Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and former GMD of NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, has recently petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari on the activities of the GMD of NNPC, Dr Makanti Baru, which has led to the awards of contracts to a tune of $25 billion without his knowledge.
Kachikwu’s petition also included that he has been prevented from having direct access to President Buhari over time to discuss on how to push things forward.
When Buhari came into power on May 29, 2015, he announced himself as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, which means that everything happening in the money central of Nigeria’s major revenue contributor falls on the table of the president.
Many controversies and debate have eclipsed the focus of Kachikwu’s outburst and as usual, the president has been relatively quiet about the revelation, which has made a lot more stakeholders uncomfortable in a government where the physical presence of some strongholds cannot be overemphasised.
Buhari urgently needs to start attaching some urgency to sensitive matters to uphold that initial integrity he got from Nigerians on a platter of gold without a real test of initial political management.
Having served in the capacity Baru now occupies, it sharpens Kachikwu’s allegation as one that has been there and humped around it.
The oil sector has been one of a perennial headache and major corruption centre overtime; more recently is the ongoing and overwhelming revelations of immediate past minister Allison Diezani escapades in money management.
Buhari’s silence only sends a direct or indirect message of one of two things; either he knows and approves of the sidelining of Kachikwu by Baru or he is not really the one calling the shot from the exalted seat of power.
Need I remind Buhari that the only thing that sounded more appealing to Nigerians that made him clinched a historic victory against a seating president was his campaign to stamp out corruption and he is running out of time to fulfil that made especially when critics have pointed out that the corruption fight has not been total and one-sided.
Whoever or whatever is going on with Baru and those that helped him boycott a superior in the activities of a sector that has plunged Nigeria dip into untold hardship must be investigated unless Buhari wants us to form a very valid opinion that Baru, like others in his cabinet, are untouchable.
Another mistake he doesn’t want to make his replacing Kachikwu from his position.
Kachikwu’s previous dealings have shown that he is not one that minces words on pressing issues. He has given details and accuracy in some of his past expertise opinions even though he was criticised for it. So, if after meeting with Buhari, all Kachikwu could say was no comment, then, there’s more noise than the silence in view from all affected parties.