Tuesday, 25 February 2014

#WhereIsOurMoney? Fresh Protests Greets Alleged Missing N20 Billion Oil Revenue





Where Is Our Money? was the dominant question and trending topic on Twitter on Monday. The reason is that scores of Nigerians renewed calls for accountability on the alleged $20bn said to be unremitted to the Federation Account by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.

As early as 8am on Monday, ‘prolific’ Twitter users had set the hashtag to use with various images and pictures to go along with it.

Apart from individuals who expressed displeasure over the controversy surrounding the missing money, two groups, Enough is Enough Nigeria and Public Integrity Networks were at the forefront of the online campaign.



Both groups urged Nigerians to demand for their rights and refrain from being docile by asking the Federal Government to account for the missing money.

While raising civic awareness on the $20bn scandal, Public Integrity Networks tweeted, “It’s no longer okay to keep quiet. It is time to wake up and ask #WhereIsOurMoney.”

Enough is Enough Nigeria, on the other hand, asked avid users of the micro-blogging service site to take the demands offline and educate other Nigerians on the need for a collective action to force the Federal Government to account for the money.

“$20bn is just the tip of the fraud in NNPC. This is an indirect war by a few against Nigeria’s future! This is the power of social media: our ability to get information and take it offline to others who don’t have access,” a message on its Twitter feed reads.

While demanding that the NNPC be held accountable for the missing funds, some respondents tweeted that the suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido, questioned the sincerity of the Goodluck Jonathan administration at fighting corruption.

On his part, political blogger, Babatunde Rosanwo, said he believed that Sanusi’s suspension was only a ploy to “distract citizens from real issues” concerning the missing oil revenue.

His tweet read, “Waiting till next elections is no brainer, this government led by Goodluck Jonathan must account for NNPC spending. The agenda is to distract citizens from real issues. As Sanusi defends his role as CBN Governor, government must also account for the missing $20bn.

“Sanusi has braved the odds. Citizens need to fight for their future. President Jonathan has no moral compass; neither does he have any integrity at stake. The onus is on citizens to demand for #WhereIsOurMoney.”

For IT professional, Karo Orovboni, his demand for accountability goes way beyond the confines of the social media space into the society at large.

While urging Nigerians to speak up in the face of “injustices” he charged the government to bring the “oppressors” to book.

“We shall ask on the beaches, we shall ask online and on the streets, we shall ask in the hills; we shall never surrender. We will continue to ask until justice flows like a river and righteousness like a mighty stream.

“Nigerians, be wise, your oil wealth is missing. The religious men I read about in the bible spoke out against injustice; the Nigerian ones are silent and celebrate the oppressors,” he tweeted.

As more Nigerians challenged the sincerity of government, Adekoya Boladale, wrote that the seeming silence of the ruling class on the whereabouts of the money is suspicious.

He noted that the credibility of the whistleblower should not deter the Federal Government from being answerable to the demands of the masses on the missing money.

“The continuous silence on the missing $20bn is injurious. It is sending a very wrong signal and may awaken the beast in us. It is no longer about who blew the whistle or the credibility of the blower. Is the money missing? Yes, then #WhereIsOurMoney simple.

“A war is brewing gradually in Nigeria. Sudden silence shouldnt be mistaken for peace. It is the preliminary stage in warfare. We are not asking too many questions. Our demand is not so much. Is just a simple phrase.

“Mr. President #WhereIsOurMoney? Sincerely, we are eager to act. Truly we are gingered by the happenings in Ukraine and Egypt. So don’t push us to the extreme, Mr. President.”

A biotechnologist, Adegboyega Adeoye, lamented that the $20bn said to be missing would have benefitted the masses in no small measure and moved Nigeria closer to achieving its vision 20: 2020 if properly utilised.

Adeoye, in a series of tweets, says, “We are still demanding answers on the missing $20bn, we haven’t forgotten the N1tn said to have been spent illegally on kerosene subsidy. There are so many uncompleted projects in the country, yet some persons in government can’t explain how $20bn decided to grow wings.

“More than 65 per cent of Nigerians live below $1 per day. The Nigerian Economy will receive a great boost and may attain the vision 2020 if the missing $20bn is invested in infrastructural development and other legitimate social services.”

Summing up some of the concerns raised online by Nigerians, political blogger, Japheth Omojuwa, writes in a tweet, “One day, the latent anger and poisonous venom of the Nigerian masses will find expression.”

Nigerian Eye
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