Group Raises Alarm Over Plot to Frustrate Anti-Corruption Fight


By Jerry Emmanson, Abuja

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A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, Advocates of Social Justice for All (ASJA) has raised an alarm over the activities of groups that is said were attempting to frustrate the anti corruption fight by swamping President Muhammadu Buhari as well as anti-corruption and security agencies with frivoulous petitions to clog the system and slow down the process.

This was disclosed in Abuja on Tuesday at a press briefing held by the 13 CSO coalition under ASJA. The briefing addressed by the Executive Secretary ASJA Comrade Asongo Torkuma, further drew the attention of Nigerians to what was termed the activities of paid agents who are out to malign the image and reputation of some public officials in the country.

Torkuma told newsmen “We have discovered that many universities vice chancellors who are basically academics and fear for their reputation being dragged into the public arena for negative reasons are suffering from these elements in recent times and there is need for Mr. President to come to their rescue before overzealous citizens take advantage of the war against corruption to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians under the cover of anti-corruption crusade within his regime.

“More worrisome to us is the recent springing up of emergency groups under the auspices of NOUN Congress of Staff and Students and Congress of NOUN Students making clandestine moves to extort, blackmail and intimidate the Vice Chancellor, Professor Vincent Ado Tenebe and his management team into succumbing to fund union activities where these elements would be able to steal under the guise of unionization.” He revealed.

Torkuma disclosed that the coalition decided to raise the alarm after its attempt to douse tension in the institution led to revelations that the petitions against its management were spurious. “Unfortunately, to our greatest disappointment we discovered that these were the machinations of a clique that is behind the allegations proven to be vague and spurious. Our independent findings as concerned citizens were able to establish that the allegations were basically activities of paid anti-corruption crusaders and their sponsors masquerading as whistle blowers as seen in our independent findings.” The activist stated.
He further said “This is even as we discovered no iota of truth in the alleged hijacking the Congress of NOUN Students, which some disgruntled staff are already trying to use clandestine means to intimidate the Vice Chancellor and his management team, using this unfortunate incident.

“On the issue of student unionism, the management offered its explanation. It noted that NOUN is not in the mould of the regular universities, where all students are physically in the same congruous geographical space but are rather spread across the country.

“According to the management, it would be very easy for miscreants, militants and terrorists to sneak into any resulting association or union organised by the students with potentially serious security implications for the nation.” Torkuma explained.

He equally dismissed allegations of extortion and corruption leveled against the Vice Chancellor on account that the evidence tendered during the fact finding mission did not stand up to scrutiny.
The group now wants President Buhari to direct the relevant agencies to expose those abusing the nation’s scarce resources by sending anti-corruption bodies on wild goose chase.



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