Former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, has urged the United States, United Kingdom and Germany to expose the real treasury looters from Nigeria they know.
He has also called on the federal government to institute a process where famous auditing firms will audit all public office holders, to ascertain their source of wealth.
Speaking yesterday in the US on the democratic process in African countries at the War College, Washington DC, USA, Kalu, whose speech cut across many issues affecting Nigeria, lamented many abnormalities in the country.
According to him, “US, UK and Germany know those who have stacked millions of dollars, transferred directly from Nigeria to western countries, without working for it.”
The former governor said the looters acquired the wealth with no trace of evidence of business transactions, services or contracts.
He said Nigeria needs three basic things, namely, justice, obeisance to the rule of law, and accountability to move forward.
The business mogul described Nigeria as an interesting country buried in tribalism and religion, adding that in the country, people do not see good in those who wish it well.
According to him, “people see no good in other people’s job. The leaders and the governed have become so greedy that they forget the ethics of a nation. A nation is supposed to be a committed area that must have the interest of the citizens as priority. It is only in Nigeria that a form is clearly specified to identify tribe, state, local government and religion. That means that the government of Nigeria, since 1960, has been in support of tribalism. There is no country in the world that wants to move forward and still have such specifications in a form.
“Corruption is the greatest problem in Nigeria. Those past leaders who claimed to be fighting corruption were only accumulating wealth. Most of them came to be leaders of our community with only N20, 000 and below, and they make no pretence in showing their wealth and affluence in their different communities now.
“I was governor for eight years. And in that eight years, I never knew somebody can take public fund as his own. I never knew somebody can take away people’s money. People who had nothing came into office and turned to multi billionaires and nobody asks questions about how the money was made. I call on the government to restore a process whereby the KPMG, PWC, Deloitte and others be given opportunity to audit all our past leaders. You cannot just make someone a governor today and next, he buys a house on Victoria Island without stating how he got the money. Likewise a minister and he is already buying houses in Maitama or Asokoro.”
Speaking further, Kalu recalled: “Among the people who supported political movement in Nigeria in 1998, a few of us are being tried. I had mentioned this in most forums I had been. The former President Obasanjo wrote to your President, George Bush Jnr, requesting that I should be arrested in United States. But your president, after investigation, said no. They equally wrote to the British Prime Minister, but he disagreed after investigation. But I am being tried in Nigeria. I cannot dwell on this since it’s in the court of competent jurisdiction.
“Last time I spoke in Washington DC, during a dinner, I repeated the same thing. Nigeria is a beautiful country where, given the appropriate rule of lawit will be a beautiful place to live.”
Kalu’s visit to War College, Washington DC makes it the third time he will be visiting in three years. The former governor, while recounting his relationship with the Institute, told the audience that the college, during his eight years reign as Abia State governor, had sent 50-man delegation to him.
He expressed his appreciation to the college, which, according to him, has always granted him permission to use its facilities for research whenever he is in Washington DC.