. Even those leaders that caused the problem they have come back to start relating with us, they used to be our friends; we are even the best of friends now.
I want to say hope is not lost in this country, though, I don’t want to mention the person’s name, but among those who have been Inspector General of Police in this country, and he is the most highly respected, he called me and told me that initially they did not understand what I was doing, he said when he was in the service he knew police funding comes from government through the budget to police, and the idea of private funding of police did not occur to him, and they didn’t understand it, so they were misled, and unfortunately they followed the advice of those who misguided them, and they practically almost destroyed the legacy that they and those coming behind would have enjoyed.

He then charged me to help the present IG to bring back the private funding initiative and bring back those that collaborated with us. I assured him I will do that. I have received so much pressure from a lot of people. It is a national duty.

One of our trustees, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, ever before he became PDP chairman, called me and asked me what was my problem, that in his case he was jailed for doing nothing, and his sin was that he did his best for Gongola State and his country when he was governor of the state.

It is a national duty and I can’t give up. It is a duty to human race. Since we left this project two years ago, see what has been happening, criminality, kidnapping, the police can’t just do anything about it, where are the vehicles, where are the tracers, how can they monitor all these crimes, they can’t, because they can’t get the funding. In all the places we went to, we found out that 50 to 60 percent of the successful police force are funded by the private sector.

Since we left, we discovered that all the IGs that came on board went to all those international stakeholders, but they have a problem with all those international stakeholders, their embassies, their government, the corporate donors knew of the foundation, they gave us the support and they saw the corruption that was used to stall the foundation, they then insist that without the foundation they can’t help the police, we are willing and ready, we have 166 million Nigerians that we have to consider, I am happy that we came out of the crisis with our reputation intact. The current security situation has justified our position and shows the selfishness, the greed.

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