Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, former NUPENG scribe

Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, former NUPENG scribe

Former Secretary General, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Chief Frank Ovie Kokori has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to tackle corruption headlong by jailing big men both in public and private life who have corruptly enriched themselves so that Nigeria can bounce back as a viable nation.

Kokori who was delivering a lecture on “Post June 12: The Good and the Bad”, put together by the Lagos state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) as part of activities to mark the 20th anniversary of the annulment of June 12, 1993 election said that only those who steal goat, and handsets are found in Nigerian jail unlike what you find in the civilised world.

“Throughout the period I spent in jail,  I did not see any big man”, he said adding that Nigeria is currently rated by the World Bank as 36th richest country in the world, whereas it occupies the 157th position on the human capital development index, stressing that the situation requires urgent steps to address the imbalance. Kokori who went into history highlighting some of the things he went through during the June 12, 1993 struggle said the fourth republic which came after the annulment has left many <cut>disappointed.<cut>

“We expected from now on we will now enjoy accountability but look and behold a typhoid, wonderful democracy which we now had. We expected to have a National Assembly and State Houses of Assemblies that will monitor our leaders because they say democracy is for the people and for the people”, he said. Kokori noted that he and others did not fight for governors who will convert the whole resources of the state to family properties, attributing the reason lack of performance by lawmakers. “The lawmakers are not doing their works but they have become the kitchen girls of the governors. That is why we have blatant corruption that is going on unchecked”. He explained that many who criticize government are not able to take over because of the nature of the Nigerian state, which he said evolved without a conscience. For a change, he emphasized that there must be a mechanism for rewarding industry, honour and integrity.

While speaking on the trend of nepotism in the nation’s political space, he called for convocation of a national conference for Nigerians to decide how to live together. In his remarks, former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba identified current chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega as a prominent part of the struggle for democracy and challenged him to open up the political space and return the country to a two party state. According to him that if the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) wins at 2015, the All Progressive Grand Alliance(APC) will congratulate President Goodluck Jonathan, if he decides to run.

In his remarks, Human Rights Lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana called on Nigerian to remain alert during the election starting with the Local Government elections in Lagos State, calling on residents of the state to kick against imposition of candidates. He said he is against attempt by the Lagos State Government to elongate the tenure of local government, adding that even if the proposal sails through, those who came in based on the 1999 constitution have a right to re-new their mandate.


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