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Why Is Jonathan Afraid Of Probe?

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan recently said if President  Muhammadu Buhari decides to probe him, he should not probe his administration alone but he  probe other administrations before him.  Jonathan in making his request  argued that limiting the probe to only his administration would amount to witch hunt.
Jonathan’s comments at the valedictory session of the  Federal Executive Council Meeting (FEC) before his formal handover last Friday was in reaction to several calls for a probe of his administration’s  financial  recklessness and obvious squandering of the nation’s huge public resources.  He did not end at that, he went on to  score himself high and blamed all his failures on sabotage by political opponents.
But there is a common adage that ‘a clear conscience fears no accusation.’ Even though previous administrations were corrupt and were thieves, I feel Jonathan didn’t need to ask Mr. Buhari to extend his  probe to them  if he must go through scrutiny of the new government.  His comments   gives him out as a man guilty of the accusations even before investigations are opened on him. Jonathan simply acted like a man caught in the very act of stealing and when confronted by his captors, simply says his next door neighbour was the first to steal and should  be  apprehended as well.
Any man who is not guilty of any offence, who is innocent, who is upright would respond differently when threatened with a probe.  He willingly submits to a probe and urges his accusers to take him to any length to prove his innocence. Such a man exudes confidence that he would come out clean. If  your accusers proceed with their actions, they would soon found out the futility in launching the probe against you. They would find nothing against you and a clean bill of health would be given to you and it will go into records that you were probed, in and out and was found guiltless. That is integrity.
But Jonathan’s outburst calling for the expansion of any probe of his government to other administrations shows that he has some skeletons in his cupboard.  I am surprised that Jonathan in crying out pretends to have short memory.  Mr. Jonathan forgot how,  on assumption of office  as President,  chased principal actors of his predecessor in office’s  key  men out of Nigeria. Even when they ran out of the country, he trailed some of them to their hideouts. One example is the former Governor of Delta State, Chief Onanefe Ibori who was an arrow head of the Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration. Shortly after Goodluck was sworn in as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, he trailed Ibori to Dubai and chased the Attorney General and Minister of Justice  Michael Aandoaka  to yet an unknown destination.  Ibori was arrested in Dubai and extradited to the United Kingdom. The Jonathan’s administration offered all assistance to the UK government to arrest and prosecute Ibori and ensured he was convicted and jailed.
The same President Jonathan chased his successor in office of Governor of Byelsa, Timipre Silver all around the country with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Code of Conduct Bureau and the Independent Corruption and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). Silver was arrested,  detained and charges pressed against him. What was his sin? He was perceived not to be a strong supporter of Jonathan. What about the chasing around of Governor Rotimi Amaechi with all agencies of the Federal Government simply because he was perceived to have a Vice Presidential ambition? Did all these action of the Jonathan administration not amount to witch hunting? Why then is he afraid of being witch hunted when he openly,  covertly and overtly witch hunted his political  opponents enumerated above?  The same Jonathan invited his political  godfather and  former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepriye Alamieyeseigha  who was already convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction of looting the treasury of Byelsa people and granted him presidential  pardon to the bewilderment of Nigerians and the international community.  Alamieyeseigha jumped  trial  and disguised as a woman an ran back to Nigeria shamelessly.  The advice of Late Jimmy Cliff readily comes to mind:  “If you live in a glass house, don’t  throw stones.”
The point here is that former President Goodluck Jonathan really needs to be subjected to a thorough probe. He obviously has questions to answer and President Muhammadu Buhari must not shy away from launching a thorough probe of his administration  given the open and brazen plundering of the nation’s wealth under his watch. Jonathan’s administration depleted the nation’s foreign reserve and all the huge oil revenues were  mindlessly stolen. The oil subsidy scam revealed a lot of rot, stealing and defrauding of the Nigerian people more than any other administration in the nation’s history. Jonathan spent huge sums of money during the last presidential election for which he do not have any source of income aside the Public till. Where is Dieziani Alison- Madueke? That woman must not be allowed to run away because she has questions to answer. Where is  Bode George, Femi Fani-Kayode and others? They  must be stopped from running and  all such characters that joined the Jonathan’s government to milk this country to ruins should be made to face the music.
Some Nigerians are of the view that President Buhari should not waste time by probing previous administration. In my considered view, such Nigerians  are entitled to their opinion but I have a contrary view that all those who plundered this country should be made to pay for their sins as a way of deterring others from doing so because most Nigerians believe that any person who is in government has his or her opportunity to steal and amass wealth for himself and his unborn generation. This is the impunity that has been allowed to flourish over the years since independence and I  believe that Buhari has the courage and opportunity to assist Nigeria  to put an end to this madness that has held the nation down for too long. Otherwise, we would continue to spin round same vicious circle of corruption year in, year out.
No doubt, Jonathan conceded defeat, he acted like a statesman he ought to be any way, but  we must go beyond celebrating people in such manner and get down to major issues that have hindered our development. A probe of Jonathan’s administration  would send the right signal to all those who would serve in the Buhari regime that it is not business as usual. When they know that a next administration will look at their books after they leave office, they would conduct themselves with decorum and decency  and the nation would be better for it.
Mr. Dan Owegie is a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State.
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