The Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District has said President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration have much to lose if no serious action is taken in response to the memo sent to him by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu.
He said this on Wednesday during an appearance on Television. Mr Kachikwu had in the memo which got leaked on Tuesday informed the President that the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation,
Mr Kachikwu had in the memo which got leaked on Tuesday informed the President that the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Maikanti Baru, was insubordinate, highhanded and had created a culture of fear in the corporation.
The minister also said he repeatedly failed to secure an appointment to see the President despite many attempts.
With the content of the memo now public and generating debate, Senator Sani said there was a lot of negative conclusions that could be drawn including that there was “a government within a government” under the current administration and that the Presidency has been hijacked.
Failure to give people reason to believe otherwise would greatly affect the government’s integrity and credibility. This, according to him is because the allegations in the memo are weighty and cannot just be ignored.
Senator Sani said, “The content of that letter and the allegations made raise a number of issues not only about the NNPC but about the whole structure of governance as it exists today, in the very sense that if a minister of state can say it has been difficult for him to access channels through which he can present his issues, I think there is a system disconnect and it is simply giving credence to the fact that there exists a government within a government.”
Although Senator Sani admitted that it is not strange for leaders to have a close circle of advisers whose opinion are superior to other officials, he explained that the case in Nigeria is different.
“In some cases, they call them kitchen cabinet but this is not a kitchen cabinet. This is about some persons who have surrounded the President and are exercising power to their advantage and also manipulating power to their own interest.”
Asked if he feels the President is aware of what is going on, the Senator suggested he was in the dark on the matter.
“I am of the firm belief that if he is aware of this he would have taken action. And if he is not aware of it, this has been brought to the fore and now he can take action. But if he says he will not take an action on this issue then it will definitely stain the integrity and reputation of government,” Senator Sani said.
He added, “The problem is not about the issue coming to the spotlight, it is whether an action will be taken on it or not. So, if the President refuses to act on it that is when he will be in every way criticized. But if he takes an action on it, it will show that the party and the government is in tune with the spirit of accountability and probity.”
Regardless of what the President does, Senator Sani said the Senate would not allow the matter to be swept under the rug. He is also optimistic that the committee the Senate set up to investigate the allegations will do a good job.