The Advocates of Social Justice for All (ASJA), has exonerated Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and the National Emergency Management, NEMA under Engr. Mustapha Maihaja of any wrong doing.
The organsation pointedly said the accusations leveled against the Vice President and Engr Maihaja were politically motivated.
Rising from its 7th Extra Ordinary Meeting held in Abuja on Thursday, the group claimed that from available records, the management of NEMA under Engr. Maihaja has repositioned the operations of NEMA for effective service delivery through the introduction of tangible innovations in the past two years, hence, the accusation of financial mismanagement was unfounded.
A communiqué jointly signed at the end of the meeting by Asogo Venatius, Executive Convener and Comrade Aaron Nwankwo Chairman, Fact Finding Committee, the organization insisted that some members of the green chamber were only using the investigation into the activities of the agency to settle political scores.
The group, therefore, advised the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara to settle his political battles in his state and not use his office to prosecute a personal fight.
The communiqué reads.
ASJA also found out that the era of transparency and accountability has replaced the period of financial recklessness in the operations of NEMA. The new leadership has engineered enough reforms in line with the President’s anti-corruption crusade and it is on course.
ASJA at its meeting found out that most of the allegations against NEMA by the House of Representatives stem from the lack of political/ financial patronage by the management of NEMA to the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness as the norm in times past. It was a common practice before now that NASS Committees are serviced with public funds by the corresponding units in the executive arm for the personal upkeep of members. But has been abolished by some heads of parastatals including NEMA under Engr. Maihaja.
ASJA is also of the opinion that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogora has shown tremendous interest in the activities of NEMA and is the brain behind the resolve by the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to continue to churn out spurious allegations against the office of the Vice President and the DG of NEMA for political reasons.
ASJA also discovered from interactions with other critical stakeholders knowledgeable in the ensuing controversies that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara is persecuting the DG of NEMA because of his closeness with the Governor of Bauchi State, and also for the reason that the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo did not come to his rescue when he was neck deep in a political battle with the Governor of Bauchi State. Others have also alluded to the role played by the Vice President in the sack of Engr. Babachir Lawal as SGF.
But of more importance in the present rift was the uncovering of fraud running into billions of Naira that led to the suspension of some influential directors of the agency, most of whom are friends and cronies of members of the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness of the House of Representatives
ASJA discovered that NEMA since the assumption of office of Engr. Mustapha Maihaja has been able to block loopholes that were hitherto used to siphon funds into private pockets. This common practice has put off most of the senior civil servants who were before now contractors at the agency.
Given the background as mentioned above to the issues between NEMA and the House of Representatives, the Executives and members of the Advocates of Social Justice for All (ASJA) unanimously resolved on the following matter:
ASJA exonerates NEMA of any complicity in the allegations put forward by the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness of the House of Representatives.
ASJA also supports the reforms introduced by the management of NEMA led by Engr. Mustapha Maihaja in the past two years. These are bearing positive fruits as can be attested to by the various stakeholders across the country especially those in the disaster management sector.
ASJA confirms that NEMA is indeed positioned to respond to disaster situations in the country as evidenced in the management of the recent flooding in parts of the country.