The Action Congress of Nigeria has once again asked President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately fire Dr Doyin Okupe his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs especially in the wake of the long awaited but inevitable disclosure by the Benue State Government that indeed Messrs Value Trust Investments Limited owned by Doyin Okupe was awarded a contract on April 24, 2004 to construct 230 kilometres of rural roads in the state at the cost of N2.3billion but after collecting the sum of N886.8 million abandoned the project.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohammed the party said in the face of this overwhelming evidence the Presidency will only further hurt its already battered image if Dr Doyin Okupe should stay one more day in his position as the Presidents spokesman as more damaging revelations about Dr Doyin Okupe?s past shady deals including but not limited to his swindling of Imo state government of hundreds of millions of naira will soon explode.
What the Presidency and the PDP must appreciate according to ACN is the fact that the appointment of a Presidential Aide is a projection of the President?s purpose, personal philosophy and sense of direction. This is more so when the appointee is to serve as the President?s mouthpiece and intermediary with Nigerian citizens and the entire world. In that situation nothing but the highest standard of probity and integrity is expected of the appointee.
Therefore whether Dr Doyin Okupe is under scrutiny for breach of contract or under investigation for fraudulent conversion of public funds, common discretion requires that he be kept away from public service until he clears himself.
To describe this fraud as a personal matter because it arises from a civil contract is to underscore the kind of naively that has kept our Presidency in the lower grades for so long. Contracts for public works are matters of public funds which no serious government will toy with. Non performance amounts to criminal conversion of public funds.
The party has noted with amusement the circus of desperation going on in the name of defending Dr Doyin Okupe ranging from idiotic name calling, fabrication of and award of non-existent contracts, character assassination etc against key members of the ACN especially the party? s National Publicity Secretary Alhaji Lai Mohamed. To all these characters our response is FAULT US ON FACTS AND NOT ON EMOTION.
No amount of syndicated articles in different names in different newspapers, not even press releases by each of the 36 state chapters of the PDP and all the principal officers at ward, local government, state and National levels of the PDP can blot out the simple fact that Dr Doyin Okupe collected N886.8 million in July 2006 and bolted away. Therefore he must go the party concluded.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary,
Action Congress of Nigeria
Wednesday, 22nd August, 2012