Home Opinion Why Matawalle, Ganduje, Bagudu should not be ministers

Why Matawalle, Ganduje, Bagudu should not be ministers

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With the yet-to-be-verified list of ministerial nominees, the media is awash with the potential appointment of some former governors as Ministers in the coming cabinet of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Some of those prominently touted as possible ministerial nominees include but not limited to ex-governors Bello Matawalle, Abdullahi Ganduje and Atiku Bagudu, who were immediate past governors of Zamfara, Kano and Kebbi States respectively.

It will be morally abominable and politically reprehensible to seek to appoint the referred ex-governors as ministers in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, taking into consideration their pedigree, which is laced and deodorised with allegations of corruption and theft in office.

Their poor leadership and political marksmanship while serving as chief executives of their states resulted in the pauperisation of Nigerians and underdevelopment of their states.

Former governor Matawalle was accused in a briefing by the Economic and Financial Crimes commission (EFCC) of embezzling and misappropriating over N70 billion while in office.

He was also accused by his successor in office of having looted the property of Zamfara State, including official vehicles. This resulted in the Nigeria Police Force raiding two of his houses to recover some of the vehicles.

Matawalle was so brazen in his corrupt style that he awarded a contract worth N700,000,000 to an engineering company, C.G.G.C Engineering Company Limited to clear and pay Customs duty on 200 units of Hilux (Ford 2019 vehicles).

He also comically awarded the supply of another set of vehicles to the tune of N1 billion to a pharmaceutical company, Danguruf Pharmaceuticals Limited. The same pharmaceutical company was awarded a contract to the tune of over N59,000,000 for the construction of one Governor’s Lodge. Most of the contracts awarded to cronies and fronts were paid up front.

As a former governor of Kano State, Ganduje is famously known for converting his agbada to private banking services, with a dollar-denominated domiciliary account. He was believed to have been caught in a video collecting kickbacks and bribe allegedly from contractors in his office in Kano. Due to the immunity he enjoyed then, he was never prosecuted. However, this is the right time to prosecute him and the EFCC is already on his tail.

Also, with sundry allegations of corruption against him, such as conversion and diversion of government property to self and family use, Ganduje is facing trial at the Kano State Anti-Corruption Agency. Rather than reward him with a ministerial post, Ganduje should be made to face the wrath of the law.

The case of Bagudu is quite intriguing. He was one of the front men for late General Sani Abacha, and helped the deceased military Head of State to launder money in foreign vaults.

Surprisingly, as an alleged Abacha loot kingpin, he crawled his way into the nation’s politics, first becoming a Senator and later served as governor of Kebbi State for two terms.

Today, Kebbi State is one of the most underdeveloped states in Nigeria. No access roads, no electricity, no pipe borne water, the hospitals are functional mortuaries! Indeed, Kebbi State was the only state former President Muhammadu Buhari never commissioned any project throughout his eight years tenure.

Also Bagudu as a governor never visited any country in Europe and America throughout his eight years in office. Why? He is said to be on the wanted list of some of these countries for money laundering and other related financial crimes.

Therefore, the Presidency of Bola Ahmed Tinubu should avoid these three men like a plague. They are corrosive agents that will taint and corrode his government. Nigerians and the international community will not take the Tinubu administration seriously, if any of these men get close to Aso rock. A stitch in time saves nine.

Matawalle, Ganduje and Bagudu should be arraigned for their heinous economic crimes, which are crimes against humanity, not rewarding them with ministerial appointments.

God bless Nigeria!

Director is a legal practitioner and rights activist

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