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Koko’s missing fund

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By Okofu Omamuli

DURING President Mohammadu Buhari’s, PMB, inaugural speech on 29th May, 2015, he stated thus: “ Constitutionally, there are no limit of power to each of the three tiers of government, but that should not mean that the federal government should fold its arms and close its eyes to what is going on in the state and local government …while the federal government cannot interfere in the details of operations, it will ensure that the gross corruption at the local  level is checked”. Some would say that the semantics of these statements were averred commitment to change certain existing anomalies.

It is implicit that the federal government under  PMB was not going to treat allegations of corruption with levity at any level of governance. But  what obtains today is a contradiction. It is believed that the instrumentality of PMB’s war against corruption  has  not been holistic. Perhaps, because the Economic and Finance crime Commission, EFCC, has been prosecuting  the war against corruption within a defined scope which was  sketched for it by the ruling party.

Alluding from the President’s swearing in speech, the anti-graft agent has not cast its net wide and far enough to have lived up to the promises of Mr. President. It cannot be  an understatement to say that those under investigations as well as persons in court over allegations of corruption are stalwarts of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, and  perceived enemies of PMB’s administration? For the foregone reason, corruption at the local government and the community levels do not seem to be of concern to the President.

Koko may not be a state government department or a federal government establishment. Yet,  when the sum of N567, 000,000.00 lodged in a domicile reserve account in one of the nation’s  banks  in Koko is reported missing, it is the duty of Mr. President’s   Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption to get to work. If for nothing, but the fact that the missing money is the collective resources of the people of Koko. Importantly, the anti-graft body must prove to cynics that it is not only after perceived political enemies of the present administration, but committed to investigating any corrupt allegation brought before it.

In the same vein, the outcome of the on-going investigation of the missing Koko community funds by the Port Harcourt zone of the EFCC, to a large extent would prove  those skeptical  of the agency’s non selective fight against corruption wrong.  Be that as it may,  the  Kokogate has  opened a new chapter in the war against corruption. Never in the history of this country has the war against corruption  been taken to the local government level.  salute the petitioners/whistle blowers for their display of courage to drag some of the trustees of Koko community before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over the missing N567, 000,000.000, Koko money.

Although Koko community is the headquarters of Warri-North Local Government, government’s presence is almost absent. She has survived thus far on self-help. In the areas of electricity supply, running afloat fund-grounded public schools, providing potable water and rehabilation of roads, the immediate past administration of   Koko Community Management Authority, KCMA, had been supportive.  At a time when government is said to be ‘broke’, self help became the obviously the visible option out of infrastructural collapse and decay. It therefore becomes a matter of importance for host communities to be prudent with funds generated internally from allocated fund. This is why  the missing fund must be found.

The onus is now on the  EFCC to do its job with utmost fairness.

*Mr. Omamuli, a social critic, wrote from Koko, Warri North LGA, Delta State.


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