The federal government yesterday claimed that it was aware of the activities of some people it described as â€˜unscrupulous elementsâ€™ masquerading either as politicians or civil society advocates who are bent on fomenting trouble in the country, saying the law would soon take it course as no one is above the law.
The Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki, disclosed this in Abuja while playing host to the â€˜ Save Nigeria Groupâ€™ in his office.
According to him, â€œWe should continue to educate Nigerians in this critical times to be wary of some unscrupulous elements that maybe masquerading either as politicians or civil society advocates but who in reality are tormenting and fomenting trouble in this country.
Government is aware of the activities of these people and at appropriate time, the law shall take it course, because whosoever you are, you are not above the law.
â€œNigeria is bigger than all of us, Nigeria is bigger than any other interest you can think of, and for those people who will want to say that it is either they get into office or that monkey and the dog will fight and kill themselves, I think that is an inordinate ambition and that should not come from people who are being perceived as leaders of this country,â€ Turaki stated.
The minister added that the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan was a silent revolution which had been able to achieve tremendous growth that had permeated all sectors.
He stated that with the recent report that the Nigerian economy is the strongest in Africa, the level of growth that the country had achieved over the years was the most consistent in the world.
â€œThat is why a lot of investors are coming into Nigeria and Nigeria is one country that provides better returns in investment than any other country,â€ he stated.
The minister emphasised that President Jonathan had always stated that God would give power to whom He likes and at the time He likes without consulting anyone as no one can get into power by hook or crook.
Turaki commended the group for coming together as an entity at a critical time for the purpose of saving the countryâ€™s democracy, and assuring them that their message would be delivered to the president.
Earlier, the National Coordinator of the group, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, commended the presidentâ€™s effort in the ongoing fight against the insurgents especially in the North-eastern part of the country while asking the president to do everything possible including the extension of the state of emergency in the affected states and to ensure normalcy returns to all parts of Nigeria.
The group expressed concern at the level of corruption in the country, saying that there was need for the re-organisation of the existing anti-corruption agencies and prompt punishment of corrupt officials to serve as a deterrent to others.
â€œStatistics has shown that not up to 50 per cent in real value of the amount budgeted and released funds for programmes and project are executed. This is not healthy for our economic growth and development,â€ he lamented.
Okwenna stressed that ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) should be made to account for all the funds released to them at the end of each financial year whether capital or recurrent, nothing that any obsolete law that inhibits the effective performance of the functions of both the Offices of the Auditor General and Accountant General of the Federation from effective monitoring of the spending of MDAâ€™s be amended without further delay.
Okwenna pointed out that there had been growing fears on the capacity and the level of preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free and credible elections in 2015 due to its not too impressive performance in the recent elections in some states, stating that the alleged disenfranchisement of many voters and shoddy arrangements made the peoplesâ€™ fears justified.
The group noted that it had viewed the emerging trend in the political landscape and the increased level of intolerance and the re-emergence of politics of â€˜do or dieâ€™ among politicians as the 2015 elections approache, adding that it had decided to evolve a stabilising force to advocate for the strict adherence to democratic principles.
He further stated that as part of its sensitisation and advocacy project, his group would stage a â€˜democracy workâ€™ on May 2 in the six geo-political zones, and would rounded it up in Abuja on May 26 with a â€˜democracy rally and lecture.â€™