Group to Wike, Tackle Government Corrupt Officials Not Corn Hawkers

Group to Wike, Tackle Government Corrupt Officials Not Corn Hawkers

…Says Enablers of Insecurity Are Government Officials

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has said the new minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Nyesom Wike, should rather concentrate on corrupt officials in the government than on street hawkers, corn sellers over insecurity in the nation’s capital.

HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko vehemently kicked against what it described as a wicked move to ban street trading which it believed the minister, being a law maker lacked the legal right to so do but has to get a proper legislation from the National Assembly being the legislative House for the FCT. 

The association said the biggest enablers of insecurity are top government officials in charge of finances of the public sector and officers of government institutions including; military Generals who man the offices of procurement but line their pockets with filthy lucre, blaming transition from a ‘nobody’ to ‘somebody’ which they claimed, Wike underwent by the help of benefactors and mother luck, for his new found hatred for the poorest of the poor.

HURIWA reminded the new FCT Minister of the saying that “If ‘the poor people can’t sleep because they are hungry, then the rich can’t sleep because the poor are awake.”

They also stated that all that anyone who has respect for only evidence based assertions should ascertain exactly, why there is insecurity in the country and in the seat of power which is the FCT to scientifically recollect the conviction rates of criminals in Nigeria to know that top public office holders disgraced from their offices by the anti-corruption agencies of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences Commission , ICPC, constitute the bulk of the principal criminal characters, to then draw an error-proof conclusion that in no way can any rational mind blame street hawkers or corn sellers for enabling crimes and criminality.

HURIWA then recalled that few days ago when he arrived to assume duty, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, claimed that he has prohibited street vending in Abuja saying that street traders, including those selling corn, contribute to crime and instability in the city.

“Besides, the immediate past governor of Rivers State made this announcement during a meeting with the management staff of the Federal Capital Territory Administration and Federal Capital Development Authority, urging them to prioritise doing what is right, they said.

His words: “The important thing we must do is to ensure that Abuja is back to what it ought to be. I moved around Abuja and found out there is total darkness in most of the places. “What we need to do is to ensure light comes back as soon as possible,” he said.

Wike ordered the immediate cleanup of Abuja adding, “If you are in charge of sanitation, I will call you at any time of the day. Street trading is prohibited. People selling corn will drop their waste indiscriminately and these are the things that cause insecurity. Criminals come to buy and use the opportunity to spy and give information to criminals. It is imperative we clear street hawkers.”

HURIWA however, lamented that the likes of Wike, whom the gods have buttered their bread and rescued them from deprivation, have suddenly become addicted to an unfathomable and unprecedented hatred for poor people such as beggars, corn sellers and other street hawkers most of whom are even University graduates, who couldn’t find employment and white collar jobs and don’t want to go into crime or advanced fees fraud but decided to venture into petty trading with abiding faith and hope

HURIWA said t is not in anyway against any effort to clean up the streets of Abuja, but however warned that those who opportunistically gained appointments into public offices even when they belong to ‘opposition party’, must be careful and very circumspect to realise that political power is transient and then must speak with respect, decorum and be humane in their public and private activities.

“The Rights group reminds the FCT minister that only last year, the then Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, disclosed that the commission had recorded 3,440 convictions on financial and cybercrimes across the country from January to November 2022.

According to the EFCC headas quoted by the group, “In terms of prosecution of cases in court, I am glad to inform you that between January and November 25 this year, the EFCC has recorded 3,440 convictions. The potential for improvement is good as more ongoing cases are concluded in the remaining four weeks of the year.

HURIWA reminds Wike that a court in Abuja, had ordered the interim forfeiture of some assets of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, who is standing trial for stealing N109 billion from the government.

The assets of Mr Idris they said, forfeited temporarily to the government include; the sums of $899,900 and N304,490,160.95, according to top sources at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). They also include 15 properties in Kano and Abuja.

HURIWA learnt that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court ordered the interim forfeiture of the assets on 13 December. Over N30 billion worth of assets have been seized from Mr Idris since his arrest in May, EFCC chair, Abdulrasheed Bawa, told State House reporters in Abuja on 15 December. On the case of the former Accountant General of the Federation Idris Ahmed, we at the EFCC have recovered N30 billion from him,” Mr Bawa said during the 62nd Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. A judge of the FCT High Court, M.A Hassan, made the order of interim forfeiture of a batch of the assets of Mr Idris in a ruling delivered on 13 December on a motion exparte filed by the EFCC.


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