The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called on the Federal Government to sack the acting Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, who was the Executive Director of Finance under the ousted Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, under whom a sleaze of N165 billion was allegedly perpetrated.
NANS threatened to protest against NPA the over allegation that the agency failed to remit a sum of N165 billion to government’s coffers.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, NANS President, Sunday Asefon, disclosed that the students would not fold their hands and allow economic sabotage of that magnitude to be perpetrated in the system.
Asefon, who threatened to personally lead a protest to disrupt activities at NPA if Bello-Koko is not sacked, said that it was sad that this could be happening when over 32 million Nigerian youths are jobless with over 41 million students having a bleak future due to gross mismanagement of resources.
He said, “You will agree with me that of the major challenges of public education in Nigeria today is poor funding. This is not because the nation is lacking in resources to fund education but because the few people who managed the resources in trust for the nation consistently and cruelly mismanaged the resources and convert it to personal use.
“As a critical stakeholder in the Nigeria project, we commend the President for sacking the erstwhile Managing Director of the NPA, Miss Hadiza Bala Usman, over the non-remittance of over N165 billion in surplus.
“We believed that should the resource be remitted or redirected to the funding of our tertiary institutions, it would have made a great impact and big difference on our schools.
“However, we strongly believed that Hadiza Bala Usman could not have perpetrated this great act of economic sabotage against our nation alone as the managing director of the NPA without the knowledge and consent of other executive management team.
“The appointment of Mr. Mohammed Koko, a former account officer to the Minister of Transportation when he was governor of Rivers State, is neither in the best interest of the nation or the NPA.
“The corruption purge in the NPA will amount to mere political witch-hunt, political exercise, and fragrant display of political power if the acting managing director is not removed immediately and investigated. As the executive director in charge of finance and administration, he should be investigated alongside the erstwhile managing director, as he is a natural suspect and accessory to the crime if the erstwhile managing director is found culpable.
“Now that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation have confirmed that the President has terminated the appointment of Hadiza Bala Usman, presumably for finding her guilty of the allegations against her, it is therefore expedient for the acting managing director of the NPA to be removed and investigated immediately.
“We also expect the EFCC to swiftly take over the investigation of the duo to ensure that justice is adequately and fairly served.
“The NANS under my leadership will not fold its arms and do nothing while injustice and economic sabotage are reinforced. In the days ahead, our structures in the North Central and the South West will be mobilised to protest the continuing staying in the office of the acting managing director concurrently in the Federal Capital Territory and Lagos.
“We demand nothing but the immediate removal and investigation of the acting managing director, and where culpable, we will demand criminal prosecution of everyone involved in the purported criminal activities at the NPA.”
Asefon added that citizens must be involved in saving Nigeria “from the hands of the wicked minority who continued to stagnate development, sabotage the economy and greedily convert the country’s commonwealth to personal use”.
“Every leakage that threatens the availability of adequate resources for national development, especially educational development, must be blocked and perpetrators made to face the full weight of the law and not promoted based on favoritism and other sentiments from their promoters,” he added.
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