Cleric Demands Probe Of President, Ex-Heads Of State For Supervising Petroleum Ministry
Renown cleric and Niger Delta activist, Rev. Dr. Soberekon Sokari has called for the probe of past and present Presidents of the country who during their administrations, doubled as Petroleum Minister.
He alleged that the Petroleum Ministry under the supervision of Presidents and Heads of State occasioned nothing but large financial fraud and massive corruption in the petroleum sector.
The Ijaw-born activist who stated these while fielding questions from journalists in Port Harcourt at the weekend, said the time was rife for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ((EFCC) to probe these leaders, if the nation must get it right.
The self-styled Senior Advocate of the Niger Delta (SAND) queried the rationale behind superintending over a Ministry by a President whose competency record in management or related fields are relatively unknown.
“That is why the EFCC must probe all Presidents and Heads of State that ever served Nigeria as Petroleum Ministers while at the same time being the president of the country.
“They should tell us how many barrels of crude oil was sold daily during their tenure and how the money was spent. They can’t serve as Petroleum Ministers and didn’t give account of the daily activities of their Ministry, if the purpose for serving as Minster was to avoid corruption”, he submitted.
Sokari who pastors the Christ Jesus Link Gospel Ministry, said the only way to make Nigerians believe that they made themselves Ministers of Petroleum to avoid corrupt practices in the Ministry, is to as a matter of necessity, submit to the EFCC for probe.
The cleric who had maintained that Ministers of Petroleum should be picked from the Niger Delta, also wants a law passed to this effect, as well as forbidding a President from appointing himself as Minister of Petroleum in the country.
“As far as we are concerned, nobody would love the Niger Delta, its peace and development like the people of the area, no matter how capable they may be”, he said, adding that people of other regions should be contented with the development of their areas with monies made from the Niger Delta.
“I’m also using this medium to call for the nationalization of oil blocks belonging to the non-indigenes of the Niger Delta. The oppression and marginalization of the people of the Niger Delta must be stopped and there is no better time to stop that but now.
“The allocation of oil blocks to non-indigenes of the Niger Delta instead of the people of the Niger Delta is an oppression that must not continue, if we all care about the Niger Delta and its development.
The people of Niger Delta has suffered enough in the hands of past leaders, and every opportunity should be used to correct these mistakes”, he said.