By Angela Atabo
Abuja – The Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG) on Thursday in Abuja, said the stolen funds traced to former Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, could fund infrastructure development in the country.
Specifically, the group said in a statement by its Chairman, Mr Austin Braimoh and Secretary, Mr Cassidy Madueke, that government could build six world-class airports in each geo-political zone with part of the funds.
It said that the recovered loot was also enough to have funded agricultural projects that would have generated employment for Nigerian youths.
It added that the N47.2 billion and 487.5 million dollars in cash and property traced to Alison-Madueke by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissison (EFCC) were also enough to complete the Lagos-Kano and Lagos-Calabar rail lines.
It recalled that the Federal Government was already seeking loans for the rail projects.
The group called on Nigerians to join hands to condemn the massive looting of the nation’s treasury by officials of previous administrations.
It expressed belief that the loot traced to the former minister was a “far cry’’ from what she and others in the past governments pilfered from the national treasury.
According to it, these monies stashed in foreign accounts forced the Nigerian economy to suffer instant depression.
The group recalled that Madueke and her associates, including Mr Kola Aluko, Jide Omokore, were currently being tried by the US government for allegedly laundering over 1.7 billion dollars.
It urged Nigerians to have a collective resolve to fight what it described as “psychotic and mindless’’ type of looting exhibited by indicted government officials in their days in government.
This, it said, could halt the craving to loot public treasury by government officials.
The group reminded Nigerians that though the fight against corruption was the foremost policy thrust of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, “the fight might not attain maximum result unless Nigerians willingly resolve to join in it’’.
“This synergy is necessary so as to fight the art of looting and other forms of mismanagement in government.’’
It stated that all concerned Nigerians should be organising widespread protests to condemn looting of government funds by officials, past and present, as often revealed by the anti-graft agencies.
It advised that Nigerians should also stop dissipating energies on attacking Buhari, “the main fighter of corruption’’ over his health challenge.
The group commended anti-graft agencies, particularly EFCC, for their sustained efforts in exposing corruption in Nigeria.
It appealed to the agencies not to give up but to ensure the prosecution of culprits of looting of the nation’s treasury.