By Musa Hassan
As all is now set for President Muhammadu Buhari to return to the country and assume duty as president and commander-in-chief, those seeking to enthrone an agenda different from what the president espouses have begun subtle moves to slot in their plan before the no-nonsense president returns.
They need to do this because they know that once the president returns, he would see through their selfish agenda and stifle their bid to only themselves and attract opprobrium to his well respected government.
That is why from nowhere, some have planted stories in the press to suggest that the presidential committee headed by the acting president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has concluded investigations and has recommended the sack of both the suspended SGF and the DG of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ayo Oke.
The rush is similar to the one that occurred just before the president travelled out of the country when he was almost railroaded into taking an action on the matter without letting him know the full details of the report.
As fate would have it however, the president kept it in abeyance ostensibly till he returns from medical treatment, but now that there are all indications that he would be back, the fifth columnist have sprung into action by planting stories in the media that suggests that suggests a foreclosure of matter.
They tend to forget that ab initio, the President has consistently seen through the bid to railroad him into taking action on the now suspended SGF because he has his doubts over how the whole thing started, how it was treated, the characters behind it and how it is currently being treated.
Most people forget that the matter emanated from a Senate ad hoc committee report onhumanitarian crisis in the north-east which said it discovered that a company the suspended SGF had interest in, RholaVision Ltd. benefited from contracts awarded by the PINE up to the tune of over N223 million.
But the senate did not ask its ad hoc committee to wade into the matter until Lawal insisted the Buhari administration would not be able to implement fully constituency project as cash flow into government accounts has fallen by 40 percent of expected revenue at that time.
It can be seen that Lawal only insisted on due process and for accountability in governance with regards to how the issue of constituency projects are handled but did not go down well with the 8th Senate.
Due to this background, the president refused to be hoodwinked by the hype as contained in the report which was high on sensation but low on facts and asked the Attorney General to look into the matte and it was established after that not only was Lawal not given a fair hearing but that he resigned from the company in September 2016 and did not act in violation of Nigeria’s code of conduct for public officials.
Based on these hard facts which form part of a report of an investigation carried out by the AGF, the president in a letter to the Senate in January said the Senators were unfair to the SGF and that he was not going to remove him from office as the SGF has not breached the code of conduct for public officers.
Another thing was that having resigned from the firm, Lawal had no way of stopping Rholavision which has been in business for over three decades from bidding for any contract which it feels qualified to execute.
It was also not disputed that the firm submitted its bid just as other companies did and relied on its record to speak for a consultancy job of N7 million.
But in the bid to indict the SGF at all costs, the narrative was twisted and made to look as if the firm took up the entire N223 million contracts just to swing public sympathy against him.
Since they could not fault the commitment of the Buhari administration in seeing to the welfare and upkeep of IDPs, the best was to take on the persons that have worked hard to the realization of these goals.
That is why the timing of the leaked report at a time when the president is getting set to resume in office exposes the motive as a calculated ploy to tie the hands of the President in a manner that would compel him to act only according to the wishes of those who are bent on setting him up with key officials of his government.
But Nigerians must be reminded that previous investigations found no evidence of wrong doing against the SGF as it was established that he duly resigned from the company and did not in any way influence the consultancy job it got from the Presidential Initiative on the North East, PINE.
It is obvious some people are not happy with these facts and have resorted underground tactic to distort the entire meaning of the report and to mislead the general public into holding a particular position such that if the contrary turns out to be the case with the report, they would have succeeded in creating the impression that the president is shielding corrupt officials close to him.
But Nigerians now know better as they are able to read between the lines and they have seen the difference between what constitutes facts and fiction and are happy that as Mr. President returns, he will do the right and shame those who are acting only based on selfish interests.
– Hassan is a public affairs commentator on national issues
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