Tuesday, 31 October 2017

#MainaGate: Nigerians know there is massive cover-up – Cardinal Onaiyekan

Following the reinstatement of the former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has said most Nigerians know that there is massive cover-up.

This is even as the former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said Nigerians are earnestly waiting for the outcome of the investigation into Maina’s reinstatement.

Onaiyekan spoke in Abuja at a peace and security conference organized by the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in collaboration with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

“Let them continue trading their blames until we get at the truth. As far as Nigerians are concerned, they are convinced that this is a massive cover-up that is done so badly by any government, less by a government that considers anti corruption its major interest,” Onaiyekan said.

Onaiyekan further said that somebody who had been admitted to have stolen lots of money was brought back and given full honours, is bad, saying that Maina could have continued if people had not shouted.

“Must everybody shout before the government work? So, it is a pity. Although, the matter is not over yet, we are waiting. And let the people involved trade blames. And probably, they have to trade blames because it is one thing that leads to another. Generally, this matter is not done by one person alone. It is a group of people who collude. They collude to do something bad,” Onaiyekan noted.

Onaiyekan added that if found guilty, all those connected with the reinstatement of Maina should be held accountable.

Asked if he was confident that the truth will surely be revealed about Maina’s reinstatement, Onaiyekan said: “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.”

“If the system is interested in peace and unity and progress of Nigeria, the system must learn to respect the truth because without the truth, nothing serious will happen, even the government cannot succeed.

“And Buhari is over 70 years old. He should be very much concerned about his own personal heritage,” Onaiyekan concluded.

Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Professor Oshita Oshita, has said the only way to put an end to insecurity in Africa and Europe is to ensure that both regions engage in more proactive planning in the mode of preventive interventions, rather than wait for conflicts to escalate.

“Once conflicts have escalated, the only option available s peace support operation. But if we do preventive activities which include early warning, preventive diplomacy and mediation, we can avoid getting to a point where crisis would have erupted,” Oshita said.

Speaking earlier, the Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Richard Young, said the conference was to discuss peace and security, adding that the primary purpose was to see how deliberations at the one day conference would contribute to the success of the African Union-European Union summit on peace and security slated for Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in November.

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